Black and white cookie
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2008)|
|Black and white cookie|
|Alternative name(s)||Half and half cookie|
|Place of origin||United States|
|Region or state||Northeastern states|
|Main ingredient(s)||Shortbread, fondant|
A black and white cookie, or half and half cookie, is a soft, sponge-cake-like shortbread which is iced on one half with vanilla fondant, and on the other half by chocolate fondant. It is similar to a neenish tart, although neenish tarts are filled with a cream center, whereas a black and white cookie is not.
Notably, this style cookie is often seen as a particularly "New York" snack.
Although bearing a superficial resemblance to black and white cookies, halfmoon cookies, popular in Central New York, are made with a significantly different recipe. The traditional halfmoon cookie is a devil's food cake cookie with buttercream frosting, resulting in a cookie that is richer and moister than the black and white cookie. Halfmoon cookies are now also available with a vanilla cookie base.
Cookies of this style are collectively known as "Black and White cookies" or "half-and-halfs". In Germany where these cookies usually are completely iced with the vanilla or with chocolate fondant only, they are called an Amerikaner (American). On October 19, 2008, Barack Obama dubbed them Unity Cookies at a deli in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
History and half-moons
There is some confusion as to the origin of the black-and-white cookie. The half-moon common in Upstate New York and New England is sometimes confused with the black and white cookie but is made with a different recipe. In New York City, however, one will find only black-and-whites. None-the-less, while the two names are often used interchangeably, there are considerable differences between the two; most notably in the textures of the base and the icing, with black-and-whites having a drier, cookie-like base and fondant frosting. And with the cookie also being bigger than most half-moons.
Half-moons originated in Utica, New York at 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; they, however, still bake half-moons for local supermarkets, where they are still available.
The typical New York City and Long Island black-and-whites have a vanilla cake base with fudge and white frosting. 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!"
- Clark, Lesley (21 October 2008). "Barack Obama and the black and white cookie". The Miami Herald. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
- Johnson, Sasha (21 October 2008). "Obama: McCain is 'running out of time' and 'making stuff up'". CNN. Retrieved 30 May 2013.