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Upstate New York’s Iconic Half-Moon Cookie Recipe

Prep Time:


Cook Time:






About the Recipe

These iconic cookies are an Upstate New York favorite! Now you can try making your own at home.




  • 3 3/4 cups flour

  • 3/4 tsp baking powder

  • 2 tsp baking soda

  • 2 1/4 cups sugar

  • 16 tbsp butter softened

  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder sifted

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 2 eggs at room temperature

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 1/2 cups milk


  • 6 tbsp butter softened

  • 2 2/3 cups confectioners' sugar

  • 1/3 cup milk

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Fudge Frosting:

  • Half of the vanilla frosting

  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder

  • 2 tbsp milk



  1. Adjust the oven racks to lower-middle and upper-middle positions and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside.

  3. Beat the butter at medium speed for 30 seconds to loosen it up. Keeping the mixer running, gradually add the sugar, and cocoa powder and then gradually increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy about 3 minutes.

  4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs, vanilla. Beat at medium speed until combined, about 30 seconds.

  5. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl again. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour in four additions and the milk in three additions (beginning and ending with flour), and mix until just combined.

  6. Give the mixture a few final stirs with a rubber spatula to ensure all of the flour has been incorporated.

  7. Use a #20 Scoop to portion out mounds of dough onto the prepared baking sheets about two inches apart. Using an off-set spatula, gently press each mound of dough into a 3-inch circle. Bake until the edges of the cookies are set and light golden brown, about 12 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheets, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Vanilla Frosting

  1. Cream the butter in a small bowl. Blend in the confectioner's sugar, vanilla, alternately with the 1/3 cup milk. Beat until the consistency is creamy, with no lumps!

  2.  Remove just over half the frosting into a separate bowl, leaving the remainder to be turned into the fudge frosting

To Make the Fudge Frosting

  1. To the mixing bowl, add 1/3 cup cocoa powder, plus 1-2 Tbsp of additional milk.

  2. Beat until the cocoa is all mixed in and the frosting is nice and smooth.

  3. Frost the top of the cookies, half of the cookie should be frosted with the white frosting. Half the cookie should be frosted with the chocolate.

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