Half-Moon History. . .
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, NY 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 (Utica, NY) 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. When the bakery closed, the family sold the name only to a local commercial bakery for the supermarket production of half moons, while the actual recipe remained with the bakery staff who now opened their own bakery, Gingerbread Bake Shop, on Oneida St in New Hartford, NY.
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. He compares the cookie to a metaphor for racial harmony and that people should "Look to the cookie!"
Black and white cookies are featured on Mad Love episode "To Munsch or Not to Munsch"
Black and white cookies are featured regularly on TBS show Fairly Legal.
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