Friday, July 23, 2010

It's Black and White

I tend to verge toward chocolate whenever it's dessert time (or breakfast, or lunch, or....whenever), but I also love vanilla's soothing sweetness. Oh, I can never choose and that's why I always order a yellow cake/chocolate frosting cupcake from the bakery, regularly crave carnation ice cream sandwiches and religiously end a delicatessen meal with a black and white cookie. There's just something so heroic about the combination as it comes to the rescue and satiates my sweettooth every time.

Therefore, I figured I would test my Jewish grandmother skills out by baking away the other night and testing a recipe for black and white cookies (recipe listed below). At first, I was scared--I entered the kitchen with a ton of trepidation, a stage I thought I had grown out of years ago, mostly because I was going to have to make my own frosting. But, it turned out to be a cinch thanks to Gourmet magazine's easy-to-follow instructions. Thus, my journey began...the cookies came out a little bit more biscuit-textured than I would've liked, but for the first time my husband and I enjoyed our favorite childhood dessert in the privacy of our own living room instead of at Nate n' Al's.

The same goes for clothing. Every now and then, I do like to wear a hint of color or an all-black outfit due to its unmatched sleekness, but I truly admire the effortless avante garde look that results from wearing black and white. Below are some modern, sleek selections for both men and women to try out. If you pull it off right, the look is almost as delicious as a black and white cookie.

Hellz Bellz's Black and White Leggings; Chronicles of Never's White Hand Painted Men's Shoe; Noir's Plastic Asymmetrical Triangle Earrings; Christopher Raeburn's Men's Parachute Bomber Jacket; Nicolas Kirkwood's Snakeskin Peep Toe Sandal

Black and White Cookies
(From Gourmet magazine's February 2002 issue)
Makes 8 cookies

For Cookies
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup (5 1/3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg

For Icings
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 to 2 tablespoons water
                                                                                       1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Make cookies:
Preheat oven to 350°F.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Stir together buttermilk and vanilla in a cup.

Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes, then add egg, beating until combined well. Mix in flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately in batches at low speed (scraping down side of bowl occasionally), beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix until smooth.

Spoon 1/4 cups of batter about 2 inches apart onto a buttered large baking sheet. Bake in middle of oven until tops are puffed and pale golden, and cookies spring back when touched, 15 to 17 minutes. Transfer with a metal spatula to a rack and chill (to cool quickly), about 5 minutes.

Make icings while cookies chill:
Stir together confectioners sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl until smooth. Transfer half of icing to another bowl and stir in cocoa, adding more water, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, to thin to same consistency as white icing.

Ice cookies:
Turn cookies flat sides up, then spread white icing over half of each and chocolate over other half.

Cooks' note: If you can stand the wait, cookies taste better if cooled without being chilled.

(above photo by: Romulo Yanes)

1 comment:

  1. love those wedges from zara, but can't find them anywhere anymore, sadly!


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