When Glaser's Bake Shop first opened for business, native New Yorker Theodore Roosevelt Jr. was president, the Flatiron building was still being built, and there were no underground subways. The year was 1902. And the bakery has been run by the same family for all of those 111 years.
Glaser's sells a wide selection of breads, baked goods and tarts. But one of their big draws is their Black and White Cookie ($2.25). As evidence of their popularity, at least three of the people in line with me also purchased one in addition to any other items they were buying. The cashier also keeps a sheet pan of them handy just opposite the cash register for easy access and impulse buys from customers.
Most black and white cookies fall into two categories. The first group are essentially "flattened cupcakes with fudge-style frosting." The second is more like a real cookie—soft but firmer than cake with a matte, fondant-style icing that's dry to the touch. Glaser's cookie falls into the second camp. The cookie base has only a mild sweetness that goes nicely with the well executed frosting. The chocolate side tastes like actual chocolate without a hint of waxy texture. Overall, a very nice example of a Black and White.
But there's something about a visit to Glaser's that transcends their baked goods. And if enjoyment of a Black and White cookie depends as much on nostalgia as execution, as some have suggested, then Glaser's has most bakeries beat the moment you walk through the door.
For more on the history of the black and white, or "half-moon" cookie as it's called upstate, see Ed Levine's post from 2008. I'll be back soon with more coverage of Glaser's Bake Shop.