New York City–Style Pink and White Cookies



They’re a lot like black and white cookies.

Except they’re pink.

The end.


Just kidding! Not the end. This is the part where I would normally wax poetic about how easy and simple this recipe is and how you’ll soon be making it in your sleep while humming show-tunes and throwing your every care to the wind. Unfortunately, I cannot DO that. Because that…is simply…not true.

Well. Maybe I should rephrase that. I mean, it’s not not true. They’re still cookies, after all, and the actual process of baking them isn’t exactly rocket science. A little of this, a little of that, throw it in the oven, voila, the end, seeya.


No, it’s more about the aftermath of all that. When the cookies have cooled and the icing has been made. And you’re standing there holding a delightfully fancy offset spatula and thinking about what you had for breakfast. And you, a mere mortal, are suddenly faced with the G-d-like task of icing one perfect half of said cooled cookie…and leaving the other completely unscathed.


It’s at this precise and sugary juncture that you will almost certainly have some sort of deep-seated existential crisis and wind up sitting on your kitchen floor reading about military demarcation lines and the Korean War and the concept of dualism in ancient Chinese philosophy and the yin and the yang and the sun and the moon and frankly, you’ll never be the same.


…But eventually you’ll maybe realize that the corn syrup in the icing makes it super thick and it’s actually pretty easy to line up the two halves of the frosted cookie without having them come into contact at all.




Anywho, all of this is just to say that these cookies felt like the right thing to post to commemorate the fact that I MOVED BACK TO NEW YORK CITY THIS WEEK AND I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🎉🎉🎉Yay.

Talk about burying the lede! I know. I KNOW! And I have so much more to share. Obviously! Like why I moved back, and when, and in what outfit. Because you, person I have likely never met before, deserve to know. And know you SHALL, just as soon as I unpack and eat something and breathe a little bit. Promise I’ll post more about all these magic changes and more over the next few weeks.

For now, lest I digress even further: cookies.

Do I need to write more about them than that? Probably. So: These half-moon beauties are a New York City bakery favorite (and particularly infamous over at Carnegie Deli, of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Real People who Eat Food in Real Life fame).

If you know, you know. If you don’t know, you don’t know. All I can say is, they’re deliciously cakey and feather-bed-y with a thin layer of glaze that firms up to a beautiful matte. And of course I had to spiff them up here with a little pink for no reason whatsoever.

I do hope you’ll make them. Existential crises be damned. And if you do, be sure to let me know over on Instagram or in the comments section below!


New York City–Style Pink and White Cookies

Base recipe republished via Epicurious, with a few somewhat helpful interjections from me!

What You’ll Need

For the cookies:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1/3 cup (5 1/3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 large egg

For the icing:

  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup

  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1 tablespoon water

  • 1 drop red food coloring

What You’ll Do

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Separately, stir together the buttermilk and vanilla in a cup and set aside.

  2. Beat together the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes, then add the egg, beating until combined well. Mix in the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately in batches at low speed (scraping down side of bowl occasionally), beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix until smooth. (The mixture will look a bit runny at this point — it’s really more of a batter than a dough. That’s fine!)

  3. Spoon 1/4 cups of the batter about 2 inches apart onto a buttered baking sheet. Bake in the middle of oven until the tops of the cookies are puffed and pale golden, and cookies spring back when touched (for the record: that’s 15 to 17 minutes according to Epicurious, but only 10 minutes according to me and my oven!). Transfer with a metal spatula to a rack and chill (to cool quickly), about 5 minutes.

  4. While the cookies chill, prepare the icing by stirring together the confectioners sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl until smooth. It’ll seem impossibly thick — that’s the way it should be! Don’t try to thin it out; you won’t get the thick glaze look you want at the end.

  5. Transfer half of the icing to another small bowl and stir in 1 drop of red food coloring.

  6. Once the cookies have cooled completely (really, truly cool — or else the glaze will melt!), plate them flat sides up, then spread white icing over half of each and pink icing over the other half. Let the icing harden slightly (15-20 minutes), then enjoy within a day or two, or freeze!