Monday, February 22, 2010

Look to the cookie, Elaine... Look to the cookie

I have never been a fan of the black and white cookie.
Buying one in a bakery, the cookie was brittle and dry, and had a distinct and unnatural lemon flavor. The icing looked (and tasted) like dried glue in two shades. Definitely not my pastry of choice, yet I felt obligated as a New Yorker and a Jew to give it another try time after time.
In high school, my friends and I would find ourselves at a nearby bodega at 2am, buying snacks and attempting to buy beer. Never one for potato chips, I went straight for the junkiest of junk food - yodels, ring dings, ice cream sandwiches, and Joey's black & white. I actually preferred a Joey's to the bakery black & white. Sure, the cookie-to-icing ratio was completely off. The cookie was greasy, no doubt owing to partially hydrogenated oil. But the icing separated easily from the cookie, and man can live on icing alone.

Such was the disappointing state of the black & white. For years, I searched in vain. Then I found the Donut Pub. On 14th Street, just west of 7th Avenue (203 W. 14th Street to be exact), the neon sign beckons (the staff and patrons do not). The cookie-to-icing ratio is perfect. The cookie is moist, dense, flavorful (read - not lemon-flavored), almost like sheet cake. The icing is not brittle yet not pliant and actually tastes like chocolate and vanilla as opposed to the aforementioned dried glue. If you happen to arrive just as a batch is coming out of the kitchen, buy two and sit down before eating. The cookie and icing are warm. The icing has not fully set and resembles a thin layer of cupcake frosting. You will understand why Jerry Seinfeld really thought that a cookie could promote racial harmony. Look to the cookie. Also available for the supremacist in your life is the all-white cookie.

Donut Pub, 203 W. 14th Street (between 7th and 8th avenues)

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