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  • Writer's pictureVirginia Cornue and Linda Lombri

Need an Elegant Hostess Gift or Silent Santa Surprise? Black & White Cookies Always Impress

‘Tis the season for fun, food and festivities. It’s party and gift giving time when friends, co-workers & family gather together to celebrate…and eat!

Why not whip up a sweet treat of these classic Black and White Cookies, straight from the pages of the new Culinary Clues around the World 2.0. These classic cookies are famous throughout New York and New Jersey. And they’re savored by the three silver sheroes as they take a break from crime solving in Secrets at Abbott House, the third volume of the SANDRA TROUX MYSTERIES.

Arranged them in colorful holiday cookie tin and wrap with a red ribbon and bow, they’re always a welcome treat for a silent Santa or hostess gift.

Black and White Cookies

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup buttermilk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup unsalted butter or substitute butter, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Combine buttermilk and vanilla in a cup. Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg, beating until combined well. Mix in flour mixture and wet ingredients, alternating them and mixing at low speed; scrape down side of bowl occasionally. Continue mixing until smooth.

Using a 1/4 cup measure, pour batter for each cookie about 2 inches apart onto a large greased baking sheet. Bake in middle of oven until tops are puffed and pale golden, and cookies spring back when touched, 15 to 17 minutes. Transfer with a metal spatula to a rack and to cool quickly (about 5 minutes). Make icing while cookies bake.


1-1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1 to 2 tablespoons water

1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder

Combine confectioner’s sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl, mixing until smooth. Transfer half of icing to another bowl and stir in cocoa powder, adding more water, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, thinning to same consistency as white icing.

To ice cookies, turn cookies flat sides up. Spread white icing over one half of each cookie and chocolate icing over other half.

Culinary Clues around the World 2.0 and three books in the SANDRA TROUX MYSTERIES collection are all available in paperback and eBook formats from Get your copy in time for the holiday season. They all make great gifts for the foodies and mystery mavens in your life!

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