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You Asked For It: These cookies stir memories, tastebuds

By ANNE LONG

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 26, 2001


Black and white cookies, dark and white cookies or half moon cookies are cookies that many residents who grew up in more northern climes remember fondly purchasing at neighborhood bakeries. Every few years we get requests for these delicious cookies, and readers always come forth with their favorite recipes.

Black and white cookies, dark and white cookies or half moon cookies are cookies that many residents who grew up in more northern climes remember fondly purchasing at neighborhood bakeries. Every few years we get requests for these delicious cookies, and readers always come forth with their favorite recipes.

There seem be to several versions, one made with buttermilk, one made with sour cream and one made with cake flour and more eggs. This is a good opportunity to try each to determine your favorite.

Mary Careddu Burke does not have the recipe but suggests that, if you are willing to take a drive some pleasant afternoon, the Lucky Dill Deli in Palm Harbor regularly bakes these cookies. Mary grew up in an Italian neighborhood in upstate New York, and half moon cookies were an "absolute favorite" then and still are.

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For: Martha Burns of St. Petersburg, Dorothea Dakin of Spring Hill and Audrey Scheer of Dunedin and Portland, Conn.

From: Jean Eberhardt of Clearwater and Frances Profumo of Port Richey. Frances recalls that in her neighborhood these cookies were called Neapolitans.

Recipe: Black and white cookies I.

Black and white cookies I

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup shortening or butter flavor shortening

1/2 cup buttermilk

11/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 large egg

13/4 cups confectioners' sugar, divided

Water

1 1-ounce square unsweetened chocolate

Into a small bowl, measure flour, sugar, shortening, buttermilk, vanilla extract, baking powder, baking soda and egg. With mixer at low speed, beat ingredients until well blended, scraping bowl occasionally.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease large cookie sheets. Drop dough by 1/4 cups, about 3 inches apart, onto cookie sheets. Spread dough into 2-inch rounds. Bake cookies 15-17 minutes or until edges begin to brown and tops spring back when lightly touched with finger. With pancake turner, remove cookies to wire racks to cool.

When cookies are cold, prepare glazes. First prepare vanilla glaze: In small bowl, into 11/4 cups confectioners' sugar stir 5-6 teaspoons water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until a good spreading consistency. Turn cookies over so that bottom (flat side) is up. With small metal spatula, spread vanilla glaze on bottom of cookies to cover half of each cookie bottom. Set cookies aside to let frosting set.

To prepare chocolate glaze, in small saucepan over low heat heat chocolate until melted and smooth, stirring frequently. In another small bowl, into remaining 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar stir 1 tablespoon warm water until smooth. Stir in melted chocolate until blended, then stir in enough additional warm water (2-3 teaspoons) until a good spreading consistency. Spread chocolate glaze to cover the other half of each cookie. Set cookies aside to allow glazes to dry completely, at least 1 hour. Store in tightly covered container. Makes about 14 cookies.

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From: Frances Profumo of Port Richey and Madeline Pynn of Largo.

Recipe: Half moon cookies.

Half moon cookies

1 cup margarine (2 sticks)

11/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Frosting:

1 pound confectioners' sugar

1/2 cup shortening or margarine

1/4 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Dash of salt

1/2 cup baking cocoa (added to half of frosting for chocolate part)

Beat margarine, sugar and eggs until light and fluffy. Add sour cream and vanilla. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt that have been sifted together; mix well. Refrigerate 1 hour. Drop by large tablespoons onto greased cookie sheets; flatten. Bake at 375 degrees 12-15 minutes. Cool on wire racks and frost bottoms half white and half chocolate.

To make frosting, beat together the confectioners' sugar, margarine, milk, vanilla and salt at low speed for 2 minutes, then high speed for about 5 minutes. Add cocoa to half of mixture. Frost cookies half and half.

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From: Cheryl Mintz of Spring Hill.

Recipe: Black and white cookies II, from the Long Island Newsday.

Black and white cookies II

13/4 cups sugar

1/2 pound butter

4 eggs

1 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

21/2 cups cake flour

21/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Frosting:

4 cups confectioners' sugar

1/3-1/2 cup boiling water

1 ounce bittersweet chocolate

In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar and butter until fluffy. Add the eggs, milk, vanilla and lemon extracts and mix until smooth. In a medium bowl, combine flours, baking powder and salt.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet in batches, stirring well. Drop soupspoonsful of dough 2 inches apart on buttered baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees until edges begin to brown, 20-30 minutes. Let cool completely.

To make frosting, put confectioners' sugar in a bowl. Stir in enough water to make the mixture thick and spreadable. Remove half the frosting to the top half of a double boiler over simmering water. Add chocolate and warm the mixture until chocolate is melted and frosting is smooth. Remove from heat. With a brush, coat half the cookie with chocolate frosting and the other half with white frosting. Makes 2 dozen large cookies.

Cheryl adds that she makes these cookies often, and they remind her of alll the great little bakeries on Long Island.

- You Asked For It is a reader mail column. If you have a cooking question or the answer to someone else's question, write to You Asked For It, the St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Be sure to include your full name, city and phone number with your letter. Letters without this information will be discarded. Requests cannot be answered by phone or mail.

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