Look to the Cookie! / ¡Mira a la Galleta!

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

WHEN I WAS was nearly 11 years old, we had been living in Brooklyn, New York, for less than a year. Our co-op was new at the time and a small shopping center had opened to serve the developing neighborhood. It included Allenby Bakery, the first very Jewish, very New York, bakery I had experienced.

My sister, Dale, and I would go down Sunday mornings to pick up a couple of newspapers, the New York Times and the Sunday News (simply because it had the Sunday “funnies” comic strips). We’d also get a selection of fresh pastries. Those were usually Danish that catered to the adult tastes in our family (which included Dale, at all of 13). Prune and cheese were their favorites. Blech, I thought at the time. But Dale introduced me to black-and-white cookies. These were huge flat disks of shortbread topped with a fondant-like icing, half chocolate/half vanilla. I was in heaven.

Allenby’s closed, some time in the 1980s I think, and I rarely find a black-and-white cookie quite as good. Often, they’re more cake-like and the icing is soft. Not to my liking. When I visit The Kid Brother, I rarely take a chance on a black-and-white cookie. I’ve been disappointed too many times.

But that all may have changed. I recently reconnected with a junior-high and high-school classmate. Mike has clearly become quite a connoisseur of all things New York City. His photos are perfect slices of life around New York and bring back for me only the good memories (which is not always an easy thing to do). Friday, Mike shared a collection of photos of perfect-looking black-and-white cookies on the same day that I discovered black-and-white cookies in our local “pop-up” Christmas treats shop here in Los Boliches in Fuengirola. My Spanish black-and-white (which is called a white-and-black) isn’t exactly like my New York memories, but it was so good that I don’t care. This version is a more cake-like sandwich cookie — glazed on top (to perfection like the ones I remember), and between the layers is delicious crema pastelera (custard cream). I went back Saturday and bought one for San Geraldo. I heard him moan from his office.

I just read that the original New York black-and-white was first introduced in 1902 at Glaser’s Bake Shop in Yorkville, a neighborhood on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

Black-and-whites were featured on the TV show, “Seinfeld,” as a metaphor for racial harmony. President Barack Obama (truly presidential) dubbed them Unity Cookies when he visited a deli in Florida. Anyway, thanks to Mike, I know where to find good black-and-whites in New York. Zaro’s Family Bakery. They’ve even introduced a black-and-white cookie that’s chocolate chip on the flip side!


CUANDO TENÍA CASI 11 años, habíamos estado viviendo en Brooklyn (Nueva York) por menos de un año. Nuestra cooperativa era nueva en ese momento y se había abierto un pequeño centro comercial para servir al vecindario en desarrollo. Incluía Allenby Bakery, la primera panadería muy judía, y muy neoyorquina, que había experimentado.

Mi hermana, Dale, y yo íbamos los domingos por la mañana a recoger un par de periódicos (el New York Times y el Sunday News, simplemente porque tenía las “funnies” del domingo (las cómicas). También obtendríamos una selección de pasteles frescos. Por lo general, eran daneses que satisfacían los gustos de los adultos en nuestra familia (que incluía a Dale, a la edad de 13 años). La ciruela y el queso eran sus favoritos. Horrible, pensé. Pero Dale me presentó galletas en blanco y negro. Eran enormes discos planos de pan dulce cubiertos con una guinda de fondant, mitad chocolate/mitad vainilla. Estaba en el cielo.

Allenby está cerrado, creo que durante la década de 1980, y rara vez encuentro una galleta en blanco y negro tan buena. A menudo, son más como pasteles y la formación de hielo es suave. No es de mi agrado. Cuando visito a El Hermanito, rara vez me arriesgo con una galleta en blanco y negro. Me han decepcionado muchas veces.

Pero eso puede haber cambiado. Recientemente me reconecté con un compañero de clase de secundaria y preparatoria. Mike claramente se ha convertido en un gran conocedor de todas las cosas de la ciudad de Nueva York. Sus fotos son partes perfectas de la vida en Nueva York y me traen solo los buenos recuerdos (que no siempre es algo fácil de hacer). El viernes, Mike compartió una colección de fotos de galletas en blanco y negro de aspecto perfecto el mismo día que descubrí las galletas en blanco y negro en nuestra tienda local de golosinas navideñas aquí en Los Boliches en Fuengirola. Mi español blanco y negro no es exactamente como mis recuerdos de Nueva York, pero fue tan bueno que no me importa. Esta versión es una galleta sándwich más parecida a un pastel, glaseada en la parte superior (a la perfección como las que recuerdo), y entre las capas hay una deliciosa crema pastelera (crema pastelera). Regresé el sábado y compré uno para San Geraldo. Lo escuché gemir desde su oficina.

Acabo de leer que el original en blanco y negro de Nueva York se introdujo por primera vez en 1902 en Glaser’s Bake Shop (Pastelería de Glaser) en Yorkville, un barrio en el Upper East Side (lado este superior) de Manhattan.

Las galletas “negro-y-blanco” aparecieron en un episodio del programa de televisión “Seinfeld,” de la decada 1990, como una metáfora de la armonía racial. “Mira a la galleta,” dice Seinfeld a su amiga, Elaine. El presidente Barack Obama (verdaderamente presidencial) los denominó Unity Cookies cuando visitó una tienda de delicatessen en Florida.

De todos modos, gracias a Mike, sé dónde encontrar buenos negros y blancos en Nueva York. Zaro’s Family Bakery (Panadería Familiar de Zaro). ¡Incluso han introducido una galleta en blanco y negro con chispas de chocolate por otra lado!

My Spanish “white-and-black.”
Mi español “blanco y negro”.
Custard-filled. (I cut it in half all by myself!)
Relleno de crema pastelera. (¡Lo corté por la mitad por mi mismo!)
Thanks go to Mike C, my classmate at Mark Twain Junior High and Abraham Lincoln High School, for allowing me to share these final three photos he took at Zaro’s Family Bakery.
Gracias a Mike C, mi compañero de clase en Mark Twain Junior High y Abraham Lincoln High School, por permitirme compartir estas últimas tres fotos que hizo en Zaro’s Family Bakery.
¡Nuestra galleta en blanco y negro se convirtió en chispas de chocolate!
Blanco y negro con una base de chispas de chocolate.


Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

29 thoughts on “Look to the Cookie! / ¡Mira a la Galleta!”

    1. Judy:
      Seinfeld covered just about everything. Those were like conversations with my NYC friends when I was younger… only funnier.

    1. anne marie:
      It probably took me another 30 years, but I did finally like prune danish. Cheese danish appreciation began just a few years later.

  1. Being Seinfeld fanatics here we just watched that episode (for the hundredth time!!) the other night. And here you are making it all the more real! gotta LOVE NY!
    They do look tempting.

  2. I have never had a Black-and-White, or White-and-Black, cookie.
    Now I want one.
    And I, too, remember that episode of Seinfeld.

  3. “I heard him moan from his office.” That’s the pithiest line since “Reader, I married him” — LOL! I have never had a black-and-white cookie. Clearly my life is incomplete.

    1. Debra:
      Yeah, I thought that line was kind of interesting after I wrote it. I assumed he was moaning about the blanco y negro … but, I DID confirm it.

    1. Cheapchick:
      I still see them all over New York, but they never look like the version I really like.

  4. I have lived such a sheltered existence. Had not heard of this cookie, ever! Now twice in so many weeks from TV and reality. Hey what’s that all about! 😉

    1. Ron:
      Funny timing. So hard to find the original that I loved. But Jerry makes the best shortbread. Maybe he needs to simply add chocolate and vanilla fondant.

  5. Mitchell, there is no bakery in the states that can rival a “a very Jewish, very New York, bakery”. Anywhere! NYC has the best bakeries. But Zaro’s is pretty good, I’ve been.

    1. Mistress Maddie:
      I’ve never been to a Zaro’s but I will check one out the next time I’m in New York. Their black & whites don’t look like shortbread and fondant but they’d probably still be worth a try. I remember Allenby’s being exceptional, but that could also be because it was my first experience. However, it was always mobbed.

  6. Does your friend Mike have a web site, instagram, or other public photo sharing platform? I’d be interested in looking at his photos, if he does that sort of thing.

    1. Jennifer:
      For me, the originals are the only ones worth having. Shortbread, chocolate and vanilla fondant. I need one!

  7. We don’t have those in Wales. In fact I’ve never heard of them before. My son, who works in London, was at a meeting last week where someone brought in a box of cookies, which cost, wait for it … £44 for 12!

    1. Liz:
      Well, I sure hope those cookies were worth the price (although I don’t know how). I just found an online shop (from Brooklyn, NY) called The Black and White Cookie Company. Coincidentally, they offer a box of 12 black and white cookies for $44!

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