Growing up, black & white cookies were a personal favorite and wonderful treat. I always ate them the same way: a little bit off the vanilla side then the chocolate saving the middle bite with a little bit of each color for last. It wasn’t until I went to college in Boston that I realized they were a regional favorite. At least the version I was used to.
A friend in my freshman dorm’s family owned a bakery in the North End (Boston’s version of little Italy). I couldn’t get over my fortune upon finding out this information and couldn’t wait to pay a visit and eat some goodies. Now don’t get me wrong, everything I ever ate from Bova’s Bakery was delicious but, you can imagine my disappointment when I ordered what I believed was my old favorite disguised under the name half moon and learned that it was a totally different dessert! Black & white cookies in New England are called Half Moons and they don’t have same hard glazed icing that we in NYC are accustomed to. Half moons have chocolate and vanilla frosting like you would find on a cake and while still delicious (I am never one to turn down dessert) it is not what I grew up with and came to love. During my four years in Boston while fellow New Yorkers complained about not being able to find quality pizza or bagels I longed for a good black and white cookie. I dealt with this loss by eating cannolies (always from Bova’s and never from Mike’s Pastries).
It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I even thought about trying to make this treat. It’s important to note that I hadn’t attempted this recipe again until today. This is due to the amount of work that goes into making them but today is a very special occasion, the Giants are in the super bowl and I needed to make a treat to show my support for Big Blue! By the way, the name is still up for discussion – anything but Black and Blue Cookies, that does not have a good ring to it.
Go Big Blue Cookies:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups cake flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup + 2 tbsp unsalted butter (slightly firm)
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp lemon oil
3/4 cup milk
3 cups confectioners sugar
4 1/2 tbsp hot milk
1 1/2 tbsp light corn syrup
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
a few drops of lemon oil
blue gel food coloring
Dark Chocolate Glaze”
1 oz unsweetened chocolate
1 oz dark chocolate
2 tspn unsalted butter
2/3 cup confectioners sugar
2 tbsp boiling water
2 tspn light corn syrup
1/2 tspn vanilla extract
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and spray standard muffin tins with non-stick spray
For the cookie: sift together the flours, baking powder and salt set aside
In the bowl of a mixer using a paddle attachment cream together the butter and eggs until light and fluffy, and the eggs one at a time mixing after each addition, then mix in the vanilla and lemon oil.
Add in the flour mixture in 4 additions alternating with the milk in 3 additions. Start and end with the dry mixture.
Put 2 tablespoons of the batter into each muffin cup and cook for 10 minutes until the edges are brown a little and center is set.
Cool in pans for 10 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Vanilla Glaze: in a large bowl stir together confectioners sugar, milk, corn syrup, vanilla, and lemon oil. Stir until smooth and pours well – if it is too thick add a little more milk if too thin add more sugar, then add a food coloring a small amount at a time until you get the shade you desire.
To glaze the cookies line the cookies up on the rack side to side. This process is messy and it’s best to put a cookie sheet or plate underneath to catch the icing as it drips off. Use a long offset spatula to mark the halfway point on the cookies. Put the blue icing in a measuring cup with a spout and pour onto the cookies toward the center line letting it drip towards the outer edge.
Chocolate Glaze: heat the chocolate and butter in a double boiler until melted. Add the confectioners sugar and boiling water in alternating additions, stirring between each. Stir in the corn syrup and vanilla until smooth, can use a whisk if sugar is not smooth. Spread onto cookies using the back of a spoon.
***Caution both glazes harden/clump quickly so make the vanilla and glaze immediately then make the chocolate and frost onto the cookies.***
Enjoy and root for the Giants, these are New York style cookies not the half moons the Pats fans will be eating!