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A black and white cookie.

A black and white cookie is a soft, sponge cake-like shortbread which is iced on one half with vanilla fondant, and on the other half by dark chocolate fondant. It is similar to a neenish tart, although neenish tarts are filled with a jam center, whereas a black and white cookie is not.

The black and white cookie is often seen as a particularly "New York" snack.

Contents

Names

Black and White cookies are also known as Half-Moons and "Half-and-Halfs". In Germany, where these cookies usually are completely iced with the vanilla fondant only, they are called Amerikaner (engl.: american)

History and Half-Moons

There is some confusion as to the origin of the black-and-white cookie and the sometimes synonymous name Half-Moon. The name Half-Moon is common in Upstate New York and New England. In New York City, however, one will find only Black and Whites. However, while the two names are often used interchangeably, there may actually be considerable differences between the two, most notably in the textures of the base and the icing.

Half-Moons originated in Utica, New York at the famous Hemstrought's Bakery in the early part of the 20th century. Half-Moons most often come with a chocolate cake base, dark fudge icing on one side and sugary white frosting for the "half moon" side. Hemstrought's also made a vanilla cake base with fudge and white frosting, as well as full 'vanilla moons' and 'coconut moons,' with either a chocolate or vanilla cake base. The original Hemstrought's half moons bakery closed their doors a few years ago (date needed), however they still bake half moons for local supermarkets, where they are still available.

Black and Whites have a drier, cookie-like base and fondant frosting. The cookie is also bigger than most.

In the Seinfeld episode "The Dinner Party", Jerry eats a black and white cookie while waiting in a bakery with Elaine, but afterwards, the cookie makes him sick and causes him to end his thirteen-year non-vomit streak.

See also

References

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