Amerikaner/Black and White cookies

by heikes3

It’s the end of the school year. That always means I will be baking for end-of-year parties. With most people bringing chocolate chip cookies, I usually try to make something different. This year, I stumbled across an old recipe of Amerikaner. They are like your Black and White Cookies.

Why are they called Amerikaner (Americans) in Germany? Nobody is sure, but there are two good stories. In one GI’s were not able to find all the ingredients for an American Cake during the Second World War, thus creating the “Amerikaner”. The other has Germans not being able to pronounce “Black and White Cookies” which the Americans brought over in the 50’s, so that they just called them “Amerikaner”. Either one has their origins from the Americans and I thank you for it!

I love their vanilla flavored, cakey-soft texture with a slightly crunchy icing on the underside, which becomes the upper side. Oh, and the choices of icings and decorations – there are no limits. The traditional icing is just powdered sugar and water- at least in Germany- but who is to keep you from using melted chocolate or colors in your icing? This is actually a wonderful treat to make or decorate with children. They get to make faces with M&M’s, beautiful sprinkles or melted chocolate in a candy melt bottle. As you can see our Emily had quite a lot of fun with it!

Amerikaner / Black and White Cookies


125 g butter
175 g sugar
3 eggs
1/4 tsp. salt
250 ml milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
500 g flour
2 1/4 tsp. baking powder


Heat oven to 395 °F. Beat butter, sugar, eggs and salt till foamy. Mix in milk and vanilla. Whisk together flour and baking powder. Add to liquid mixture and mix well.

Drop by tablespoon fulls onto baking paper lined cookie sheets – I use the cookie scoop, which works perfectly with this sticky batter. Just keep a glass of water nearby and dip the cookie scoop in it when batter starts sticking too badly.

Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown around edges.

When cookies have cooled, the decorating can begin. 250 g powdered sugar with 3-4 Tbsp. of hot water + 1 tsp. vanilla makes a great white icing. Melt about 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips + 1tsp. shortening in microwave – you can do this in a bowl and then put in a pastry bag to decorate your cookies with, but I did it right away in the candy-melt bottle. You heat it for 30 seconds and stir or knead bottle, heat again for 30 seconds, then stir or knead bottle, until the correct consistency has been achieved. Either put the melted mixture right onto the cookies, in a pastry bag or decorate right from the bottle. I iced them first and then we had fun decorating them, as you can see.


One Comment to “Amerikaner/Black and White cookies”

  1. What a cute cookie! My baby would be crazy about them. Thanks for sharing.

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