St. Patty’s Day Half-Moon Cookies

I made these half-moon cookies for a “small group” of girls last night.  Instead of merely using the traditional chocolate and vanilla frosting, I decided to make a mint frosting in lieu of St. Patty’s Day.  These cookies came out moist and the mix of mint and chocolate frosting tasted like a cross between a thin mint girl scout cookie and a peppermint patty.  For those of you who do not know what a half moon cookie is, you most likely call them by their other alias which is black and white cookies.  After a little research on the subject, I found a few interesting facts that all you history buffs would appreciate!

Half-Moon cookies originated in Utica, NY in the 1920’s at Hemstrought’s Bakery when Harry Hemstrought, a former architect, opened the bakery.  Half-Moons are actually different from the black and white cookies that are prevalent in the NYC/Tri-state area.  While the NYC cookie is a vanilla cookie with fondant frosting, half moon cookies can come in either chocolate or vanilla cake.  One side of the frosting is a dark fudge icing, while the other side is a white buttercream frosting.  Hemstrought’s also made full vanilla moons (yay for all us vanilla fans!) and coconut moons with either a chocolate or vanilla cake base.  Sadly, Hemstrought’s is no longer open, but you can find delicious half-moon cookies (both chocolate and vanilla cake) in Syracuse, NY at places like Harrison’s bakery or Green Hills Farms.  Enjoy!


  • 1 c sour cream
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 3/4 c Crisco/shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 3/4 c confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 c melted butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp skim milk – add as necessary
  • 1/2 tsp mint extract
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (divided)
  • 12 drops green food coloring


  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. On medium speed, beat the sugar, eggs, Crisco, milk, and vanilla until incorporated
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the sugar mix and beat until thoroughly combined
  5. On a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, place the cookies 2 inches apart using a 2” round cookie scoop.  For smaller sized cookies, use a smaller cookie scoop
  6. Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown
  7. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack
  8. Meanwhile, in another bowl, mix the confectioner’s sugar, melted butter, and milk until a smooth consistency forms.  Add more milk if frosting is too thick
  9. Divide frosting into 3 small bowls
  10. Add 1/2 tsp of vanilla to the first bowl and add another 1/2 tsp of vanilla and 1 tsp of cocoa powder to the second bowl
  11. In the third bowl, add the mint extract and drops of green food coloring.  Add extra drops for a darker color
  12. Frost one side of the cookie and allow to dry completely
  13. Frost the other side of the cookie and allow to dry completely
  14. Store in an airtight container.  This recipe makes about 15 large half-moon sized cookies


Filed under Desserts

2 responses to “St. Patty’s Day Half-Moon Cookies

  1. Mom

    I’m jealous I wasn’t at your small group last night. I’m sure the girls really enjoyed them.

  2. The half moon cookies recipe is very good. Thanks for sharing great baking cookies recipe with us. Good informative blog.

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