Half Moon Cookie Recipe
Don’t call me a Black and White or an Americaner, I’m a Half Moon cookie, thank-you-very-much!
Being from Central NY, a good Half Moon cookie is a treat that I miss! I have had ” Black and Whites”, I have had the German version called the ” Americaner”, but nothing beats a good, cakey Half Moon! During my Half Moon cookie recipe research, I discovered that the cookie originally comes from a bakery in Utica called Hemstrought’s. And here I thought it was a Harrison Bakery from Syracuse original!
The downstate version is typically a white cookie while a half moon is typically a chocolate cookie, although you’ll also find it as a white cookie as well in several bakeries. A B&W has a different type of frosting/icing as well. The German version, well, its just not close to either. It tastes like a day old cake with paper as frosting. I wish they’d change the name….
I tried several of the recipes I found online and found the one below, tweaked slightly, was the closest to my Half Moon taste-bud memory. I shared them with a fellow CNY-er and she agreed!
- 4 cups ( 500 g)flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. ( 7 g) baking powder
- 2 tsp. ( 10g) baking soda
- 2 cups ( 400g) sugar
- 16 tbsp. ( 2 sticks) ( 228g) butter , cut into pieces
- 3/4 cup ( 85g) cocoa, sifted
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups ( 375ml) milk
Mix the flour, baking powder and baking soda in a medium bowl and set aside. Cream the sugar and butter until fluffy. Add the cocoa ( I usually use Dutch processed) and salt mixing until just blended. Add the eggs one at a time. Alternately add the milk and the dry mixture starting and finishing with the milk.
Drop 3 inch mounds onto parchment lined baking trays with 2 inches between each. Bake at 350F ( 180C) for 15 minutes minutes. Allow them to cool completely before frosting.
Make sure you frost the “wrong” side.
For the chocolate frosting:
- 3 1/2 oz. ( 100g) bittersweet chocolate
- 3 1/2 oz. ( 100g) semisweet chocolate
- 1 tbsp. ( 14g) butter
- 2 tbsp corn syrup **
- 4 1/2 cups ( 500g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 6 tbsp. boiling water
Melt both chocolates and butter in the top of a double boiler over medium heat. Add the confectioners’ sugar, corn syrup**, vanilla, and 6 tbsp. boiling water and mix to a smooth consistency with a hand mixer. If necessary, thin the icing with up to 8 tbsp. more boiling water. Make this as soon as you want to frost and keep the frosting warm while working on the cookies. ( I learned this the hard way)
**I can’t get corn syrup in Germany so I use Grafschafter Karamell which you can usually find in the aisle with jams.
For the butter cream frosting: ( This is the full recipe, I halved it and it was still plenty)
- 7 cups ( 750g) confectioners’ sugar
- 16 tbsp. ( 228g)room temperature butter, cut into pieces
- 1/2 cup ( 95g) vegetable shortening ( I used Palmin Soft)
- 7 tbsp. milk
I simply put all the ingredients in my stand mixer and let it mix!
Can’t get any easier than that!
This recipe is based on the Hemstrought recipe I found online. I changed the amounts of some ingredients.