Black and White Cookies
If you grew up on Long Island in the 70s, you likely harbor a few fond memories for a two-toned delicacy commonly referred to as black and white cookies. Chocolate on one side, vanilla on the other, they were a favorite among kids and adults alike, many of whom have since moved from the era, only to find a number of pale imitations that hardly hold a candle to the original.
Little is known about the origins of black and white cookies. What is known is that they’ve been around for almost a century, with a number of bakeries claiming to have invented them. In upstate NY, you will find a similar entity called a “half moon” but the only similarity is the icing; the cookies have an entirely different texture.
That’s because black and white cookies, if we are being technical, really aren’t cookies; they are what’s called a drop cake, and uses a batter similar to what one might use to make cupcakes. This gives them a lighter, airier texture than your typical cookie.
Of course, the appeal to kids was that you could have a treat that was both vanilla and chocolate. Some kids ate one side first, then the other. Others alternated bites between flavors. Or, if you were partial to a particular side, you could break the cookie in half and give the other half to a friend.
We might have all had our own techniques, but the one thing we could agree upon was that these were some outstanding cookies. One could be bought for just a few cents at just about every bakery on Long Island and it was one of those items that you just assumed would always be a part of your life.
Sadly, as many of us moved on to other parts of the country, we learned that these local delicacies could be pretty hard to find elsewhere. Oh sure, you’ll see cookies iced with both chocolate and vanilla frosting, and they might even have the audacity to call them a black and white cookie. But any Long Islander worth his salt knows that there is only one place to get this particular fix, on that special island that we once called home.
Do you have fond memories of eating black and whites? Were you partial to one side or the other? How long has it been since you ate one? I hope you’ll share all of your recollections of these prized baked goods in our comments section below.