Monday, August 10, 2009

Mosaic Monday ~ Bakery Treats!


One of the joys of living in Brooklyn, New York, is that almost every neighborhood has at least one wonderful bakery. I blogged once before about an Italian bakery in Bensonhurst that specializes in Sicilian pastries, and recently I was in the Gravesend neighborhood of Brooklyn, where I encountered the delicious aroma of fresh baked bread wafting in the air outside Nuccio's Italian Bakery located at 261 Avenue U. It was so tempting I went inside and bought a nice big crusty loaf of Italian bread.

Just look at this nice selection of bread that they had:

I also couldn't resist taking some photos of their cakes and pastries, as you can see in the mosaic below. It took a lot of will power not to buy a few!

Please click on to enlarge

In the lower right corner are the iconic large "Black and White" cookies, which can be found in almost any bakery in New York City. They are eaten by all New Yorkers at least once in their lives. I remember liking the chocolate side the best when I was a child, so I'm sure I would have chosen the first cookie from Nuccio's that seemed to have a little more chocolate icing on it.

Black & White cookies are actually more like flat soft cakes, rather than hard cookies, so freshness is absolutely necessary, otherwise they will taste stale and hard. They are very easy to make! Why not try to bake a batch?

Zabar's Black-and-Whites

Adapted from ''New York Cookbook,'' by Molly O'Neill, Workman Publishing , 1992 --recipe published by the New York Times

For the cookies:
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
4 large eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the frosting:
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/3to 1/2 cup boiling water
1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped.

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter 2 baking sheets and set aside. Combine sugar and butter in a bowl and beat until fluffy. Add the eggs, milk and extracts. Mix until smooth.

2. Combine the flours, baking powder and salt in a bowl and mix. Add the dry ingredients to the wet in batches, stirring until combined. Drop soup spoonfuls of the dough 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake until the edges begin to brown, 20 to 30 minutes. Cool.

3. To make frosting, place the confectioners' sugar in a large bowl. Gradually add some boiling water, stirring until mixture is thick and spreadable. Place half the frosting in the top of a double boiler set over simmering water; add the chocolate. Warm, stirring until chocolate is melted and the frosting is smooth. Remove from heat.

4. Brush half the cookie with the chocolate and the other half with the white frosting.
Yield: About 24 large cookies.


I'm linking this post to Mary of The Little Red House blog Mosaic Monday event for this week. Please visit Mary's blog to find links for other blog that have joined in the fun. Thanks, Mary, for hosting this wonderful event every week!

55 comments:

Caroline said...

Wow...do those treat look delish! The bread in the photo above the mosaic looks amazing too. Now I am hungry!!!

cherie said...

i don't know how to make a mosaic so i'll be a willing audience - esp. since these are tempting treats!!! yummy, ma'am. gotta visit ny. ;)

Gracie said...

I would have bought some of those cookies! Bravo to you for not surrending to the temptation!

Riet said...

Wow, yummy mosaic. Just beautiful.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I think I'd be big as a blimp if I lived near those bakeries.

CatHerder said...

YUMMMMMM...oh, now i want a cannoli!!!

Tracy said...

Oh, sooo good! I'd love some right now... Very tasty post, Pat...and thank you for the great recipe! Happy week, my friend :o) ((HUGS))

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Those look really delicious, Pat. And that bakery! Oh, wow! Thanks for sharing that recipe with us. I love cakey cookies.

XO,

Sheila :-)

Edie Marie's Attic said...

Oh you know I love this post!! You have the best bakeries in the USA as far as I'm concerned! I can still taste those awesome canolies you gave us.
I think I'll have to try this recipe for the black & white cookies. Sounds delicious!

Have a great week Pat! Hugs, Sherry

Carolyn said...

Everything looks so good-you showed great willpower in resisting!

Carolyn

my home sanctuary said...

Oh yummy. And you even added a recipe. How sweet. LOL. Thanks for sharing. I guess I could vote yours the sweetest of the sweets today.
Thanks for sharing.
Have a Blessed Day,
Sherry

Donna at Mourning Dove Cottage said...

OMG! What yummy delights! I love bakeries.

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

What wonderful looking baked goods! The old fashioned bakeries are always a treat...we stepped into several while on our travels this past week.

happyone said...

I'm originally from northern NJ and we used to get the Black and Whites from the bakery all time. I LOVE them. I haven't had or thought about them in quite a while. Thanks for the recipe. I will be making them in the next few days. :-)

Junie Moon said...

Gosh, I can just about taste the bread and other goodies just looking at your pictures. Thanks for sharing the recipe, I'm adding it to my "things to cook/bake" list.

Suzy said...

Lucky indeed to have bakeries such as this in every neighborhood. I'd want one of each!

Really Rainey said...

Yummy mosaic! I really wish I didn't enlarge it tho... I wanted to lick my computer screen! ;)
Have a great week!
~Really Rainey~

olivia said...

Oh, that looks sooooo good. Mmmmm, the smell of fresh-baked bread. Love your mosaic!

Jackie said...

Hi Thank you for the comment on my blog and for the words of encouragement!! I forget about the time difference, our day is coming to a close, well it is 7pm.

If my hubby and I do get to New York next year ( for my 60th birthday) we will have to avoid all those delicious cakes, the plane might not take the weight!!

Best wishes, Jackie.

Kathleen said...

Though I would not want to live in the city, I grew up out here on the island, I am envious of the wonderful bakeries in there.
There is NOTHING like it out here, so I had to learn to bake bread!
Love the mosaic..mouth watering!

Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Hi Pat!
Amy just went to surgery 30 minutes ago, and now we wait. The surgery is scheduled for 10-12 hours, so we will not know anything for a long while today. Debbie is going to call me when she hears anything throughout the day, but we are still waiting. I so wish I could have been there, as being in Phoenix is so hard for me. I have always been there for Debbie. I am here in prayer and always in her heart. She carries me everywhere and I her. Please check my blog later today for news. Thank you for your prayers as we so need them. Love, Sherry

jeanne said...

Hello Pat. I am so happy you will be staying in Gardiner. The town is awesome, very rustic and lots of sweet old houses. It isn't big but it is very charming. Kind of different decades of housing but mostly vintage. The flowers were beautiful then. I hope they still are. We enjoyed where we stayed

Enjoy your sweet little Leo. I know you will have a wonderful time.

I am going to try making those cookies. They sound easy and I know they will be delicious if you like them.

Have s safe trip.

Love...Jeanne

dana said...

Hi Pat! You just never cease to amaze me with your wonderful posts. I just caught up on a few---I have just GOT to start making certain I visit you more often. This summer has been a bust for computer time. Anyway, that bakery looks so wonderful...the recipe for the Blk and Wht cookies is great. We don't have a decent bakery anywhere near us anymore....and yet you guys have them all over!! Lucky you. I enjoyed the secret garden post, too. How wonderful that volunteers take care of that little area. The brewery looks like a fun spot to visit, too. Hope all is well with you. Our little gr.boy is doing well. They were over yesterday...he's really growing. My gr.girl has "settled down" from the initial issues she had with no longer being the sole recipient of our attention. She really loves him and is very helpful. Have a great week! L, Dana

¡ L I Z ! said...

Pat: is fantastic, i love bekery, and this is a beautiful mosaic, congratulatios.
You have a lovely blog :)

Have a nice day =D

jeanne said...

Pat, I am back to answer your question about the Cog Railway. You should take the railway for sure. The drive to the top is very hard. We loved the railway ride. Also the Miramont castle is on the same road right in town on the way to the Cog Railway. It sits about a block or so away from the road. If you inquire you will find it and it is worth seeing. Not expensive at all. We saw The Garden of the Gods too. Awesome.

Happy vacation.

Jeanne, again!

Mary said...

Oh my goodness, now I'm DROOLING all over my laptop!!! Thanks so much for sharing your tempting images at Mosaic Monday. :)

Millie said...

As "Martha" says....yummm!!

Cass @ That Old House said...

OH how I MISS NY bakeries!
There is nothing to compare in this part of New Jersey. Nothing. Gorgeous mosaics, but they make me LONG to be within walking distance of a real NY bakery -- and almost any one will do, they are mostly all terrific.

Although in fairness to NJ, the bakeries in Pittsburgh were even worse. :-P

Black & Whites are my husband's favorite, although he grew up in the hick town of Boston, where they call then "half moons." Silly. LOVE this post, thanks!
Cass

grey like snuffie said...

What a wonderful post. NYC is the only BIG city I've ever wanted to return to..you're stirring that desire. That's interesting about the cookies being such a tradition.

MyJourneyBack said...

Oh man I can't believe you lured me back over to see those yummy sweets again today! LOL. Thanks for coming by my blog. Just wanted to let you know you commented on my test post. My real Monday Mosaic was below it. I was playing around this afternoon with the second post.
Thanks for again for coming by.
Blessings,
Sherry

SmilingSally said...

I've always wanted to say, "I'll take one of each."

Barb said...

Yummy,I'm drooling....Barb

Queenmothermamaw said...

Oh we need another bakery in our town. It is so far from me everything is gone by the time I get there. Great pictures.
QMM

Joyce said...

I always tell people that when I die and go to heaven I will be eating Pizza and black and white cookies all day long and never get fat:) I just copied a new black and white cookie recipe last week and it is on my kitchen counter and I will now copy yours. Daryl sent me a black and white from NY city and my daughter and I ate the entire thing in a blink of an eye:) I think my Mom must have fed them to me before I had my first tooth:)
Joyce

Jenn @ youknow... that blog? said...

Ooooh yummmmm! What a scrumptious mosaic!

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

In my DREAM life i will live in New York City-- at least part of the time... (of course this is AFTER i win the lottery)

:)

such a delightful post ...tytytyty... and now my tummy is grumbling.

TTFN~~Claudia ♥ ♥

Bhavesh Chhatbar said...

I'm so hungry now :( please someone get me a pastry :)

Brand New Blog on Fresh Quotes

GMG said...

Hi Pat!
Wow! These look so nice! I'm getting hungry; you're ruining my diet... ;)

Blogtrotter has some more Rural Iceland before the Blue Lagoon. Enjoy and have a fabulous week!

Melanie said...

Oo those cakes are so pretty. I love the smell of fresh baking bread too.

Sara said...

Mmmmmmm! Of course the first thing I did was click the photo of the bakery window to get a closer look at those goodies. (I have no idea what sfinge and zeppoli are!) I'm so glad you included close ups of some of the pastries later in your post. The Black and White cookies remind me of a Seinfeld episode because that was the first time I'd heard of them. Yummy.

Beverly said...

Yum! I've had black and white cookies since I was a child. I prefer the white side, so we can share. They are definitely large enough for two. ;-)

Musings of a Sea Witch said...

Oh, how I miss Italian bakeries. I would do shameless things for a few rainbow cookies. My dad ws NYC born and raised and I spent most of formative years as a New Jersey girl wishing she lived in the city with her cousins from Queens. There is nothing like NYC anywhere in the world. Sea Witch

Jenny said...

Ummm.... would it be wrong to lick the screen? Yea, I suspect so although I think the caloric content would be a lot less. Man, that looks luscious and your cookie recipe looks luscious as well. I'm going to link to this blog. It looks like a fun place to keep track of! And thanks for visiting me, too!

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

What a great place! Everything looks so good!!

Sue said...

OMG this is so yummy looking.... You always find the most wonderful things to show us, Pat. My mouth is simply drooling. I think I'll let Sherry share her cookies with me when she makes then! hugs. sue

ARLENE said...

I had barely uttered a reverential, "Oh, black and white cookies," when I saw that you'd posted a recipe for them. I've tried several recipes, but none are ever as good as the ones you buy in the bakery. I'm going to give these a go sometime soon. I love your pastry mosaic; it made me gain weight just looking at it.

M.Kate said...

Looks sooooo yummy, i've had lunch but still yearning for more. We have really boring bread here, only those square breakfast type, anything else is hard to get and very expensive too. Happy week ahead/ hugs....M

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

Wow !! These all look delicious. I don't think I could resist tasting a few of them. Thanks for sharing the recipe I'm looking forward to trying it. I appreciate you stopping by for a visit..
hugs ~lynne~

Lisa's RetroStyle said...

I laughed when I read "why not try a batch?"...Ahhhh, because I would eat them ALL!! lol:D I don't have a lot of self control:{

The sweet treats all look great. I have to say tho that I have even less restraint when it comes to fresh bread! Mmm mouth watering:)

AmpersandPrime said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AmpersandPrime said...

What a tempting mosaic!!!

Sue said...

Hi Pat....I'm back in Georgia after spending a few weeks in Jersey and your post brought a tear to my eye.....We have NO bakeries in the South....this bread is amazing...and the pastry..we really enjoyed good eating the past couple of weeks and ofcourse being in Jersey (and don't be jealous!!) we also got to eat our beloved "Taylor Pork ROll"...

supplies overflowing! said...

Black and whites! I made them once...my husband thought he'd died and gone to heaven!

Everything looks so good!You should be a travel writer- at least for NY- and maybe even Colorado! Everything looks and sounds so wonderful when you write about it!

Fifi Flowers said...

ooooh I wish I could smell and sample that bread.... yum!!! This girl could live on bread and butter alone!!!

Bob and Rosemary said...

Oh my God! I have to try making these. Can they really be as good as the ones I used to love as a kid, growing up in Brooklyn??? Yummm. I still can't decide if I like the chocolate side or the white side better!