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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Vegan MoFo in NYC, Day 14: Black and White Cookies

Besides chocolate babka, black and white cookies are the only baked good I really associate with New York (both due more to Seinfeld than ever having eaten either.) And now, it's not that simple to grab one at a deli and nosh. I'd have to track down a vegan version of the cookie (they must exist somewhere...right?)
OR I could turn to (who else but) Isa Moskowitz. Along with Terry Hope Romero (who has NOT relocated out of the city, AHEM) the two created a vegan version of black and white cookies, which you can find in Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar!
The ingredient list is pretty basic. I only had a bit of trouble with the dough - it is a thick dough, but not as thick as I would have imagined. They spread out a bit on the baking sheets, making a huge freaking cookie!

Almost as big as my whole hand. A few of them waiting for the icing to set:

They are on saran wrap, not my actual counter. The icing is really easy to make too. It's a royal icing with just (vegan!) confectioner's sugar and boiling water. None of that gross butter/sugar whip of other frostings. I even bought my very first offset spatula to ice these!
Okay, so, a confession, though. I bought chocolate chips to melt to add to the icing for the chocolate side but we don't have a double boiler here and I didn't want it TOO sweet. So for the chocolate side, I just added some cocoa powder. Plus adding hot water to chocolate sounds like it would ruin the texture (and the recipe does state that it gets much thicker) so I just opted for the easier and more uniform icing. Sorry. May the NYC bakery gods strike me down. If you take the easy route out too, I'd recommend Dutch cocoa for a more chocolate-y flavor.


Another note about the recipe: you definitely need parchment paper with these. The cookie itself is pretty delicate and cakey and VERY difficult to get off the sheet in one piece, even having greased the sheet (I only had parchment paper enough for one, so half the half&half batch is a little more battered than the other.) Other than that, easy! I was dubious of the lemon flavoring in the cookie with chocolate but it's delicate and nice.
Abby, when should I send out the delivery?

31 comments:

  1. Cool, I've never heard of b/w cookies, but I'm dying to know whether the dough is both black and white too. It would be fun to make them into yin yang designs.

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    1. That's such a cute idea! I should have taken a photo of the underside, but it was pretty boring - the dough is kind of just like a softer sugar cookie. It's all one color (unless you burn it.)

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  2. Yay!! I used to love black and white cookies and saw the recipe in VCTOYCJ but never made them. Yours came out beautifully! Definitely a NY classic, what a great choice for a post! I feel like I get more excited about your theme every day, if that's even possible :) Yum!

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    1. Haha I'm glad! I think the posts probably resonate with New Yorkers differently :) It's nice to see re-workings of stuff we grew up with.

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    2. Ooooh I just had a thought! Maybe you could make those amazing sweet roasted nuts that they sell! Those things smell and taste sooooo good!

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    3. That sounds promising! I'll look into it; thanks! Haha, especially since I am kind of running out of ideas from now until the end of the month.

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  3. These look so amazing! I don't believe I've had a black and white cookie. I recall seeing them in Starbucks years ago, but I didn't try one. I love it when people try out recipes and give hints along the way! Thank you!

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    1. You're welcome! I hope you like them if you try them. The icing was a little sweet for me - maybe they'd be better smaller.

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  4. You do know these are my favorite all time cookies/ dessert ever. along with a vanilla thick shake. True. Really truly...and looks like you nailed it.

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    1. I did not know, but now I do. You should make them!

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    2. You are all knowing. Yeah, I know and I also know me adn Psycho Boy would inhale the entire batch.

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  5. I've never had a black and white cookie, but am familiar with them. These look like they turned out great!

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    1. Thanks, I'm pretty happy with how they came out :)

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  6. Oh those look delicious!!! I love the chocolate babka episode :)

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    1. I know!! A classic episode! I totally used this opportunity to rewatch it, haha.

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  7. Those cookies are really cute. Excellent baking job.

    You have to take a bite of the Vanilla and Chocolate at the same time? Isn't that what Jerry did? (But didn't that cookie make him throw up for the first time in many years? Nevermind).

    Anyway, just to be contrary, don't forget NYC Cheesecake.

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    1. Haha, yes - it's all about racial harmony and harmony between the flavors! There were two clips to choose from about the cookie...but I didn't want to use the one where he threw up because I didn't want it to turn anyone off from making the cookies! Haha, "I haven't thrown up since June 29, 1980!"
      And, oh, the cheesecake is coming.

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  8. I haven't had a black and white cookie in ages and suddenly have a serious urge to make them. Yours look so good! By the way, in case you don't know already, you can always make your own "double-boiler" by placing a heat-proof bowl (or pot) on top of a larger pot with some water in the bottom. As long as the upper bowl doesn't touch the bottom, you're all set! I don't have a double-boiler myself, so that's how I melt all of my chocolate.

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    1. Thanks for the tip Claryn! I should also mention I was just feeling lazy and didn't want to wash an extra pot :)

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  9. I associate black and white cookies with New York, too, even though I've never lived there and haven't had one. Also egg creams, but ditto. Your cookies look like a success. We never had them in Phila.

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    1. Egg creams are actually delicious. I like them a lot more than milkshakes, which are too thick for me.

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  10. I didn't know these were so popular in New York. I think I only had these once or twice in my life and definitely never attempted to make my own. This must change soon!

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    1. You could probably do an amazing job of them.

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  11. They look SO good! I've never tackled this recipe because I thought they'd be difficult, but you've inspired me!

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    1. No, they were definitely pretty easy! Enjoy them if you make them :)

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  12. I have always wanted to make these, but just haven't gotten to it yet. I'm glad for your note about the parchment though - I always skip that. Also, I am definitely just adding cocoa powder too. It sounds like it's a lot easier that way.

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    1. Yeah, I don't like to throw out parchment but I recently got some reusable parchment so I've been using that and it was a big help!

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  13. OMG I can't believe you made them! To remind, my address is 123 FEED ME NOW! Did you find them authentic? I've been afraid to try that recipe (along with the Vegan Treats recipe posted in VegNews a while back) because I can't risk messing it up. Not many places veganize the b/w. I didn't like Champ's version at all (sorry, Champ's), but LifeThyme used to have a superb version that they haven't had in about 2 years. Great job!

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    1. Hahah, well, honestly I may have only had these once if ever but they were enjoyable. And they tasted like what they looked like, if that makes sense. I should have mentioned the rainbow cookies you made! THOSE I really consider NY cookies! ANd they sound a LOT harder to make. I didn't know other places had made a vegan version of B&W; maybe I'll check it out to compare.

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  14. I've heard of these NYC cookies, but any Seinfeld reference is lost on me. Those things are gigantic! Do you know if there's a place in the city that makes 'em, or is there just the recipe for us veganfolk?

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    1. Seinfeld is so funny! It took me a while to get into it, but I love it now. Although I have a really lame sense of humor. Anyway, I didn't know if other places made them - Abby, in the above comment says one or two stores have em! Good to know!

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