Thursday, March 6, 2008
The best black and white cookies I ever had were at the lobby snack nook of Scholastic's Soho office.
There were hefty buggers, big bulks of cake rather than cookie. Each one must have had about 800 calories, each one of them delicious. The cake was very thick in the middle, not too dense, yet not spongy-light. It tapered off to perfect, lightly browned edges.
The best part was the icing (duh?). Oh man, I still daydream about that perfection, four years later! The white icing was super-thick and crackly. Nothing made me happier than to break it off in thick, sugary sheets. Soft white icing, you have no place in my heart. The chocolate icing wasn't as firm, but was far from gooey. Still, I usually left it on the cookie and ate it like a normal person instead of peeling it off.
I ate one every day. I'm not proud. Things in life weren't the rosiest then, and my daily B&W was my comfort, my happiness...the element of my day that brought with it nothing put sweet, sweet joy.
The cafe switched its breakfast pastries to its afternoon pastries at about 11 a.m. I'm not sure how or when I figured this out, but as soon as I knew the schedule, I would scamper down the stairs to the cafe at 10:59, greet the kind man who worked there daily, and pay my $1.25. He slipped my treat into a small paper bag with tongs (don't break the icing, don't break the icing). I ran up the stairs, spread a napkin in front of my keyboard, and basically went to my special place for about 10 minutes.
I really miss those cookies.
One day, however, not everything went according to plan. Restless and craving my cookie, I went downstairs at about 10:50. The croissants were still out. My friend, who had taken to getting my cookie ready and bagged right when he saw me enter, was standing idle behind the counter.
"Oh hi, um, are there any black and white cookies...?" I tried to sound shy, a little embarrassed. I attempted to offer a knowing glance, a c'mon, buddy, you know about my little problem, let's see if you can cut me a little slack, mkay?
"No, I haven't put those out yet."
I stared. "Um...okay? Are there any back there I can, just, y'know, grab a little early?"
"Oh no, I don't put those out yet."
He wouldn't go to the back room to get me a freaking black and white cookie!? For real? For really real? Mortified, I slunk back upstairs and went without. I wasn't showing my face down there again.
I boycotted for a day. Two days later, I went down at 11:45 and, sans eye contact, asked for my freaking cookie. I didn't smile when he handed over my bag and change. It took me a while to smile again.
New York Magazine just released its annual "Best Of NY" issue.
Under the Best of the Classics section they give their pick for best B&W:
BLACK AND WHITE COOKIE
William Greenberg Jr. Desserts
1100 Madison Ave., nr. 82nd St.; 212-861-1340
The perfect blend of cake and cookie, WGJ’s version of this New York yin-yang icon is unbeatable—and the icing is never crusty.
Dude, crusty icing is THE BEST PART.