I have been wanting to post the recipe for my grandma’s half moon cookies for a long time and I finally got a chance to make them yesterday. I thought the timing was also appropriate because they make great cookies for Halloween as well! I loved having these cookies growing up- we called them half moon cookies. When I moved to Boston, I realized most people around here call them black and white cookies (Wikipedia claims otherwise, but I have yet to meet a non-upstate NYer that calls them half moon cookies.)
The half moon cookie originated in Utica, NY, but this recipe is from the now-defunct Mattot Bakery in Oswego, NY. My step-great-grandmother got the half moon cookie recipe before the bakery closed and passed it along to my grandmother. My grandma then passed along the recipe to us- it’s now published in our family cookbook. Here are a couple of historical family photos. The first is of my grandmother. The second photo is my great-grandfather’s and my step-great-grandmother’s wedding in 1946:
Here is the recipe for the half moon cookies. I updated two of the ingredients in the cookie recipe based on more contemporary ingredients, but I include the original ingredients in parentheses if you are interested. I also created my own frosting recipe based on a few that I found.
- Cookie Ingredients:
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup butter (original recipe: margarine)
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup buttermilk (original recipe: sour milk or a vinegar milk combination)
- 2 and ¼ cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ⅛ tsp nutmeg
- Frosting Ingredients:
- 6 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2 and ½ cups confectioner's sugar
- ⅓ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup cup cocoa powder
- Mix sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg in a separate bowl. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture and mix together. Chill for at least 30 minutes, up to 24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Drop cookie batter from tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the frosting. Cream the butter in a small bowl. Mix in the confectioner's sugar, vanilla, and milk alternatively. Beat until the frosting consistency is smooth (no lumps.) Remove half the frosting into a separate bowl (this will be the vanilla frosting.) Mix in the cocoa powder with the remaining frosting to make the chocolate frosting.
- Once the cookies are cool, frost the flat bottoms with vanilla frosting on one half and chocolate frosting on the other half.
Do you have any family recipes that have been passed down that you still like to make?