The first time I ever had a black and white cookie was at a Superbowl party in West Hollywood. The West Hollywood part of the experience was important for two reasons. First, given the location of the party, I’m fairly certain those giant disks of delightfulness came from Canters Deli. Canters is a Westside institution. Think Jewish Grandmother meets Swingers (the movie). Open 24 hours, it’s also one of the few places in Los Angeles where you can get a bowl of matzo ball soup to help repair whatever it was that you might have done to yourself earlier in the evening. To this day don’t think I’ve experienced Canters before midnight. Canter is also famous for its bakery. So, returning to the Superbowl party, my first black and white cookie experience set the bar high.
That party (and its location) is notable for another reason. Having been to my fair share of similar events, at first I couldn’t figure out what was different about this one. Lots of people in a festive mood? Check. Adult beverages? Check. Good food? Yep. It wasn’t until halftime that I figured it out. During the game, the volume in the house rose considerably. People mingled. People ate and drank. But, during the commercials? Silence. Every head was turned in rapt attention toward the television.
Only in Hollywood would people gather for a Superbowl party to watch the commercials, not the game.
I’ll admit, I can’t remember who played in that game. I don’t remember the commercials either. But, I have developed a fondness for black and white cookies.
I’m surprised that it has taken me this long to attempt making them. But, they aren’t very common on the West Coast, so it’s probably a case of out of sight out of mind.
New York claims this cookie as its own, so I went to my favorite New York food blogess for this recipe, Smitten Kitchen. I made mine a little smaller so as to spread the love a little wider.
Not to ruin the romance, but, there is a particular way I like to eat black and white cookies. Peel off and eat white frosting first. Then the chocolate. Then the cookie/cake. I point this out because not all icings form a flexible enough skin to allow for this. Should you also prefer to consume your black and whites this way, let me assure you that the following recipe delivers.
I’ve linked directly to the Smitten Kitchen because this is her recipe. Smitten Kitchen was my first introduction to food blogging. Actually, to any blogging. And, every time I read Deb’s blog (I make it sound like I know her), I am reminded of just how lucky I was that she was my first.