Posts tagged ‘sweets’

June 18th, 2011

Black, white and beyond

Black and white cookies falls into NYC classic category.  Not necessarily people grow up eating them, but New Yorkers grow up seeing them on the windows of many delis.  The origin of this cake like cookie seems rather vague.  Some says it is related to Germany’s Amerikaner cookie (only the white icing) or it is a version of half-moon, which was originated in upstate New York, and if it were for half-moon, the history goes back to early 20th century.  Cupcake stores have been popping up everywhere with tons of flavors like cotton candy, key lime and Artie Lange (not a beer).  So it was matter of time that beloved black and white cookie became a cupcake at Crumbs Bake Shop in NYC.  The texture of black and white cookie resembles already like a cake, so why not?  Taste?  I thought it was a good vanilla cupcake, and the chocolate fondant icing was rather really tasted like chocolate, whereas B&W cookie’s black fondant tastes only chocolate-y.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then, there are variations of all different colors.  These novelty items, which is really cool, for example, for birthday, Christmas and/or Hanukkah gifts to be creative.  I’d say “so cute!” if I receive one of these for Valentine’s or something (although, note to my husband, I always prefer really good cake), and if I bring these colorful cookies as souvenir to my friends in Japan, they’ll also scream “Kawaii~” (cute).   However, black and white cookie has been in New York City staple because it’s black and white.  There are reasons that these colored variations are not in store front everyday.  Basic cake flavor is always vanilla and chocolate; so is cookies.  It’s gender/age neutral.  My dad wouldn’t want to eat a baby pink and white cookie on the street, but he won’t mind black and white.  If you don’t live near New York City, and want to try, William Greenberg Dessert will ship and has great variation in color and sizes (I tried their pink and white, it didn’t taste like strawberry), or you can go fancy with Dean and Deluca or go crazy with these guys who has many color as well as shapes!  If you wanna make it yourself, this recipe seems most delicious.

June 15th, 2011

Black and white cookie

I love Seinfeld.  For a while, that show about nothing became the main reason I stayed in America.  It introduced me to a completely different culture.  Where would a girl from Tokyo learn what a moil was?  Who, if not Jerry, was going to teach me about the cultural significance of Jewish Deli food?  There’s one item in the Jewish culinary world, apart from the salted, cured meats, that’s especially noteworthy, the black and white cookie.You’ve probably seen the big, two-toned cookie a million times at Jewish delis but have you ever tried it?  For the uninitiated, it’s a big and vivid black and white creation tightly wrapped in plastic.  The name “cookie” on this sweet is misleading, and resembles its appearance more than its texture, because it’s more like a thin vanilla cake with two semi-circles of brown and white icing (chocolate and vanilla, although the white icing is sometimes lemon flavored).  I didn’t grow up with any kind of frosting, so at first, it didn’t look very appetizing.  But after seeing a Seinfeld episode, dinner party, I began fantasizing about this delicasy.  In the episode, Jerry and Elaine are at a bakery, where Jerry explains his method of eating the black and white cookie, which involves getting both vanilla and chocolate in the same bite.  His theory?  ‘If people would only look to the cookie’ all racial problems would be solved.  Jerry then raises his cookie in a salute of brotherhood to an African-American gentleman across the store, eating the very same, racially balanced dessert, who returns the gesture.  Surprisingly, it took me over a decade to try the black and white cookie in person, but thanks to the location being Yankee Stadium, it was worth the wait.  To this day, I don’t remember if the Yankees won, but I still remember that cookie.  My first thought after the first bite was, “What?  it’s soft?”  Remembering Jerry’s technique, I tried to get a little bit of both colors in each bite.  To be honest, and with no racial undertones whatsoever, I just prefer the white side.  Sorry Jerry.  The reason?  The black side’s icing usually doesn’t taste anything like chocolate.  It’s one of these “chocolate-y” flavors that doesn’t quite get it right.  Yet, if this cookie had only white icing, it would lose 100% of its cache AND its name would make no sense.  So why produce this riddle of a cookie?Maybe Jerry is right.   Maybe the appeal is just the sentiment reflected on this cookie– In a crazy world, maybe people can only find harmony in the balance of icing on the smiling face of this cookie…  Or maybe it’s just I’ve watched Seinfeld way too many times and I like cake.