Although many rave about New York City’s various regional dishes- cheesecake, pizza, bagels, or corned beef - I was only ever interested in one cookie. This cookie goes by many names- the black and white, half-moon cookie, half-and-half -- depending on where you’re from you call it something different. A traditional version of this cookie has a lemony soft cakey batter base that domes up as it bakes. In most cases, it's the size of your palm and is frosted on one side with thick vanilla and the other with chocolate.
Growing up in New Haven Connecticut the single most exciting journey for me was taking the train from Union Station to Grand Central in New York City. Just getting to Grand Central would have been a thrilling trip, with its incredible architecture, beautiful star covered ceilings, and the vintage ticket booths. But for my family, this station is also home to a tradition that we still carry out to this day. Without fail, every time one of us goes to New York they come bounding in the door with a box full of moon cookies.
I grew up eating moon cookies year after year, but my consumption was cut short when I turned 16 and acquired a wheat allergy. Suddenly my family tradition was something I could no longer participate in. Over the years we each scoured the country for bakeries that made moon cookies to match my new diet. While I have felt deeply welcomed and comforted by brands like My Dad’s Cookies and Dana’s Bakery there just aren't any in Shanghai, where I live now. Thus, to bring a bite of home to my new life in China, I developed this Black and White Cookie recipe (and I promise Mom, I will bake you a whole box next time I am home).
Please enjoy these soft, gluten-free, and lemony cookies with traditional Vanilla and Chocolate frosting. Let my nostalgia bomb bring some extra joy into your kitchen.