Saturday, July 12, 2014

Half Moons aka Black and Whites

Vanilla Half Moon Cookies

Click to enlarge
These delicious cake-like cookie have been around for more than a century. I don't know how they got started, but they are a staple at restaurants, coffee shops, delis, and bakeries all over New York, New Jersey and beyond. The name says it all, these large, sweet and buttery, dome shaped cookies, are iced with two flavors of frosting. One half of the cookie is covered with a white frosting, the other half with a chocolate frosting. My recipe is handed down from my mother and I haven't met anyone yet who doesn't love these magical cookies!

The batter is firm enough to 'drop' by 1/4 cupfuls onto your baking sheet. It is important not to over bake these cookies as we do not want them to be dry. They are done when the edges and bottoms of the cookies are just beginning to turn brown (a toothpick inserted into the center of the cookie will just come out clean). 
What makes these so unique is that you put the frostings on the flat bottom side of the cookies, so the bottoms now become the tops. The recipe makes about 30 large cookies, so if you prefer a smaller amount, simply half the recipe.  I frost all the cookies with the white frosting first, then add cocoa powder to the remaining frosting to make it chocolate and frost the other side of the cookie.

 My granddaughter, Andrea, requested them for her birthday dessert.  It wasn't easy getting all those candles on one, but she did it!  Can you tell she loves these cookies? 

I promise you will be so glad you tried these.  Who may be making them for someone's birthday too!



3/4 c. shortening
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
Cream the above ingredients, then add...

1 c. sour milk (1 Tbsp. white vinegar, then add milk to make 1 cup)
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Mix well.  Drop by 1/4 cupfuls onto a greased baking sheet, rounding off the tops to make a thick-like looking pancake.  Bake at 375' F. for about 10-12 minutes or until edges are bottoms are just beginning to brown.  DO NOT OVER-BAKE, you don't want them to be dry.  Cool them on a wire rack.  Once cooled completely, it's time to frost them.  Remember to turn them upside down and frost the bottom.


1/2 c. butter, softened
4 1/2 c. confectioner's sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
5-6 Tbsp. milk

In a large bowl, beat butter until creamy. Beat in the confectioners' sugar, vanilla and enough milk to achieve desired consistency.   Yield: About 3 cups.

Frost the cookies on half of the bottom side with the vanilla frosting.  Then add 1 oz. of unsweetened melted chocolate or Hershey's Unsweetened Baking Cocoa and mix well.  (You may have to add a little more milk to this.)   Now, frost the other half and there you have it...Half Moons!

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."  -Galatians 5:22-23

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