Saturday, November 13, 2010

Black And White Cookies

Once again, I'm at the point where I'm confused about school and major. Just a month ago I said I was either going into Pre-Nursing or Biochemistry/Pre-Pharmacy. However, after receiving my Biology Midterm yesterday, I felt so depressed because I bombed it. I studied hard for this test, read the book, went over reading quizzes and practice exams, did a plethora of past exam questions and I still did badly. When going into the test, I felt somewhat confident that I can get an 80% but my grade said otherwise. 

I don't believe that the problem is me or the professor. I believe the problem is in the grading techniques of the TA's. They are brutal in grading that if one misses one part of the question, one essentially gets the whole question wrong. For instance, in one of the questions I had, it was a three part question. It was essentially simple math. The answers were t + 1/2 U, 0.13 and 0.185. My answers were t + 1/2 U, 0.06 and 0.185 which meant I only got the second part wrong. This question was worth 6 points and I only got 2 points when I had 2/3 of the question right! Shouldn't I get 4 points?! There are a bunch of these types of grading on my test. I'm definitely taking this in for a re-grade. 

Enough of my rant, but I'm still confused about what I'm going to do with my life. Why can't life be clear cut like Black and White Cookies? It's either chocolate or vanilla, the simplest flavors that are the best out there. Why can't my life be as easy as choosing whether I like chocolate or vanilla better? Why can't I get a good grade in this Biology Class? If I were to take this Biology Class somewhere else, I would probably be excelling but I guess I will never know...But most of all, where is this road of life going to take me?

-I actually had difficulty with the chocolate glaze. It didn't come together when I made it in the microwave. Now, you may be saying "This guy probably doesn't know how to melt chocolate in the microwave" but let me tell you, I have melted chocolate in the microwave 43829025489042 times without any problems. lol. In fact, because of the failure of the chocolate glaze I melted milk chocolate in the microwave and slathered it on the cookie instead. I don't know what exactly went wrong with the glaze but it ended up becoming extremely grainy. Instead of microwaving it, I would suggest using a double boiler to do it.

Taste: Beyond delicious!! Chocolate Lover? Vanilla Lover? This cookie has the best of both worlds. A subtle vanilla flavored cookie that has half tasting like vanilla and the other tasting like chocolate. My personal favorite was the chocolate part. hehe

Texture: The cookie is very cake like. Somewhat crisp around the edges. The slathering of icing gives another textural difference to the cookie. Almost crisp and creamy at the same time. 

Black and White Cookies (Makes about 16 large cookies)
adapted from Gourmet Cookbook via Joy The Baker
For the Cookies:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large egg

For Vanilla Glaze:
2 cups powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For Chocolate Glaze:
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
3 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon light corn syrup

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Stir together buttermilk and vanilla in a cup.

Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes, then add eggs, beating until combined well. Mix in flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately in batches at low speed (scraping down side of bowl occasionally), beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix until smooth.

Spoon 1/4 cups of batter about 2 inches apart onto a buttered large baking sheet. Bake in middle of oven until tops are puffed and pale golden, and cookies spring back when touched, 15 to 17 minutes. Transfer with a metal spatula to a rack and chill (to cool quickly), about 5 minutes.

To make the glazes-

In a bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon of corn syrup and 2 tablespoons hot water, until smooth. That’s your vanilla glaze.

In a separate bowl, melt the butter and the chocolate in a microwave for about 1 minute. Add the corn syrup and stir until smooth. That’s your chocolate glaze!

Once the cookies are cooled, face them all bottom side up of a clean surface. Spread half of the cookie with vanilla glaze and the other half with chocolate glaze. Refrigerate for 20 minutes to set. And…Yum!

-Aaron John


  1. Hi A.J.,
    I've admired these cookies in cookbooks a zillion times but have never gotten around to trying them. Yours look really tempting! And, as for your dilemma, I agree it is nice that at least one thing in life can be "black and white" even when so many situations we'll encounter are a dozen different shades of gray. I hope you find the answer to your school dilemma. You have youth, smarts, and creativity on your side--you'll land on your feet, for sure!
    :) Jane

  2. Aww Aj, sorry to hear this. I wished everything was black & white and clear cut but it never is. You'll find your way. But in the meantime, you can always cook and bake and share with us. Lovin the cookies!

  3. Ta's really are asses. You give them a little power and they take it too harsh. Just remember they are not that much more educated than you. And I'm sure these cookies taste way better than anything they would make.

  4. I know you can do it. .You really have a great ideas when it comes to cooking. Love cookies and I think I should make this err you make me hungry:)

  5. Jane: Thank you so much! :) It means a lot!

    Lisa: Thanks!! I'm definitely going to continue sharing what I cook up!!

    Rick: Amen! ha. TA's are just power hungry. lol

    Mandy: Thank you! ha. Making these would be a good idea!


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment! :)

-Aaron John


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