top of page
  • Writer's pictureFay Walsh

NYC Black and White Cookies

AKA Half Moon Cookies loved by kids and grown-ups alike

The trickiest part in making these delicious cookies is icing them very evenly!

Quick Tip

Flip cookies over once cooled and glaze the flat part (backside) of the cookie for an even surface.

A Piece of Cake as a Cookie

These cookies are genuinely cake-like. If you enjoy baking cakes, this should be a straightforward recipe for you! The cookie dough is closer to a cake batter rather than a regular cookie dough.

A Hint of Lemon

I love this recipe below from King Arthur Flour because they swap out the Buttermilk for some grated lemon rind (I never have Buttermilk on hand it seems!). The subtle hint of lemon makes these cookies extra special.

Frosting Missteps

I need to hone my frosting skills, and I'd encourage the suggested espresso powder in the chocolate icing if you have some on hand to balance the sugar with some acid. Also, don't skip out on the salt. The confectioner's sugar is super sweet and can overshadow the chocolate flavor.



  • 1 cup (227g) butter*

  • 1 1/2 cups (298g) granulated sugar

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • 1/8 teaspoon lemon oil, or 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 3 large eggs

  • 4 1/2 cups (539g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

  • 1 cup (227g) milk (regular or low-fat; not nonfat)

*If you use salted butter, reduce the salt in the recipe to 1 teaspoon


  • 3 1/3 cups (379g) confectioners' sugar

  • 3 tablespoons (57g) light corn syrup

  • 3 tablespoons (43g) hot water

  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract*

*For the whitest icing (at the cost of reduced flavor), omit the vanilla


  • 2 2/3 cups (315g) confectioners' sugar

  • 3 tablespoons (57g) light corn syrup

  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/4 cup (57g) hot water

  • 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder, optional

  • 3/4 cup (128g) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (chips, or chunks), melted



  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.

  2. To make the cookies: Beat together the butter, sugar, salt, baking powder, lemon, and vanilla till well combined.

  3. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

  4. Stir in the flour alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Do this gently; there's no need to beat.

  5. Using a muffin scoop or a 1/4-cup measure, drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets. With wet fingers, or the wet bottom of a measuring cup, flatten/spread the dough to a 3"-diameter circle. Leave 2" to 2 1/2" between each cookie; they'll spread.

  6. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, until they're set, and are perhaps a very light golden brown around the edges. If there's no sign of brown, that's OK. Cookies baked for 10 minutes will be quite moist. Cookies baked for 12 minutes will be drier, and more "authentic." Bake for 11 minutes for an in-between cookie.

  7. Remove the cookies from the oven, and cool them right on the pan. As they cool, prepare the icing.

  8. To make the vanilla icing: Whisk together the confectioners' sugar, corn syrup, and hot water. For a nice vanilla flavor, add the vanilla; for the whitest icing, omit it.

  9. Spread the icing over half of each cookie. Place them on a rack to set while you make the chocolate icing.

  10. To make the chocolate icing: Combine the confectioners' sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, hot water, and espresso powder. stirring till smooth.

  11. In the microwave, or in a pan set over very low heat, melt the chocolate.

  12. Add the melted chocolate into the sugar mixture, stirring till well combined.

  13. Spread the icing on the uncovered half of each cookie. You'll have a generous amount of icing, so don't be afraid to pile it on.

  14. Set the cookies back on the rack, and allow them to rest for about 30 minutes, till the icing is set.

  15. For best storage, wrap each cookie individually, in plastic wrap, and store at room temperature.

  16. Yield: 2 dozen large (3 3/4" to 4") cookies.

5 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

1 Comment

Sheila Grauer Fay
Sheila Grauer Fay
Jul 23, 2020

was privileged to receive these in the mail! Delicious!!!

bottom of page