The REAL Half Moon Cookie

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

When I moved to Boston over five years ago, I didn't take into account some of the foods from back home that I'd be missing. Sure, I'd be gaining access to all the straight-off-the-boat lobster I could eat, but there were a few staples from my childhood that I had to learn to create because they A) weren't available or B) tasted NOTHING like the foods I grew up with. (See my recipe for Chicken Riggies HERE!)

Case in point -- Half Moon Cookies

New Englanders also refer to it as the "Black & White Cookie". But I've found that more often than not, this impostor cookie is dry and flavorless. There are tons of delicious bakeries in and around Boston, but they should truly stick to Italian pastries and cupcakes. Leave the half moon cookies to the people from my little neck of the woods. 



The major difference between an Upstate NY (i.e. Hemstrought's) Half Moon and a Boston Half Moon is the cake. The bottom of a proper half moon cookie is moist, chocolately, and what I can only describe as a mix between a cake and a brownie. And of course, sturdy enough for both types of icing. The chocolate icing should be glossy and thick. And the vanilla icing fluffy and not overly sweet. 

Oh, and just an FYI, there is no such thing as a vanilla half moon. That's like Derek Jeter in a Sox uniform -- it's just WRONG.

What You'll Need:
For the cookie:
3 3/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 2/4 cup sugar
16 tbsp margarine (cut into pieces)
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 tsp good vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups milk

Fudge Icing:
3 1/2 oz bittersweet chocolate
3 1/2 oz semi-sweet chocolate
1 tbsp butter
4 1/3 cups powdered sugar
2 tbsp corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch salt

Buttercream Icing:
7 cups powdered sugar (I never said these were healthy)
16 tbsp room temperature butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
7 tbsp milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
pinch salt

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F. Mix sugar, margarine, cocoa, and salt. Beat until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Add half milk and half flour mixture (flour, baking soda and baking powder). Mix well. Repeat with remaining mixture. Spoon cookies 3" around and 2" apart. Bake 12 minutes on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Cool completely.

Fudge icing -- melt chocolate and butter over a double boiler over medium heat. Add sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, salt and 6 tbsp boiling water. Thin icing up with up to 8 more tbsp of water until desired consistency is reached. (Frosting should make thick ribbons)

Buttercream -- mix ingredients together until light and fluffy.

Frost cookies with half chocolate, half buttercream. Store in air-tight container to ensure they stay fresh.




Add food coloring to buttercream to create pastel half moons just in time for Easter!

Enjoy!
xoxo,
L

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