Half Moon Cookies Make Their Mark in Utica

YORKVILLE, N.Y. -- There's a science to making half moon cookies, one of the most popular desserts in the Mohawk Valley. It's such a delicious treat that many areas claim they invented it.

Holland Farms Barkery has had half moons on its menu since it opened in 1955.

"Utica is known as being the origin of them, but they actually started in New York City," said Marolyn Wilson, the co-owner of Holland Farms Bakery and Deli.

"There was a baker in New York City who over baked his cookies and rather than throw them out, he tried frosting the top of them black and white. They took off and that cookie moved to Boston, and they moved east and the more they moved east, the more more north it got and the softer the cookie it became."

By the time it landed in Utica, it evolved into the half moon we know today, with a cake-like bottom and fudge and fondant on the top.

"Many people like the white on white, many people like the white on chocolate, the chocolate on white - it's turned into a diverse product for us," said Wilson. 

No matter the form, the cookie brings a great sense of pride to the area.

"When my sister and brother come back home - they shoot for this place to get half moons," said Jeff Quackenbush, a fan of half moon cookies. 

"Central New York is where the half moon cookie lives and grows and flourishes," said Wilson. "We're just a homegrown group here and love what we make and love what we keep local."

Holland Farms ships its half moons all over, including to military personnel stationed overseas longing for a taste of home in their favorite cookie.