New York City is a city that everyone must experience at least once in their life. The bustling feel of it is like energy that feeds into your soul, mind, and body. The cabs racing by honking at anything and everyone, suddenly stopping and braking making you feel as though you are aboard a ride at an amusement park. This amusement park, also has seas of tourists but with native New Yorkers sprinkled in, all in a rush to get somewhere important.
The tall skyscrapers rising above and beyond your head, shielding the sun from hitting the concrete pavement. Smoke billowing from down below, underground, where hundreds of thousands of people also travel in unison with those above. Running in and out of subways that take them from point A to point B in a matter of minutes, and then back again. That feeling of constantly needing to move is something that is very prevalent in New York. Women do it in high heels, dressed to impress, while men do it in suits or hip and trendy style. Everyone is always rushing down the streets, running late to a meeting, or appointment. There is a buzz that lingers all throughout the day, the chatter of people all around as they walk and walk and walk. People jumping in and out of taxis. People crossing the streets when signals tell them not to. People on cell phones speaking to loved ones or clients or assistants. Horns honking at all times. Traffic stopped bumper to bumper. Amidst all that chaos, you somehow miraculously feel cool, calm, and collected. You feel at peace with the city and those around you, which is weird, because if it was any other place, you would not think so. But somehow the bustling city life, intertwined with a few out of place trees here and there, and of course the mass greenery that is central park, makes you feel one with nature and society all in one. The untouched stretch of land that expands over 51 blocks is a cacophony of color. One you cannot find anywhere else, especially in Autumn.
Even though the days might seem hectic and the concrete jungle might appear like it will swallow you whole if you do not move about fast enough, as soon as the sun sets and the orange and crimson glow spreads among the city, you cannot help but feel a sense of happiness. That calming sereneness of the setting sun and the cooling air allows you to slow down. It demands it. The evening takes over and you are forced to leave work behind. Night life is actually prevalent in New York. Not like in LA where on weekdays, everything closes early. LA is a faux New York. New York continues to growl, even after hours. That glow is still present even then, only this time, the glow comes from something else. It emits from the lights, billboards, and signs that illuminate the streets. People are no longer rushing around, but rather they are looking forward to dinner dates, evenings at the theater, gatherings with friends at their favorite hang out spot. They are taking their time.
Restaurants are even more crowded in the late night, filled with all sorts of different people. New Yorkers, get a bad rap for being rude and blunt. But the thing is, when you are among the natives in a restaurant, standing next to them waiting for a table, seated beside them scanning the menu, laughing and talking to them as you each wait for your food to arrive, drinks in hand, you will see that they are not rude or blunt at all. Sure you will encounter one or two who are in fact rude and blunt, but those people are everywhere. They do not only hail from New York. No, they are next to you in your small town. They are the employees in your local supermarket back at home. They are the distant relatives you grew up seeing on holidays and special occasions. They are all around you.
New Yorkers are just as warm as those locals in any other state, city, and town. Warm like a coffee shop or small bakery down on 1st and East 87th street. Home of the best New York treat; black and white cookies, that of which are a must in this extraordinary city. A combination of vanilla and chocolate, you get the best of both worlds. See, in New York you do not have to decide on one or the other, they have made the choice easier for you. They have created a cookie where you do not have to choose, rather, the only decisions you have to make are which side to eat first, the chocolate or the vanilla, and whether or not you should eat another on your walk back home? This Manhattan snack will change your life. Eating it will only confuse you, but in a good way. You will think to yourself, “Am I eating a cookie, or a small handheld cake?” This cake cookie, will make you happy. It will make you jump for joy. Yes because of the moistness. Yes because of the taste. But mostly because once you try it, you will be excited that they are made so big. More to eat. A cookie with substance, the way all cookies should be. Have no worries, for you do not have to travel to New York City to get these cookies. You do not have to maneuver around all the people, you do not have to deal with the traffic and subways. All you have to do is follow these pictures and recipe and you can bring a little New York to you.
We start by making the cookie batter.
This is probably the easiest batter ever.
Here’s what you need.
I’m making this with the help of my handy dandy mixer.
You can also do this by hand if you feel like being awesome. I felt like being lazy so I grabbed my mixer bowl and paddle attachment.
Drop in the softened butter. Which just means butter left out at room temperature until it softens.
Do not go about putting in the microwave or anything. That might melt it.
Beat the butter until light and creamy, on high speed.
Stop the mixer.
Add the granulated sugar.
Start the mixer up again, and cream together.
You also want it light and creamy.
Or light and fluffy.
Bright and airy.
Whichever you prefer.
Let the butter and sugar cream together for a few minutes.
Just let it go and forget about it for a while.
In the meantime, combine the dry ingredients.
In a large bowl, sift together or just whisk:
Once the dry ingredients are combined, focus your attention back to the creaming butter and sugar.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Give it one final mix.
Grab the eggs.
Crack them into a separate bowl.
Why? Because it’s best to do this just incase a piece of shell falls in, or if there is a bad egg.
That way it doesn’t ruin the whole batter.
Pour the eggs one at a time into the batter.
Mix thoroughly before adding the next one, after each addition.
Once all the eggs are added, drop in the vanilla extract and lemon zest.
Now it’s time for the wet and dry ingredients.
Add the dry and wet ingredients, alternating between the two in three batches.
Starting and ending with the dry ingredients.
Be careful not to overmix the batter at this stage. Overmixing could cause dry cookies.
And none of us want dry cookies right? We want moist yummy cookies.
If there are any bits of flour on the edges, just give it one final mix and fold to incorporate.
Get ready to scoop these cookies out.
Grab a cookie sheet and line it with parchment paper, that will help when you go to remove the cookies.
As always, I like to use a handy dandy medium sized ice cream scoop to mound out the cookies. It ensures that they are all the same size, allowing them to bake evenly and at the same time.
Scoop out the cookies.
Arrange the cookies into six mounds, evenly spaced apart.
Bake the cookies in a preheated 350° oven for about 20 minutes—rotating the pans half-way through baking—or until the cookies begin to slightly brown at the edges.
Allow the cookies to cool for about 5 minutes on the sheet before removing them.
Transfer the cookies onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
As the cookies cool, now is the time to make the glazes.
We’ll need a white (vanilla) glaze and a black (chocolate) glaze. This is where the black and white part comes in.
Let’s make the vanilla glaze first.
In a large bowl, add the powdered sugar.
Also throw in a bit of salt, vanilla extract, corn syrup, and a teensy splash of hot milk.
Give it a whisk.
As you begin to whisk, the glaze might be too thick, if that’s the case then add some milk.
Add only a little bit at a time, until you reach the perfect spreading consistency.
The glaze should be slightly runny. Not too thick but spreadable.
Once done, make the chocolate glaze.
In a small bowl, dump the chocolate chips and add the butter. Melt them together. Either, nuke it in the microwave or over a double boiler. Whichever you prefer. Again, I was feeling lazy—I mean come on, water takes forever to boil—so I just nuked it in the microwave.
In another bowl, add the powdered sugar.
Drizzle in the vanilla extract, corn syrup, melted chocolate and butter and a splash of boiling water. It is important to add boiling water, not cold water , or else the chocolate will seize up on you.
Give it all one big, giant, enormous whisk.
Again, much like the vanilla glaze, if you find that the chocolate glaze is too thick, add a tiny bit of boiling water.
Remember to add only a small amount at a time, you can always add some more, but you can never take out.
You want the glaze to be spreadable but not too runny.
Okay, now both glazes are done. Let’s go on to the glazing.
Where are the cookies?
These cookies are glazed upside down. Turn them over so the flat side is facing up.
Then spread the vanilla glaze on half of each cookie.
Once all the cookies are half-glazed with the vanilla, spread the chocolate glaze onto the other half.
And there you go, you end up with Black and White Cookies.
Let the cookies sit for a bit so that the glaze can harden.
Okay, that was a bit. Go ahead and dive in. Start eating. Gobble them up.
On your mark. Get set. Goooooooooooooooooooooo.
I can probably eat every single last cookie, and this makes about 2 and 1/2 dozen cookies. So I guess what I’m trying to say is that I can eat 2 and 1/2 dozen cookies, all on my own.
If you have an obsession with cookies, like I do, and cannot stop eating them, well prepare yourself because you won’t be able to stop eating these cookies.
They are perfectly moist. Perfectly delicious and perfectly perfect. Can you tell that I’m trying to sell these to you? Well I am.
Make them right now. Today. Tomorrow. Or this weekend. Make them soon.
Okay, enough of my babbling. How’s about that recipe now Jon?!?!!
Well, since you asked for it, here it is.
New York Black and White Cookies
Taken and adapted from Carole Walter’s “Great Cookies: Secrets To Sensational Sweets.”
Yield: About 2 1/2 dozen cookies, depending on the size.
For the cookies:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 cups cake flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 vanilla glaze, recipe follows
- 1 chocolate glaze, recipe follows
For the cookies:
Heat the oven to 350°. Line two cookie sheets or flat baking trays with parchment paper, set aside.
Sift or stir together the all-purpose and cake flours, the baking powder, and the salt. Set aside as well.
In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter on medium speed until smooth and lightened in color. Add the sugar and mix for about 5 minutes to thoroughly incorporate. Mix in the eggs on at a time, stirring 30 seconds after each addition. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Mix in the vanilla and the lemon zest.
Blend in the flour mixture, adding it alternately with the buttermilk, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Do not over-mix the batter.
Using a medium ice cream scoop, drop six mounds of dough onto the prepared cookie sheets, spacing them 3 to 4 inches apart. Bake the cookies for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. To ensure even browning, half-way through baking rotate the sheets top to bottom and front to back. Remove the cookies from the oven and let rest on the pan for 5 minutes before loosening with a large metal spatula. Cool on wire racks. While the cookies are cooling make the glazes.
Starting with the vanilla glaze, use a small offset metal spatula, or a butter knife, to outline the dividing point in the center where the two flavors on each cookie will meet. Fill the remaining half of the cookie with the vanilla glaze, applying it as smoothly as you can. After the vanilla glaze has set and each cookie is covered, apply the chocolate glaze on the unglazed half, again starting at the dividing point and applying it as smoothly as you can. Let the glaze set before storing or eating the cookies. Enjoy!
*Storage: Store in an airtight container, layered between strips of wax paper, for up to 2 weeks. These cookies may be frozen, preferably before glazing.
Yield: About 2/3 cup; enough for 3 dozen 2-inch cookies.
- 2 cups powdered (confectioners’) sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons hot milk or water, plus additional as needed
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
Place the powdered sugar in a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Stir with a small whisk or spoon until very smooth. The glaze should pour from the spoon in a steady stream. Use additional liquid sparingly, until you reach desired consistency. A little bit goes a long way.
Yield: About 3/4 cup, enough to glaze 4 dozen 2-inch cookies
- 1 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 1/2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 cup powdered (confectioners’) sugar
- 2 tablespoons boiling water, plus additional as needed
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Melt the chocolates and butter in a shallow bowl set over simmering water, or in the microwave in 20 second bursts, mixing after each; stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat and add the sugar alternately with the water. Stir in the corn syrup and vanilla extract. Beat well with a wooden spoon or whisk until very smooth. If the glaze is too thick add a bit for hot water, until desired consistency is reached.