Also called Half-Moons, these rich, buttery cookies have a cake-like texture and colorful frosting. The classic black and white version is glazed with vanilla and chocolate frosting, but this version is dressed for the holidays in red and green.
It seems strange to call these ‘black and white cookies’ when they are so obviously not black and white, but I couldn’t resist giving this New York native a holiday spin. Contrasting colors of thick glaze covers each side of a large lemon-scented half dome. It’s not cake, but I also hesitate to call it it cookie. It’s somewhere between the two. What I do know for sure is that their size and heft will power you through any intense gift wrapping marathon you may be gearing up for this week.
The thing that struck me most with this batter, is how fluffy and cake-like it is. Which makes sense because the baked cookies are something akin to whoopie pie shells – only slightly more dense.
I portioned these onto baking sheet using a standard-sized trigger ice cream scoop. It was the perfect size for these cookies. After the dough is scooped, you’ll need to flatten the tops using damp fingers.
These will spread and crackle slightly on top top, but still remain quite pale. You’ll notice their undersides will be lightly golden as you remove them from the pan.
A quick confectioners’ glaze is made with the addition corn syrup. This helps the icing to set up, which is nice if you’re packaging them up for giving.
The glaze is extremely thick and when you frost the cookies, be prepared for it to spread further over time as it stands. As somewhat of a perfectionist cookie decorator, this drove me a little crazy at first. My advice is to embrace the imperfection.
As I mentioned earlier, the frosting will firm, which makes them easy to package! Just slide them into cookie bags and they’re ready for gifting.
This recipe was developed using real butter and dairy for the American Butter Institute and their website Go Bold With Butter! Click here to view the recipe on goboldwithbutter.com, and be sure to check out all of their other excellent recipes!
Festive Black and White Cookies
- 1 cup 226g butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups 300g granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- 2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 4 1/2 cups 540g all-purpose flour
- 1 cup 240ml milk
- 6 2/3 cups about 27 oz. confectioner’s sugar
- 6 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 6 tablespoons hot water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon red food color
- 1/2 teaspoon green food color
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line at least 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer using a paddle attachment, beat together butter, sugar, salt, baking powder, lemon zest, lemon extract, and vanilla until well combined. Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in flour alternately with milk on low speed, beginning and ending with flour until just blended.
- Using a large ice cream scoop or a 1/4 cup measure, portion the dough 2 1/2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Have a small cup of water ready to hand. Dip fingers in water and pat the cookie dough mounds to a 3″ round.
- Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes until set and lightly crackled on top. Remove cookies from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, or until firm enough to transfer to wire cooling racks. Cool completely.
- For the glaze, whisk together confectioner’s sugar, corn syrup, hot water and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl. Mixture will be thick. Divide the icing mixture evenly between three separate bowls. Reserve one bowl of white icing. Stir red food coloring into one bowl and green food coloring into another bowl and mix until food color is thoroughly blended.
- Place each glaze in a separate disposable piping bag with the ends snipped. Pipe the tops of each cookie with each colored glaze, one half at a time.
- Place cookies on cooling racks and allow them to set at least 30 minutes. Wrap cookies individually in plastic wrap or in cellophane bags and store at room temperature for up to a week.