Welcome to the first installment of a new (every other?) weekly feature on this blog, the Throwback Thursday. No, this is not a forum for you to post a pic of you and all your old besties at the middle school dance so you can make fun of Tina’s scoliosis brace. Leave that for the ‘gram.
My version of #tbt involves me breaking into the vault of old movies, TV shows, and various other pop cultural phenomena in order to reintroduce them to myself, and to you, my screaming audience of devoted readers. (You really shouldn’t scream at the computer tho that’s weird.)
Being that this is the first post of its kind, I figured it would only be fitting to talk about my favorite television show of all time: Seinfeld. You see, there are two types of people in this world- people who love and appreciate Seinfeld, and people who are incapable of love and appreciation.
While I was a bit too young to watch it when it was on the air, my affair with the show began when I was twelve years old and my parents got me and my sister these ratchet ass bootleg DVDs of all the seasons off eBay. (This was before they were officially released on DVD.) The picture was grainy and there were like weird voiceovers every now and then, but to this day I consider it the best Christmas present I ever received.
(One time, Santa got me this really elegant crystal glassware for Christmas and I was all WTF Santa because I was like nine years old, but it turned out my mom had accidentally switched my present with my aunt’s and that was how I found out that Santa wasn’t real. But that is neither here nor there.)
As I was saying, I fell in love. I totally ditched my old BFF, Friends, because I realized (s)he was just a total phony and my new BFF was way more interesting, less sentimental, plus his parents had this really big trampoline and my parents would never allow me to have a trampoline. Sometimes my brain switches back and forth between television and real life situations; you’ve just gotta keep up or get left behind.
So now I sit here, eleven years after that fateful Christmas, having seen every episode of the show at least 30 times. At this point, it’s more of a comfort than anything. As other shows have come and gone and burned bridges along the way (I’ll never forgive that lottery episode, Roseanne), Seinfeld has been a constant in my life. Sure, it may seem outdated at times, maybe you find the laugh track obnoxious, Jerry is a horrible actor, yada, yada, yada. It was revolutionary for its time, and to me, it is timeless. For that, I salute thee.
To be perfectly honest, the main reason I wanted to go ahead with this post was to make these cookies. The black and white cookie is by far my favorite cookie, and it always reminds me of Seinfeld. As any fan of the show knows, the cookie itself is really a microcosmic representation of the ideal of racial harmony in our society. If only everyone would “look to the cookie,” all of our racial problems would be gone. (This was well before Brad Paisley and LL Cool J solved racism.)
The fact that these are red velvet only brings to mind another important Seinfeld-ism, George’s obsession with velvet.
These two elements combine to create the perfectly Seinfeld-appropriate cookie.
While usually I like to cook using my own original recipes or recipes which I have greatly adapted, that just doesn’t work for me with baking. I rarely bake, and desserts are not necessarily my forte, but I’m trying to work on that. I think to be a truly well rounded cook you have to have some solid pastry basics under your belt.
This recipe is black and white cookie perfection, and I’m so glad I found it. You see, the first time I had these cookies was in NYC and I made it a mission to find one since I had seen the Seinfeld episode. When I found it, it was everything I dreamed it would be. So soft and delicate, almost cake-like moreso than cookie, and perfect balance of chocolate and vanilla. I’ve found places that sell them here in Austin, but none have gotten that texture right. This recipe does, and here’s how you can make it.
Start by sifting some flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together.
Then cream some softened butter with sugar.
Add an egg, some vanilla, and red food coloring.
Then you alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk, and continue to mix until you have a smooth batter, like so:
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and, using an ice cream scoop, place scoops of batter 2 inches apart.
And bake them at 350 for about 13 minutes…
Then you just ice ‘em. (Icing recipe are below, they are super easy.)
Look to the cookie. Look to the cookie. Eat the cookie.
Red Velvet Black and White Cookies
Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray Magazine
Makes: about 12 cookies
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon red food coloring
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tablespoons corn syrup
- 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
Using a mixer, beat 5 tablespoons butter with the with the sugar for about 3 minutes. Beat in the egg, food coloring and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk until you get a smooth batter.
Using an ice cream scoop, scoop batter 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for about 13 minutes, until a toothpick comes out dry, Let the cookies sit for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool.
Make vanilla icing by whisking together the confectioners’ sugar, remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1 tablespoon corn syrup and 2 tablespoons hot water until smooth. For chocolate icing, combine the chocolate, remaining 3 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon corn syrup; microwave until melted, about 30 seconds. (Even if it doesn’t look melted, pull it out and stir it and it will probably melt.)
Ice with vanilla icing first, then chocolate. Let sit for about 20 minutes to set up.