NYC-Style Black And White (And 100% Vegan) Cookies

As an East Coast native, I tend to have cravings for different foods that combine both the flavors and nostalgia of home. At my birthday party, for example, we served thin crust Bronx-style pizza, New Jersey Boylan's birch beer, and a tiramisu birthday cake from an authentic Italian bakery - all things that are very native to my hometown in the New York metropolitan area. I miss it all so much! I miss the smell of peanuts roasting in Rockefeller Center. I miss eating freshly baked rolls of stromboli from my family's favorite bakery (Calandra's in Caldwell, NJ - if you were wondering). I miss walking into any given coffee shop in Midtown Manhattan and being able to walk out with a cup of hot coffee and a black and white cookie. Fortunately for me, I don't really get access to any of that quite often because I'd probably be as Big as the Apple itself. Fortunately for you, I've got a delicious black and white cookie recipe from Post Punk Kitchen. And it's vegan. So you, too, won't be a Big Apple. Try this one the next time you want to spoil someone really special. This is a recipe to hang on to! --------------------------------------------- Vegan NYC Black & White Cookies To Make the Cookies: 1 cup soy milk, plain 2 teaspoons lemon juice 1/2 cup canola or safflower oil 1 1/4 cups sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract (or 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest) 1/4 teaspoon orange extract (or 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest) 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/4 cup cornstarch 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt 1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 2. In a medium bowl, combine soy milk and lemon juice; allow the mixture to sit 1 minute to curdle. Add the oil, sugar, vanilla, and lemon and orange extracts and whisk until well blended. 3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Form a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the soy milk mixture. Stir to combine, taking care to moisten the flour at the bottom of the bowl. Stir until almost all of the lumps have dissolved and a very thick batter forms. 4. With an ice-cream scoop or 1/4 cup measuring cup (you can use a 1/3 cup measuring cup for big, bakery-sized cookies), scoop the batter onto the baking sheets, leaving 3 inches of space between cookies. These cookies will spread so leave adequate room between them. Bake for 18 - 20 minutes, till a toothpick inserted into the center of a cookie comes out clean. Remove the cookies from the oven, allow them to cool 2 minutes, then carefully remove them from the parchment paper. Flip the cookies upside down and place them on wire racks to complete cooling. To Make the Icing: 3 1/2 to 4 cups powdered sugar 1/4 cup boiling water (plus several additional tablespoons of hot water) 1 to 2 drops vanilla or almond extract, optional 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips 1. When all the cookies are done baking, prepare the white icing. Scoop the powdered sugar into a large metal bowl. Add 1/4 cup boiling water and stir vigorously with a wire whisk. Add a drop of vanilla or almond extract if desired. If necessary, dribble in additional hot water by the tablespoon till a glossy, thin-but-spreadable icing forms. If it's too runny, whisk in a little bit of extra powdered sugar. 2. Dust any crumbs off the flat bottoms of the cookies. With a frosting spatula, scoop some icing onto the flat side (the former bottom) of each cookie and spread an even, not-too-thick but opaque layer of frosting to the edges. Use the edge of the spatula to scrape away any extra icing dripping off the sides. Return cookies to cooling racks to allow the iced tops of the cookies to dry enough so surface feels set and not sticky. You will have some extra icing remaining (about 1/2 cup) that you'll be using to make the chocolate icing. 3. While the white icing is drying, prepare the chocolate icing. In a double boiler or microwave, melt the chocolate chips until smooth. Add the melted chocolate to the leftover white icing and use a wire whisk to blend it until thick, smooth, and glossy. It should be slightly thicker than the white icing. If the chocolate icing is too thick or grainy, stir in very hot water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached. With the frosting spatula, ice one-half of each cookie over the vanilla icing. Feel free to layer it on thickly just because it's chocolate icing. Return the cookies to the wire racks to set the frosted tops until they feel dry to the touch. 3. These cookies are best eaten the day they're made. If that's not possible, store them in a tightly covered container in a cool place.

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