Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Heart of NYC Is A Black & White Cookie

 At last, one of my most anticipated bakes of this challenge so far. 

What is more iconic than a real New York City Black & White cookie? Here in Florida I've seen the most appalling versions...shortbread for the base, bizarrely over-sized, a hard crisp cookie, fluffy frosting. I can't bear to remember all of the disasters I've tasted. And of course the taste was never right-on. The biggest insult is that these much less than accurate versions are presented as "the real thing" to innocent mid-westerners and other locals.

A true NYC Black & White cookie is more like cake than cookie. The base is somewhat rounded with a soft, vaguely lemon flavored bottom that is thinly covered on top with equal areas of vanilla & chocolate icing. This recipe had it all, except the lemon, which we judiciously added. In order to have lots of samples, we made most 3"-4", rather than the usual 5" size. Here's how we made them.

First the sugar & fat were creamed until fluffy

Then the eggs were gradually added

This resulted in the batter curdling temporarily

But it all smoothed out once the flour was added

The smooth batter was poured into a bag for piping; we're used a freezer grade zip bag with a 1/2" diagonal cut made in the corner

We piped them as concentric circles, which meant 
we had to smooth out and flatten the tops

We used an off-set spatula, but if we had piped it as a 
3" blob we probably could have eliminated this step

The cookie centers all puffed up in the oven, as they should

You have to watch them carefully to make sure they only 
brown lightly around the edges

While the baked cookies cooled, it was time to make the two icings

In the end they were a delicious bevy of beauties. 
I hope you were one of our lucky taste-testers.

 galleries invite you in to see the magic behind the curtain

We're taking a break in our schedule to share this with you

FRIDAY from 12-3 Anna will show you how to make

delicious, simple, healthy, inexpensive & impressive

  We'll be demonstrating how to make them, giving
away free samples, plus the recipes & resources 


SATURDAY from 12-3 I'll show you how to make

basic baguette & whole wheat seeded oat loaf
delicious, easy, can be baked fresh with little notice

  I'll show you how to mix this master dough in minutes & have it ready to bake at will. Taste a variety of different samples.
We'll be in a tent (I hope it doesn't rain!!) at the edge of the driveway in front of my TreeHouse at 932 12th St W, in the 
Village of the Arts both days from 12-3.

I'm proud that the Bradenton Herald has decided to do a story on my TreeHouse. It will be in the Neighbors Section, this Friday Feb 17th.

Any questions, call me at (941) 746-6647
or email

Hugs from the kitchen,
Bonni & Anna

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