Category Archives: New York

Black and White Cookies – New York

The Black and White Cookie is to New York as Jambalaya is to Louisiana. Both dishes are synonymous with a place — which, come to think of it, is kind of the point of this blog. Made famous by the

Black and White Cookies - New York

Seinfeld episode where Jerry and Elaine go to a bakery for a chocolate babka (we’ll have to do a post on that one someday), this cookie features a delectable vanilla-lemon base, iced half with chocolate and half with vanilla. Several years ago, we traveled to New York City in search of the perfect Black and White Cookie. We found a lot of terrible ones. They can’t be shrink wrapped in cellophane. They can’t be stale. The base must be more cake-like than cookie. And the icing must remain soft rather than hard and crunchy.

We found a recipe from Deb at Smitten Kitchen that we slightly adapted that fits the bill on all accounts. The batter for these cookies is more like cake batter. Black and White Cookie batterThe addition of cake flour and baking powder gives these cookies some loft. Because they are more cake than cookie, these will go stale quickly so we challenge you to finish them within a few days or pop them in the freezer for the next time you need a Black and White fix. As for eating them, we’re with Jerry, each bite has to have a little of both flavors. “Look to the cookie!”

NYC’s Wine and Food Festival takes place October 13-16, 2016, featuring tastings, celebrity chefs, hands-on classes, demos, and seminars.

Black and White Cookie

  • Servings: 2 dozen
  • Time: 45 min.
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Recipe credit: Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients

For cookies:

  • 2 ½ cups cake flour
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract

For icing:

  • 3 cups confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-4 tablespoons hot water
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder

Instructions

To make cookies: In a medium mixing bowl, combine flours, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together until light yellow. Add eggs, one at a time, then extracts. Add one third of the flour mixture. Beat just until incorporated. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add next third, then scrape down sides of bowl. Add final third and then scrape down sides of bowl. Scoop batter onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes until tops are puffy and edges are just beginning to turn brown. Let cool completely. Place cookies in freezer for 10 to 15 minutes while making icing.

To make icing: In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine confectioners sugar, corn syrup lemon juice and vanilla. Add 2 tablespoons of hot water and stir until smooth. Add additional water by the teaspoon until desired consistency is reached. The icing should be not too thin that it will run off the sides of the cookie and not too stiff that it will not be spreadable. Divide icing in half into another bowl and add cocoa powder. Add additional hot water by the teaspoon until desired consistency is reached. Spread vanilla icing first on one half of each cookie, then repeat with chocolate icing. Let icing set before transferring to an airtight container with waxed paper separating layers.

Getouttaheye: Bagels – New York

Schmeared with cream cheese, toasted with a bit of butter, covered with lox, made into a breakfast sandwich with egg and cheese … who doesn’t love a bagel? Smooth and glossy on the outside, chewy

NYC Bagel

and  delectable on the inside, bagels are one food that has made the jump from ethnic to ubiquitous in the span of about 100 years.

Folklore has it that the bagel was created after Polish King John III Sobieski saved Austria from invading Ottoman Turks in the Battle of Vienna in 1683. A baker made a roll in the shape of a stirrup (called a beugel) to commemorate the victory. Others maintain that the bagel was given to women in Krakow during this same period as a gift after having a baby.

What is clear is that Eastern European Jews brought the bagel to New York at the turn of the century. In 1907, bagel bakers unionized, forming the International Beigel Bakers’ Union, thereby monopolizing and controlling their handmade product. In the 1950s, Murray Lender figured out that he could mass produce bagels, freeze them and deliver them to grocery stores. And with that bold move, bagels became mainstream.

We personally have made it our mission to try bagels all over the country but in our opinion, it’s pretty hard to beat a New York bagel (some attribute it to the fantastic NYC water). If you live in a part of the country where bagels are not so great, try this recipe. You won’t be disappointed.

A couple of pointers: Just use your finger to make the hole in the

NYC bagels - how to shape

bagel. Twirl the dough around your index finger. It’s fun!

Also, bagels get their unique texture from both boiling and baking. The bath the bagels take is not long. For a chewier version that is

 

DSC_1538 label

more like NYC bagels, boil for 2 minutes in each side. If you want a softer bagel, reduce to one minute on each side.

For a unique look at the working class immigrant in the early half of the 20th century, visit the fantastic Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side in Manhattan. The museum has many tours and offerings, you can visit multiple times and not see the same thing.

NYC Bagels

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 2 hrs.
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons of active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (plus or minus ¼ cup more)
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour or high gluten flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Egg white from one large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Caraway seeds (optional)
  • Coarse salt (optional)
  • Poppy seeds (optional)
  • Sesame seeds (optional)

 Instructions

In a small bowl, add ½ cup of warm water, sugar and yeast. Do not stir. Let it sit for five minutes, and then stir the yeast and sugar mixture, until it all dissolves in the water.

In a large mixing bowl, add flour and salt. Make a well in the middle and pour in the yeast and sugar mixture. Pour half of the remaining warm water into the well. Mix and stir in the rest of the water as needed to form a moist and firm dough.

On a floured work surface, knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Work in as much flour as possible to form a firm and stiff dough.

Lightly brush a large bowl with oil and turn the dough to coat. Cover the bowl with a damp dish towel. Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in size. Punch the dough down, and let it rest for another 10 minutes.

Divide the dough into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a round ball. Coat a finger in flour, and gently press your finger into the center of each dough ball to form a ring. Twirl the dough around on your finger, stretching the opening to about ⅓ the diameter of the bagel and place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough.

After shaping the dough rounds and placing them on the cookie sheet, cover with a damp tea towel and let rest for 10 minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Reduce the heat. Working in batches, use a slotted spoon or skimmer to lower the bagels into the water. Boil for 2 minutes, and then flip them over for another 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and let drain before placing onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining batches.

Combine the egg white and tablespoon of water. Brush tops and sides of bagels with egg wash. Top bagels with caraway seeds, coarse salt, sesame seeds or poppy seeds.

Bake for 20-30 minutes at 425 degrees, or until bagels are a golden caramel color. Let sit for 30 minutes so the interior continues to bake.

 

Feel the Need for Spiedies – New York

Never heard of spiedies? That must mean you aren’t a native of the Southern Tier of New York, specifically Binghamton, where it is believed Italian immigrants introduced the famous marinated-meat sandwich in the 1920s. The name spiedie likely comes from the

Spiedies

Italian words for “spit” (as in rotisserie) and “skewer” – and accordingly, the sauced-up meat in spiedies (generally chicken, pork or lamb) is threaded on skewers, cooked on a barbecue grill and served on slices of soft Italian bread. You can buy commercial spiedies sauce as it’s called, but it’s very easy to make at home with Continue reading Feel the Need for Spiedies – New York