Sure, there was a huge snowstorm while we were in Georgia and we lost power for 3 days. Didn’t affect us too mush as we weren’t here, but we did end up losing everything from our fridge.
Guys, I’m a food photographer. My fridge is literally always overflowing with food from various shoots. That is a lot of wasted ingredients.
And the minute we got back, more bad news: there were multiple days where the kids stayed home due to power outages at their school. Anyone who manages to be productive while in the presence of 3 screaming maniacs, kudos to you. I haven’t figured that one out yet.
All of that I could handle. I mean I was obviously very moody, but I was taking it in strides. But then. THEN we got hit with another nor’easter. We lost power on Wednesday and didn’t get it back until Saturday late afternoon. I realize how fortunate we are to have a roof over our heads, clean water, warm beds, and clothes on our back the other 362 days of the year. I know that this sounds spoiled and entitled. But have you ever gone multiple days without power with little kids?! Or tried to cram 5 people into a hotel room the size of a walnut. Unpleasant is the most mild, safe-for-work term that comes to mind. To be honest, I can think of a few select 4 letter words that I’d like to yell instead, but we’ll leave it at that.
Anyway, the good news is that the day before the big storm I had the foresight to do a little baking! And so when we begrudgingly packed our bags and left to find a warm place to stay, I was armed with a giant container of black and white cookies.
I credit these bad boys for helping us get through it all. Bite after bite, my anxiety diminished. Actually that’s not true at all. I wasn’t feeling like myself until after we settled in at home again, but I swear these cookies made everyone else around me forget that we were homeless and displaced.
Black and whites are almost more cake than cookie. They’re soft, chewy, airy, and only slightly sweet. The flavor really comes from the frosting. If you’re indecisive like me and struggle to choose between desserts, this is kind of the best possible option — a little chocolatey, a little vanilla, and cake in the form of a cookie. I’d say it’s the perfect little package.
So here’s to many more black and whites, and their extreme power to relieve stress. I’m not sure we would have made it without you.
Bakery style black and white cookies
For the dough
- 1 ½ cups white pastry or all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry or whole wheat flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¾ tsp kosher salt
- 12 Tbsp unsalted butter softened
- 1 ¼ cups sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup buttermilk cold
For the frosting
- 3 ½ cups confectioner's sugar
- 3 Tbsp heavy cream
- 3 Tbsp milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
- Preheat ove to 350 and place racks on the upper third and lower third of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, sift together dry ingredients and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, making sure they are completely mixed in. Add vanilla.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then with the mixer on low, alternate between adding dry ingredients and buttermilk, until both are gone, ending with the dry ingredients. The dough will be sticky.
- Use a ¼ cup cookie scoop to transfer dough to prepared baking sheets, leaving at least 2 inches between cookies. You should be able to fit about 6 cookies per standard ¼ sheet tray.
- Bake for 9 minutes, rotate the pans, then bake an additional 8 minutes. Do not over bake. Allow cookie to cool on the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to completely cool. Repeat with remaining cookie dough.
For the frosting
- While cookies are cooling, make the frosting. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, cream, milk, and vanilla. Transfer half of the frosting to another bowl and whisk in cocoa powder. If either frosting is too thick (it needs to be easily spreadable) add milk, 1 Tbsp at a time, whisking until fully incorporated, until desired consistency is reached. You want it thin enough to spread, but not so thin that it won't set up and become firm on the cookies.
- Use a small rubber or offset spatula to spread white frosting on one half of each cookie. These need to set for about 15-20 minutes. If you're slow (like me!) you'll be ready to start on the chocolate frosting by the time you finish with the vanilla. Carefully spread chocolate frosting on the opposite side, being careful not to overlap. Eat immediately or store in an airtight container.