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In New York City the black and white cookie is ubiquitous; it can be spotted in corner delis throughout the city. It is an old standby -- available and steady.
It's just the thing we need for the beginning of the New Year. More cake-like than crunchy -- the black and white cookie is soft and spongy. It is iced white on one half (vanilla) and black on the other (dark chocolate). It's a two-tone cookie with a graphic use of equal negative space as a balance to positive space.
Moving here from New York a year-and-a-half ago was a departure for many reasons -- one tiny change among the big ones - the unavailability of the black and white cookie.
The year ahead is going to have its challenges. What are we to do? In the South they have the tradition of eating black-eyed peas - eating them on New Year's Day is thought to bring prosperity and good luck.
But we wanted to come up with our own New Year's tradition: eating a black and white cookie. We've found big, suitably spongy ones here in Phoenix at Karsh's Bakery.
Why the cookie? It mixes our past with our present. And since we will be eating it on New Year's Day and ushering in a new year - perhaps no decision is more important than how to eat it. Do we eat the white side first? Go straight for the dark chocolate? Oh no. For us there is no other way than to take a bite right down the middle. C'mon 2010, let's see what you've got.