Yummy Half Moon Cookies


Half moon cookies made from scratch (My brother Larry, me, and the cookies!)

December is here. With the colder weather and holidays, we often look to comfort foods like these yummy half moon cookies. Yes, they include the white flour and sugar that we like to keep in check. Yet, they are so, so good and often are reminiscent of a favorite childhood hometown bakery, like Snowflake or Harrison or Blooms in Syracuse, New York, where I grew up and still have deep roots.

Whether you call them half moons as we did in the ‘cuse, black and whites, or something else, serve them on a special occasion. After all, we all enjoy some extra sweetness.

Here’s the recipe Larry followed (courtesy of family friend, Eileen). Along with the turkey, we gobbled these up at our Thanksgiving feast!

The Recipe


1 – Mix and set aside

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp baking power

3 1/2 cup flour (sifted)

2 – Mix

1 cup shortening and 1 1/2 cups sugar

Add 2 eggs and 1 tsp vanilla

Mix until creamy and light

3 – Prepare the sour milk

1 cup milk

1 tbsp vinegar or 1 tbsp lemon juice

Let stand for a few minutes

4 – Alternately add to the shortening / sugar mixture

Some of the dry flour mixture and then mix

Some of the sour milk and then mix

Repeat until all of the ingredients are mixed together

5 – Refrigerate for at least two hours

6 – Drop scoops of the dough on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper

(An ice cream scoop works well. Leave plenty of space between the scoops, since when the cookies flatten, they are large.)

7 – Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until a light golden color

8 – Let cool and add the frosting to the flat side of the cookie


1 – Mix

1/4 cup Crisco shortening (can increase to 1/3 cup if the frosting seems too liquidy)

1/4 tsp salt

2 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar (can increase to 3 cups if the frosting seems too liquidy)

2 – Add and mix

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

3 tbsp hot milk

3 – Add to half the mixture and mix

unsweetened cocoa (the amount is up to you)

More Favorite Recipes

The cousins, originally from Syracuse and Elmira and with new generations scattered hither and yon, compiled favorite family recipes, which resulted in A Bisl of This, A Bisl of That: Eating Our Way. Have a look. Have a taste. Click here to view on Amazon. Clear here to view on Create Space.

  1. Melissa said:

    No, no, no, no, no! Black and whites are most definitely NOT the same thing as half moon cookies! (Sorry, Judy.)

    Although I now live in central NY, my family has roots in NYC going back a century, so I feel that I am qualified to expound on the subject. When we moved here, I was SO excited about seeing what I thought were black and whites by another name in every grocery store, only to be rudely disappointed by the nasty gooshy icing on every one of them around here. A true B&W always has icing that is really more like a glaze that hardens, so when you pick it up, your fingers don’t get sticky and rarely need to be licked clean. B&Ws must must must be eaten within a day of being baked, as they’re really more like cake than cookies and go stale and inedible very quickly; I’ve seen half moon cookies that are at least days old. Furthermore, the best B&W cookies all have a touch of lemon flavoring, rather than being just plain vanilla or (shudder) some other flavor.

    I have never seen a true black and white sold within a hundred miles of my current home. And if I did, I wouldn’t trust it unless I’d made it myself! (http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/7983-zabars-black-and-whites)

    • Melissa, you are much more knowledgeable than I about the nuances between half moon cookies and black and whites. I just know what I like, including gooshy icing that even requires licking sticky fingers clean! When it comes to food, we all have our preferences. One likes sweet, another likes savory; one likes moist, another likes dry. And on and on it goes. Vive la difference.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: