It all started with a mixer and a pat on the back. A couple weeks ago, one of my amazing relatives gave me stand mixer. Not knowing of my love for all things vintage kitchen, she had no idea how much I would love this item. It's an old school Sunbeam Mixmaster...
Apparently, I'm not the only one who thinks so, Sunbeam has designed a "Heritage Series" that looks just like mine. But I hold an original, in a fantastic mustardy color no one else can get unless they find it on eBay.
So what would be the maiden voyage for my new kitchen tool? I considered a few things... bread was out of the question, no dough hook (but it's coming soon, yipee!) It occurred to me that my mom could use a treat. She's so awesome about helping out with Alex, and keeping me company when the hubby is at work late at night. She also had a big work milestone/accomplishment coming up. So I would make my first offering to the domestic goddess dedicated to her as a pat on the back. Not an easy prospect. You see, I come from a line of REALLY good bakers. Baking is a science, but they truly have the touch. My Gram measures things with her hands, and they still come out perfect. Mom not only makes the best pie crust EVER, but is the keeper of the most eclectic and impressive collection of recipes I've ever seen. She's even got recipes from old TV Guides that make really good food... who'd-a thunk?! Despite this, it came to me in a flash... Black and White Cookies! If you've never been to NYC, you've never really had a Black and White. The prepackaged cookies in the store do not count. They're full of stabilizers and therefore not as fresh and tasty. B&Ws are cakey and have shiny glaze icings. These are things that really need to be fresh.
A quick digression on why B&Ws.... Mom and I used to go to NYC for my birthday every February. we'd stay in a great hotel near Broadway (I was a theatre major in collage, this was awesome for me!) and go see a show. We would always go to Macy's, and we would always get B&Ws. Knowing how much we both loved these trips and how it would be at least a year before we would go again, it had to be Black and Whites.
The recipe was relatively simple, which worried me. Could they really be that good? In fact, they were! I Googled the recipe and surprisingly, there weren't a lot of choices. I settled on the Epicurious.com recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Black-and-White-Cookies-106171
If you're going to try this recipe, a couple of notes... cut back a bit on the lemon juice, make sure the water you use for the icing is boiling, and you can use unsweetened chocolate squares in lieu of the cocoa, I used a block and a half. Here are the results of my efforts, pre and post icing:
Next up, I'm going to try the recipe for cupcakes http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/saras-secrets/magnolias-vanilla-cupcake-recipe/index.html that my fellow blogger and beer lover Stephanie Mansueto suggests on her blog http://stephanieandbaby.blogspot.com/