I hail from an age when good triumphed over evil, the concept of “being famous for being famous” would make people sad, and the only polarizing battle between “black” and “white” was waged on an ancient battleground of cookie-liciousness (what, me idealize?).
Far be it from me to allow a bit of harmless introspection to escape my grasp without prompting a verbose pontification of greater implications… As I worked through another day of weaving culinary magic, I began to ponder this apparent devolution of society during my brief lifetime…and came to one conclusion: good and evil may be artificial constructs that can only exist within a vacuum devoid of any degree of context and Paris Hilton will never, ever go away…BUT this black vs white thing is utterly asinine and we ALL need to get the hell over it, like, NOW.
Yes, I get profound when I cook… What, you don’t?
Never one to back down from the opportunity to charge myself with single-handedly spearheading a nationwide campaign for social change, I hereby formally propose a national movement of getting over our intolerant selves and bringing our neolithic asses into the 21st century, once and for all. And we shall do so, my friends, by calling to order the first-ever “Forget Our Counterproductive, Kafkaesque, Intolerant, Tedious Asshattery and Let Live” Day…
Yes, together we can all share in the blame for the past, we can all forgive the person to our left in the present, and we can ALL take that first step toward a better future by standing proud, raising our arms into the winds of change, and emphatically declaring “FOCKITALL” to anybody and everybody who crosses our day. (Warning: you may get punched…a lot. Remember, some people fear change.)
Ok, so we’ve got a platform and an acronym…who’s in charge of t-shirts?
Now, I could hulk out and go on for days about how tiresome and ridiculous our endless obsession with personal differences has become in an otherwise entirely interactive and interconnected global civilization, but I know most of you are just here for the cookies.
Well, tough…because I am pretty sure I’m going to hulk out just a little bit. I mean, come on, we live in a time when we have cracked the human genome and could probably clone a mammoth-saurus® over the weekend, if science wasn’t so busy already being awesome in a million other ways…and yet, at this moment, states are imposing arcane restrictions on marital rights for a specific subset of hard-working, tax-paying Americans, based primarily on pants-wetting fear and groundless personal suppositions of morality. I can’t help but wonder what it must have been like when America woke up on August 18, 1920, as an enlightened country that allowed and encouraged the voting rights of women…before looking back at America, circa August 17th and wondering, “who the hell were those cavemen?“
But let us not lose sight of the uplifting fact that you and I are changing tomorrow – right now – by initiating a proposition against any more intolerant societal bullshit, using my harmonious black and white cookies as a conduit. Isn’t the Internet great? It doesn’t even have to make sense!!
Old-Fashioned New York Black and White Cookies
4 cups cake flour (all-purpose flour is entirely different and will not yield the same results)
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup milk
16 Tbsp unsalted butter (softened)
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp Mexican vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
5 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup filtered water
1/4 cup corn syrup (light)
2 oz melted unsweetened chocolate
1/2 tsp Mexican vanilla extract
2 tsp water ( to dilute as necessary)
Preheat the oven to 350º and set your oven rack to middle position. Combine flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl and set aside.
Beat together the butter and sugar (preferably in a stand mixer on medium speed) until light and aerated. Add in the vanilla, eggs and lemon and continue mixing until well combined.
Bring your mixer speed to low and add in one-third of the flour mix and 1/2 cup milk until blended. Repeat until all ingredients are fully incorporated into the batter.
A proper New York black and white cookie should be sizable but not overwhelming, so use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to mound batter onto a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. You don’t want the batter to spread too thin so gently use a dampened finger to round off the top of the mound without applying too much pressure. Allow ample space between mounds for a slight expansion while cooking.
Cook for approximately 12-15 minutes, or until the slightest browning becomes visible on the bottom rim of the cookie. In most ovens, I would recommend rotating the tray halfway through the cooking time to ensure consistent heat.
If you have never tried an authentic black and white cookie, they tend to perfectly straddle the line between cookie and cake in consistency. This means they are delicate but, if done right, sturdy. Once removed from the oven, you’re going to want to leave the cookies to cool on the pan for about 10 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack. Moving them sooner will likely result in a disastrous mess of crumbs and breakage. For the next batch, remember to line the sheet with a fresh lining of parchment paper, as the paper tends to absorb moisture and distort with each batch.
For the icing, heat your corn syrup and water to a boil, then remove it from the heat and mix in the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until you’ve got a smooth consistency. Now, split this equally into two bowls. In one of these bowls, add in the melted chocolate and as much of your 2 teaspoons (or more, if required) of water as you need to make the chocolate icing manageable for spreading.
Ice one half of each cookie with the chocolate icing and set the cookies aside for about 20 minutes to solidify, then ice the other half with your vanilla icing and let the finished cookies set for an hour or so before serving.
Enjoy with a tall glass of milk (chocolate or otherwise) and all the pride of a social movement pioneer and a truly admirable humanitarian.
EPILOGUE: If you love cookies and share The Boss’s exhaustion toward overblown superficial personal differences and disdain for media fear-mongering dragging down the advancement of social relations, please feel free to COMMENT, “Like”, tweet, stumble, pin and otherwise share this bittersweet diatribe with the rest of the world. Let’s get “FOCKITALL” trending around the globe and EVERYONE gets a cookie…but you’re bringing your own damn milk. I’m not running a charity here.