Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Chocolate White Chocolate Chunk Cookes: Because chocolate goes with everything

They say that all a woman needs is a little black dress.  I beg to differ.  I wore a black and white dress to my prom in the early 90s.  I don't have a photograph online, but a quick glance at a 'little black dress' from that era will clearly illustrate that black and white gowns can go out of style.

Party dresses date quickly, as do party foods. Although many people wax profound about tradition, and how certain foods ALWAYS appear around the holidays, I have to say that despite seeing these at parties during my youth, during the 1980s, I have not seen them served recently for quite some time.

Of course, people still EAT these foods.  But serving them to guests would take a bit of retro 'gall.'

1. Jell-O Molds
Flickr: bdunette

For the love of all that is holy--no Jell-O.  The sight of artificially sweetened and colored collagen rendered from boiled animal bones, tissues, intestines and other offal makes me shudder.  People who don't cook are allured by the ease of assembling 'creations' and seeming 'creative' with Jell-O.  Much like people who feel compelled to write their own free verse poetry on greeting cards, this trendy type of creative non-cookery has fortunately been quashed.

2. Ritz Crackers
Flickr: Palmetto Cheese

Growing up, any 'fancy' party boasted a tray of Ritz crackers. Ritz crackers offered a variety of topping possibilities, spanning from cheese hunks, to pepperoni, to peanut butter, to butter, to cream cheese, jam, to honey.  They were the universal bestower of goodness--anything tasted better on a Ritz. Now, they seem hopelessly dated, and a true foodie makes her own crackers.  But oh, they were so good! Like freebasing crunchy butter!

Chicken-in-a-Biskit was also popular, with cream cheese. I recall liking them, even though they were confusingly crackers, and neither chicken nor biscuits. And misspelled.

3. Sliced Pepperoni (with or without cheese)

As a kid, I wasn't a big meat eater. This was one of the few meats I would consume willingly.  No appetizer tray at my grandmother's was complete without sliced pepperoni and salami, perhaps in deference to the fact that she was briefly married to an Italian. I mean, it's good for you because it's protein, right?

4. Liverwurst

Flickr: cheeseslave

Going with the processed meat theme, Liverwurst was another staple.  My aunt's very deaf white cat had a particular fondness for it, and I liked to share slices with it.

5. Cocktail franks wrapped in Pillsbury dough or Pillsbury crescent rolls or biscuits

Yet again, another processed food item that gave you the impression of cooking, but not really. Of course, people still serve Pillsbury, but I seldom see that trademark puffy dough when the bread basket comes out.  Come to think of it, the bread basket is being threatened by the passage of time, much like the relish tray (I remember those, too).

6. Highly processed cheese products.

 I can recall when the first Cool Ranch Doritos came out--and the first incarnation of Combos.  Cheetos were never a favorite of mine. Although they were frequently served at wholesome Christmas parties, despite their disturbingly phallic appearance.

7. Dried fruits

Some older folk still remembered when dried fruits were a big deal when I was a kid, so dates and figs were often served on trays. I liked dates because they were sweet, so it was kind of like being allowed to eat as much candy as I wanted only because it had fiber it was supposed to be good for me.

8.  Need I say more?

Chocolate never goes out of style.  These chocolate white chocolate chunk cookies are as elegant and timeless as...as serving martinis to your guests to ensure they don't remember any awkward conversations the day after.

Chocolate White Chocolate Chunk Cookies

With some adaptations, from Ina Garten

-yields 48 small cookies, 24 large-


1 cup (2 sticks) of room temperature butter
1 cup of dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large, beaten eggs

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1 teaspoon salt

2 cups of white chocolate chips


1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
2. Cream butter, sugars, and vanilla.  Add eggs.
3. Sift cocoa, flour, baking soda, salt together.  Slowly spoon into wet mixture.  Fold in white chocolate chips.
4. Bake 15-17 minutes, depending on size of the cookies.  Cookies will be soft at the end of the bake time. Remove from baking tree when the cookies have solidified.


  1. Oh, black and white cookies are so oishii (delicious) though the pilsbury is looking weirdly faux Japanese. But if your 90's Jessica McClintock prom dress still fits it will soon be old enough to be work "ironically" to parties in Bushwick or even certain parts of the "working class" Kingsbridge section of the Bronx. Just sayin. And btw since FB suicide was epic fail, hit me up on my website for contact info. Seek and ye shall find...

  2. When I could eat chocolate before I was allergic, these were my favorite cookies to get from the cookie store besides peanut butter.

  3. Having never had liverwurst, or chicken crackers, and aside from Fruit Cake, I would enjoy eating copious amounts of all that stuff :). Though I would prefer Cheetos Crunch to Puffs :) and being from an italian family though we see a lot of Pepperoni, it's never presliced and/or thin cuts :).
    And the cookies look fantastic, it's rare that I make all chocolate cookies, mostly because I keep forgetting to :).
    Oh and Ritz w/ Tuna Salad for the win! :).

  4. @Mother Duck--that wasn't my prom dress--mine was MUCH worse! Fortunately, if I still had it, it would be too big for me--I've lost (much needed to lose) weight from high school

    @Blonde Duck--Allergic to chocolate? Oh no! Your baked goods look very yummy, anyway--I didn't even notice the absence of chocolate!

    @Adam--Somehow when pepperoni as a 'sausage' is served on an antipasto tray, it doesn't look quite so 'Mad Men' retro. Ritz with ANYTHING is awesome, and I like the sound of that better than the ubiquitous potato chip tuna casserole. For some reason, they never served chicken salad on chicken 'biskit' crackers, though...