Today, traditional black and white cookies get a Halloween makeover with orange, white, and black frosting.
This black and white cookie recipe stays soft for several days because I use potato in the dough. You will love the results.
I was honored to develop this recipe for the Idaho Potato Commission. I received compensation for this post.
Another fun Halloween recipe is my malted milk bar spider cookie.
For ease of browsing, here are all of my cookie and bar recipes. Thanks for stopping by!
Why Use Potatoes in Cookies?
I love a good cookie, and I love a good challenge, so when my friends at the Idaho® Potato Commission asked me if I could come up with a Halloween cookie recipe using Idaho Potatoes, I was all in.
The magical thing about using potatoes in baking is because of the starch granules that swell up with moisture when baked, steamed or boiled, everything stays soft and fresh for a relatively long time.
And what better way to put potatoes to use than in huge, soft black and white cookies for Halloween.
You guys know what a black and white cookie is, yes? They usually look like this:
What Are Black and White Cookies?
Iced in half white icing and half chocolate, black and whites are not made with cookie dough so much as they are with a less-runny cake batter.
They fall into the category of “drop cakes:” a thick batter dropped by the scoop or spoonful and then baked like cookies.
Black and white cookies get a bit browned on the bottoms and stay fairly pale on top, but then they psych you out because you turn them upside down to ice them on the flat side so the icing doesn’t run off before it sets up.
Tops become bottoms and bottoms become tops. Sneaky!
How To Keep Your Cookies Fresher Longer
The downside of a traditional black and white cookie is that they tend to get stale quickly.
But add some Idaho® Potatoes into the mix, and not only do you add a solid amount of extra nutrition, you also get the benefit of those plump starch granules keeping everything nice and moist.
You’ll have a good 3-4 days of soft, delicious cookies, as long as you keep them tightly sealed.
For longer storage, you’ll want to freeze them, but I’m pretty sure they will disappear in Short Order!
Testing These Black and White Halloween Cookies
I made these black and white cookies for Halloween 3 times. Twice with different baking times and once with a bit of additional milk.
I liked two of the three versions, and the only difference between them is the amount of liquid.
I’ll give you a range, and if you use the smaller amount of milk, you’ll have thicker cookies that won’t spread as much, and if you use the greater amount, you’ll have thinner cookies that spread a bit more.
Both are soft and puffy and stay that way for a few days, so decide if you want larger and thinner or smaller and fatter, and then bake away!
What Equipment Do I Need to Make Black and White Cookies?
Before we get to baking these guys, I’m suggesting some equipment and ingredients that can make your baking easier, whether you’re making these cookies or some other kind.
Since I did some decorating on them, I’m suggesting some decorating tips and bags as well as just general cookie baking equipment.
If you plan on doing a lot of cookie decorating, it’s not a bad idea to invest in a set of decorating tips and some decorating bags and couplers. If decorating cakes or cookies is not something you plan on doing on a regular basis and you’re looking for convenience products, Wilton make bags of decorator’s icing that crusts over and gets hard upon sitting. This keeps your designs from smearing.
For cookie making, roasting vegetables, making jelly roll cakes, etc, you cannot go wrong with commercial half sheet pans. Sturdy and warp-proof, they’ll give you years and years of service.
Okay. Let’s make some Halloween Black and Whites!
Black and White Cookies for Halloween
Y’all, these black and white cookies for Halloween are really, really good.
The tender, soft, slightly lemony cake and the shiny, lemony glaze are lovely together.
And if you ever want to make traditional black and white cookies, instead of whisking orange food coloring into half of the glaze, just whisk in some dark cocoa powder and a tiny bit of extra water so the chocolate glaze has the same texture as the plain.
And adding cocoa powder to a lemony glaze doesn’t taste weird. I promise.
Keep in mind these are “drop cakes,” and not crunchy or even chewy. Black and white cookies are tender little cakes, so treat them fairly gently before you chomp them until they are gone!
Other Recipes with Idaho Potatoes
Here are some other recipes using Idaho Potatoes. You’re going to love them. Honest.
- Soft Sandwich Buns with Idaho® Potatoes
- Soft Gooey Cinnamon Rolls with Idaho® Potatoes
- Melting Potatoes with Garlic and Herbs
- Moravian Sugar Cake with Idaho® Potatoes
More Halloween Recipes
Halloween is my favorite holiday, so I have a few recipes on the blog for Halloween treats. You may enjoy making (and eating) my Devilish Halloween Deviled Eggs, Candy Corn Cupcakes, this scratch-made Halloween Eclair Cake, and/or this delicious and kinda elegant Chocolate Halloween Cake.
And if you want to decorate crunchy cookies instead of soft cookies, try these decorated shortbread cookies!
If you have any questions about this or any other recipe or post on the site, there are a few ways to get in touch.
You can leave a comment on the post, and I’ll be back in touch within 24 hours.
If your question is more pressing, don’t hesitate to email me, and I should be back in touch within 4 hours (unless I’m asleep) or often much more quickly than that.
A Note About Measurements
This is the kitchen scale that I recommend for home cooks and bakers. Using a scale will help you be more accurate and consistent in your measurements.
It is lightweight, easy to store, accurate, and very easy to use.
Don't let its small price and small size fool you. The Escali Primo is an accurate and easy-to-use food scale that I have used for years. It's easy to store, easy to use, has a tare function, and easily switches between grams and ounces/pounds for accurate measurements.
I hope you’ve learned something from this post or that you’ve decided to make the recipe.
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Thanks, and enjoy!
Black and White Cookies for Halloween
These black and white cookies for Halloween get a spooky fun makeover with Idaho Potatoes and some orange and black icing. The potatoes help keep the cookies soft and tender for several days at room temperature. Enjoy!
For the Cookies
- 1 medium Idaho Russet Potato
- 5-6 oz whole milk, use 5 oz for thicker cookies and 6 oz for thinner cookies (1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons to 3/4 cup)
- 6 oz all purpose flour, I used Gold Medal (1 1/2 cups)
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 stick unsalted butter at cool room temperature
- 6 oz granulated sugar (1 cup minus 2 Tablespoons)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
For the Glaze
- 3 cups confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar, 10x)
- 2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice from the lemon you zested earlier
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (use clear vanilla for the truest color)
- 3-5 teaspoons water, as needed
- orange food color
For the Decorations
- homemade or store-bought decorator's icing in white, orange, and black
For the Cookies
- Wash, peel, and cut the potato into 1" pieces.
- Place in a saucepan in lightly salted water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes or until potato pieces are easily pierced with a knife. Drain, cover, and return to low heat for 5 minutes to dry a bit.
- Preheat oven to 400F and set a rack in the top and bottom thirds. Line your cookie sheets/baking pans with Silpat or parchment and set aside.
- Mash well with a masher and measure out 2/3 cup (6 oz) of mashed potato. Put in a bowl and save the rest of the potato for another purpose. I just make buttery mashed potatoes and eat them as a snack.
- Stir the milk (cold is fine) into the reserved mashed potatoes and set aside.
- Whisk the flour and baking powder together. Set aside.
- Cream together the butter, sugar, salt, lemon zest and vanilla extract until light and fluffy, scraping the bowl as necessary.
- Add the egg and beat until combined, scraping the bowl as necessary.
- Mix in the mashed potato/milk mixture until combined, scraping the bowl as necessary.
- Add the flour/baking powder mixture all at once and mix on low until combined. Scrape the bowl. The texture of your batter should be like very thick cake batter. It should flow a little bit but not be runny.
- Portion cookies using a 2 oz scoop for large cookies or a 1 oz scoop for smaller cookies. Leave a good 2 1/2" between the cookies, especially if using 6 oz of milk. You may need to bake a 3rd round, so don't try to crowd the pans or the cookies will run into each other and end up with some flatter sides, and we want nice, round cookies.
- Bake large cookies for about 16 minutes and smaller cookies for about 12 minutes. Rotate the pans and swap racks halfway through baking. The cookies are done when they are firm and barely starting to color on the tops and are a warm, deep golden brown on the bottoms.
- Let cool on the sheets for a couple of minutes, and then carefully transfer them to racks to cool completely.
To Make the Glaze
- Whisk together the confectioner's sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice, salt, vanilla and a Tablespoon of water until smooth. Add water a bit at a time until you have a spreadable consistency that will smooth out upon sitting--a very thick glaze.
- Scrape half the glaze into a separate bowl. Color 1 bowl of glaze with orange color. Using an offset spatula, spread half of all the cookies with the white glaze and let set up about 5 minutes. Spread the other half of all the cookies with orange glaze. Allow the glaze to harden for at least an hour, and then decorate as desired with white, orange, and black decorating icing.
To keep the cookies as consistent in size as possible, use cookie scoops of the right size. Here are affiliate links for 1 oz cookie scoops and 2 oz cookie scoops. You can also portion them at 4 Tablespoons (1/4 cup) for large cookies or 2 Tablespoons for small cookies.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Nutrition InformationYield 12 Serving Size 1 large cookie
Amount Per Serving Calories 326Total Fat 8.9gSaturated Fat 5.3gCholesterol 37mgSodium 344mgCarbohydrates 60.6gFiber .4gSugar 45.3gProtein 2.9g
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Thank you so much for spending some spooky time with me today. Have a lovely day. And thank you again to the Idaho® Potato Commission. It is always a treat to work with you.
What Others Are Saying...
Vicky B says
When you call for 6 ounces of flour in the black and white cookies, is that 6 ounces by volume (3/4 of a cup) or is that 6 ounces by weight? Outside of commercial recipes for food service and those in Europe, which call for everything in kilograms, I’ve never seen a recipe call for dry ingredients in ounces.
Jennifer Field says
A very good question. If you don’t know my blog, you wouldn’t know this, but I strongly encourage all my readers to weigh all their ingredients for accuracy and consistency. By volume, 6 oz is the equivalent of a scant 1 1/2 cups. I hope you try them and enjoy them! And the scale I use, an Escali Primo, is the best $25 I’ve ever spent on kitchen equipment! 🙂