Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Ladies Who Lunch: Remembrance of Bakeries Past

A few weeks ago, I was home in New York and stumbled upon a childhood favorite that I had not thought of in years: Black & White Cookies!!  I realized that as the the old adage goes, “out of site out of mind”, I had not seen a Black & White Cookie in ages.  I attributed this to being on the West Coast a lot and not seeing them everywhere like you do in New York (even at the corner delis).  So, I am in New York and go into one of those corner delis to satisfy a late night sweet tooth and low and behold I confronted a Black & White Cookie.  I immediately bought one and once back at the apartment, devoured the long forgotten sponge cake cookie covered half with white ganache and the other half with chocolate ganache.  MMMMMMMMM!!! It was like hooking up with a love of the past. My best friend, amused by my B&W Cookie mania went to the deli and bought the last 3 that they had for me.  Like a heroin addict who doesn’t know when he will be able to get his next fix, I packed them in my suitcase with care and smuggled them away to the Left Coast.
Flash forward to Greenblatt’s in West Hollywood.  I had just had an amazing lunch at Greenblatt’s Deli in West Hollywood.  The satisfying of my New York deli craving set off a stream of consciousness that waltzed me through many long forgotten (and some newly remembered) cravings.  I caught out of the corner of my eye a Black & White Cookie at the deli counter.  I almost ran to buy it, but then remembered my internet search for B&W Cookies had led me to Yelp, where many reviewers extolled the virtues of the B&W Cookies at the Beverlywood Bakery.  I knew right then and there where I was heading.
Walking in the door, I took note that the bakery was not fancy or cleverly decorated, just a good old fashioned bakery.  With no other visual distractions, my only focus was on the display cases.  Picture Homer Simpson drooling and you have a good idea of what I looked like.  I had come for the B&W Cookies, but now that i was here I knew that I would have to get so much more.  Not knowing if the baked goods were as good as they looked, I was judicious and made the effort not to over order.
I had noted on a good deal of Yelp reviews that people complained about the surly service.  While the women behind the counter were not necessarily “friendly”, they were not unpleasant and helped me very well.  I believe they were originally from Russia and one just has to understand that it is a cultural thing :)
Anyway, I ended up ordering the following:  1 Poppy Seed Hamantasch, 1 Apricot Hamantasch, 1/2 pound Rugelach (mixed Cinnamon/Nut and Chocolate), 1 Lemon Nut Streudel, 1 Walnut Strudel and 3 of the small B&W Cookies (after all, they were what I had originally come for).  Now don’t judge!! I wouldn’t eat it all myself.  I would share......though grudgingly.  I was just so overwhelmed with things I had not seen for so  long that I just couldn’t help myself.  And I did say that I “made the effort not to over order”, not that I actually was able to do it.  All of my goodies went into the trunk of my car, while I continued my days roster of events.
That night when I returned home, I had a quick dinner and then broke out my booty from Beverlywood Bakery.  My first bite into a piece of the Poppyseed Hamantasch put me in heaven and I knew I had discovered a personal gold mine.  I rabidly tested all of the other goodies and kept falling more and more in love.  All of the pastries were just like my grandmother’s, not overly sweet and intense flavoring.  The final test was the B&W Cookie.  I bit into it and audibly moaned with pleasure.  I know that B&W Cookies are kind of juvenile, but just label me a big kid!!  I can’t resist.  And just like my earlier find of the day I knew I had found another keeper.
I am looking forward to going back and getting more of the same, but also trying the Babka’s, Challah, Black Bread and on and on and on................................................


  1. Mdivani, I'm so glad to have crossed paths with you via Berna! When I read this post, it instantly brought me back to my childhood in NYC as well -- I had completely forgotten about the B&W Cookie. Now I have a serious craving and am not sure where to find an authentic version in SF. I guess I'll have to try to bake it myself!

    Look forward to following you. Your videos and blog are fantastic.

    Liren {Kitchen Worthy}

  2. great post, MM! makes me feel lucky to have such easy access to B&W cookies. i just had one last week. they sell them in the hospital cafe. glad that you were able to enjoy some on your coast. xo