When life is very hard, sometimes the best answer is cake. This New York deli treat might have come in handy for nine year old Oskar Schell; (explorer, jeweler, inventor, tambourine player and vegan pacifist). He's mourning his Dad who passed when the towers fell. To keep his memory alive he's on a quest across five boroughs to discover the truth about a key that belonged to someone named Black.
Oskar's about to discover that, unlike these cookies, life isn't always black and white. If you're craving some dichotomy in your day you could make like 'The Renter' and tattoo 'yes' and 'no' on your palms. Then again, you could just have it inscribed on a cookie (don't worry Oskar- these ones are vegan friendly).
Vegan Black and White Cookies: Makes 18 cookies
Equipment: two baking trays, baking paper, microplane, medium bowl, paintbrush, heat proof bowl, spatula and small spoon.
½ cup soy milk
1 tsp lemon juice
¼ cup canola oil
½ cup caster sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups self raising flour
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tsp lemon zest
Pinch of salt
1 cup icing/confectioners sugar
3 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tsp vegetable/canola/sunflower oil
1 tbsp of hot water
Here's how we roll
1. Preheat oven to 350 F/ 180 C degrees. Line two baking sheets with baking paper.
2. Take a medium bowl and mix together the lemon juice and milk and let them get to know each other in the bowl for two minutes. Add the zest, sugar and oil and whisk well.
3. In another bowl sift together the self raising flour, salt and cornflour. Create a well in the center and pour in the oil and milk mix.
4. Stir well until all of the lumps have been worked out.
5. Using a tablespoon to portion out the cookies. If you want to get really precise about it, weigh the batter so each cookie is 27 grams. Transfer to the baking tray and form circles. Depress the centers slightly with your thumb so the cookies don't rise too much. Leave two inches between the cookies for them to spread (three rows of three on each tray works well). Bake for 17 minutes until the edges turn light brown.
6. Remove the cookies and let them cool for two minutes on the trays.
7. Turn them upside down to cool.
8. To make the white icing put the icing sugar/confectioners sugar in a heat proof bowl. Add a tablespoon of hot water and whisk until you have a glossy paste.
9. Use a small clean paintbrush to spread an even layer of white icing over half of the cookie.
10. Add three tablespoons of cocoa powder to the remaining icing to make it dark. Add two teaspoons of vegetable oil to give it a sheen. Paint the other half of the cookies and then leave them to dry.
11. If you fancy, use a toothpick to write 'Yes' and 'No' on the white side of the cookies with the black icing.
Best eaten on the day of making but you can make them ahead and store in an airtight container in a single layer.
For illustrated step-by-step instructions, go here