The last place I lived in the US before my nearly decade-long absence was New York City, in 2004. Besides pizza by the slice, and bagels (which deserve their own post soon), the one typical New York City food that I remember and love is the (quite literally named) “black and white cookie.”
Actually, it is the “black and white” part that is literal, not the “cookie” part, because it is in fact more of a cake than a cookie. The base is soft and cakey and made from a batter. It is then of course iced with a fondant frosting, one half white (vanilla) and one half black (chocolate). The other distinguishing feature of these cookies is that they are over-sized (even by American standards).
These cookies are a New York City deli classic, but I also grew up with them in Connecticut, and I was delighted to spot them here in Washington D.C., too. I haven’t seen them in other parts of the US (and certainly not abroad… it doesn’t seem to have spread internationally like red velvet cake). Regardless of where you are eating the black and white cookie, the eternal dilemma remains how to eat it… vanilla first? Or chocolate first?