I grew up 20 miles from Ithaca, New York. That was a significant distance to travel in the 1950s. We went there about once a month for shopping that couldn't be accomplished in the tiny town that was only two miles away.
My favorite thing about the shopping trips was going to Rothchild's Department Store. I never cared about the actual shopping. What I liked was the pneumatic tubes that handled money. Some bank drive-throughs still use these. The cashier would put your money or check in a cylinder, then close the end and place the cylinder in a clear tube through a little door. There would be a vaccuum-y noise and the cylinder would shoot up the tube to disappear into the ceiling. A minute later your change and receipt would woosh back down, and be handed to you.
Woolworth's was usually on the list of destinations too, as I recall.
My next-favorite thing was eating at the Home Dairy after we finished all the errands. I found a picture of the building on line (I've stolen it from an Ithaca High School reunion page). They closed forever
I remember two of their offerings. They had a creamy macaroni and cheese. It wasn't baked with a crunchy top (which I like best), but this was made with some kind of white cheese and was all soft.
The must-have item, however, was a half-moon cookie for dessert. This memory all came rushing back when the historical society posted the authentic recipe for these cookies. I had to try it.
It took me a couple of tries to get the size the same- about four inches across . I thought they weren't right when they came out of the oven. The cookies were crisp, not soft like I remembered. But the next morning they were soft and chewy- the texture was just right. Somehow in my memory the circles were more perfect. Perhaps my memory is faulty, or they had a pan that was recessed with exact circles, because some of mine are really round and others aren't. A restaurant would need near 100% perfection to serve them.
Got them frosted, and I have to say they really are just as good as the memories. I admit the "half-moon" part is basically a gimmick. It's just a frosted chocolate cookie, right? But sometimes that little tiny bit of extra effort that made everyone remember Half Moon Cookies is all it takes.
Here's the recipe as posted. I made my own frosting with a little Crisco, 10X sugar, and milk.
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