A Tale of Two Parties: Half Moon Cookies

We’re getting there, my friends.  Just two more recipes from Dave’s Graduation party and we’ll be done.

The recipe I am sharing here today is for Half Moon Cookies, or Black and White Cookies for Seinfeld fans.  I first tasted the cookies from this recipe at my bachelorette party when my two bride’s maids made them for my female guests.  The party was amazing, we had a henna artist giving everyone traditional henna tattoos, and a friend who is also a belly dancer and dance instructor gave us all a dance lesson and danced for us as well.  It was an amazing evening topped off with tastes of upstate New York, like the Half Moon Cookies of Utica fame.  Thank you Jen and Georgia for the fantastic evening (I can’t believe that was nearly 9 years ago!), and thank you Jen for the great recipe!

For Dave’s Graduation Party, he immediately thought of these cookies for a dessert, and with Little Man’s love of the moon I thought they were a great fit.  I baked and decorated the cookies the night before Dave’s party, and our home smelled of rich chocolate and sugar for hours and hours.  Warning, you’ll definitely want a nice tall glass of cold milk with these!

Cookies, cookies and more cookies...Half Moon Cookies
Ingredients
:
For the Cookies:
3 ¾ c. flour
¾ tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 c. butter, softened
¾ c. cocoa powder
¼ tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 ½ c. milk

Fudge Icing:
3 ½ oz. bittersweet chocolate
3 ½ oz. semisweet chocolate
1 tbsp. butter
4 ¼ c. powdered sugar
2 tbsp. corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
Pinch of salt

Vanilla Icing:
7 c. powdered sugar
1 c. butter, softened
Scant ½ c. milk
1 tbsp. vanilla
Pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. For the Cookies: In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside. In a large bowl beat the sugar, butter, cocoa, and salt until it looks like dark, wet, chocolate sand. Add the eggs and vanilla, beating to combine. Add half of the milk and combine. Add half of the flour mixture and combine. Repeat with the remaining additions of milk and flour, blending well after each addition.

    The flour mixture.

    The chocolate cookie base.

    The chocolate cookie base.

    Little Man's curls as he "helped" me beat up the cookie batter.  He's obsessed with all things chocolate, so I had to get those eggs in there fast before he started tasting.

    Little Man’s curls as he “helped” me beat up the cookie batter. He’s obsessed with all things chocolate, so I had to get those eggs in there fast before he started tasting.

    The mixing additions begin with half of the milk.

    The mixing additions begin with half of the milk.

    Then half of the flour.

    Then half of the flour.

    After the first half of the milk and flour were mixed in.

    After the first half of the milk and flour were mixed in.

    Then the last of the milk...

    Then the last of the milk…

    Then mixing in the last of the flour...

    Then mixing in the last of the flour…

    The final batter is quite thick.  Be careful to NOT let the batter get warm.  If you kitchen is warm, keep the batter bowl in the refrigerator between baking batches of cookies.  If the batter gets too warm, it gets soupy and the cookies will melt flattly on the pan, rather than setting up nice and fluffy.

    The final batter is quite thick. Be careful to NOT let the batter get warm. If you kitchen is warm, keep the batter bowl in the refrigerator between baking batches of cookies. If the batter gets too warm, it gets soupy and the cookies will melt flattly on the pan, rather than setting up nice and fluffy.

  3. Spoon the batter onto the prepared baking sheets in 3-inch rounds about 2-inches apart. Six dollops of batter should fit on a sheet.

    Lovely dollops of batter ready for the oven.  I don't have a small scoop for the batter, but if you have one that would be fantastic.

    Lovely dollops of batter ready for the oven. I don’t have a small scoop for the batter, but if you have one that would be fantastic.

  4. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until the cookies are set, rotating the sheets halfway through the baking time. When done slide the entire parchment sheet onto a rack to cool. Use a clean sheet of parchment for further batches. Once cool remove the cookies from the parchment and set aside until you are ready to decorate them.
    One sheet down... For the number of people coming to our party I had many, many more to go.

    One sheet down… For the number of people coming to our party I had many, many more to go.

    Lots of cookies cooling on the racks.

    Lots of cookies cooling on the racks.

  5. Fudge Icing: Melt both of the chocolates and butter in a double boiler over simmering water (I used a medium-sized metal bowl over a simmering pot of water). Add the powdered sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, salt and 6 tbsp. boiling water (use the water from your double boiler). Mix until smooth, but stiff. The icing should fall in thick ribbons from your spatula. Use more boiling water to thin the icing if necessary, adding it one tbsp. at a time. Be careful to not thin it too much.
  6. Vanilla Icing: In a large bowl beat the powdered sugar, butter, milk, vanilla and salt until light and fluffy.
  7. Decorate the Cookies: Spread about 1 tbsp. of warm fudge icing on half of the flat side of each cookie. If the icing starts to seize up, just put it back over the double boiler until it loosens. Then spread about 1 tbsp. vanilla frosting over the other half of the cookie. Keep going with the rest…
    Cookie Platters 2 (3)
  8. These cookies don’t stack well, so do so at your peril. They do not store well either, so they are best eaten within a day or two of frosting them. This shouldn’t be a problem.

Click here for a printable version of the Half Moon Cookies recipe.

Cookies, cookies and more cookies...

Cookies, cookies and more cookies…

 

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