Sunday, January 25, 2009

Is it a Half Moon or a Black and White??????

I grew up in New York City, in Brooklyn in fact, in the era of Ebinger’s Bakery, and a host of other German neighborhood bakeries. I remember walking to the corner of Warwick and Fulton Streets as a kid to get a black and white cookie from the bakery whose name I can no longer remember (okay, so I am middle aged and can’t remember a thing.)

When we moved to upstate New York in the early eighties, there was a thriving bakery called Hemstrought’s that made what is known in upstate New York as the Half Moon. Now, I like Half Moons, they’re okay, but they are not the Black and White Cookies that I grew up with. The differences are subtle perhaps, but they are there.

The Black and White Cookie that I grew up with had a smooth icing, not the fondant used to decorate cakes but a poured fondant aka European fondant , the Half Moon doesn’t (it’s icing is more like a mock butter cream).

The Black and White Cookie is a little thinner so you really appreciate the taste, the Half Moon a little more dough-y. The Half Moons produced by Hemstrought’s (now out of business) are now produced under a license to Holland Farms, in Yorkville.

The Black and White Cookie that I remember had a little lemon taste to it, I don’t get that taste from the Half Moons. That being said, I like them both, satisfying both my downstate and upstate halves.

As I have mentioned before, I belong to LinkIn, a great website for networking. I happened to run into the nicest kid (from where I am sitting, he is a kid) who is running The Black and White Cookie Company. We started to network, and I think I am now becoming as annoying to him, as I am to my own children. He’s adorable and he’s going places, and he makes a damn good Black and White Cookie. His name is Joshua Auerbach

and he is the President and CEO of the company. We started to chat and I asked him if he would mind if I did a post about his company here and he agreed. I moseyed over to his website and found the most beautiful array of Black and White Cookies (shown below is the original assortment that comes in a box of 12)

I asked him how he got into this business and he responded by saying that he was a long time fan of Black and White Cookies and noticed that there was no real presence outside of New York State where one could get a good black and white cookie.

In February of 2001, he registered the name and the rest is history. He launched a temporary site and without any marketing or advertising, he began to receive e-mail after e-mail requesting the cookies from Native New Yorks, ex-New Yorkers, people who wish they were New Yorkers, you get the picture. The kid struck gold (okay, he struck Black and White.)

The company got the recipe from a German baker who had brought it to the United States more than 80 years ago (I wonder if it was the man in my neighborhood ☺) Joshua then spent more than 5 years perfecting the cookies so that they would be crisp on the edges, soft in the middle, and would have what I remember so well, that taste of lemon, not overpowering, just a perfect hint.

Not only that, they are all natural with no preservatives, nor corn syrup, and being the nice Jewish boy that he is, they are certified kosher…his parents must be kvelling (not bad for an Italian girl) okay, okay for those of you not in the know, it means his parents are about to burst a gut with pride, their son is the best, he will make some girl a nice husband, successful, cute, you get the picture!!!

Joshua has taken these cookies to the next level,

Check out the Holiday Cookies – simply, but elegant

they can be custom colored, custom flavored, and the design work is unbelievable. They have a host of corporate clients a mile long.

The cookies while designed for home eating 80 years ago, have made the transition into the corporate market and done it well.

Now, Joshua has begun to real move and shake the cookie world. He moved out of New York City to a more rent friendly city, Ithaca, New York, home of Cornell University. He opened a flagship store in Corning, New York, and is now looking at franchising the company. In fact, Joshua will be featured on Greg Gumble’s The Economic Report in early February, 2009 as a “Best New Franchise Concept for the 21st Century.”

I have to tell you, that as a former event planner, the uses for this cookie are limitless, from weddings,

I love the two tone hearts!!!!!

to baby showers, from bridal showers, to Bar Mitzvahs, to theme parties, I think you will be seeing these everywhere in days to come. Move over Mrs. Fields and Famous Amos, there is a new cookie kid on the block and he is a force to be reckoned with.

Watch this video clip that was shown on Channel 34 news in Binghamton

Joshua, you've done a great job with your cookies and we wish you lots of luck...

We'll tip our cookies to you...

Now for all my friends in Upstate New York, I still like my Half Moons, but
You can take the girl* out of Brooklyn, but you can’t take Brooklyn out of the girl…there is no contest!

* Okay, so not a girl, but should I really say, middle-aged broad – I’m trying to forget I’m not 30 anymore!! So I will bury myself in a box of Black and White Cookies and try to forget….

Valentine's Day is coming, don't forget to place your order asap. You can click on the link at the top of the right hand column...

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