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Amerikaner - Cake-Like Cookies Frosted on the Bottom


Amerikaner - Black and White Cookies - Half Moons

Amerikaner - Black and White Cookies - Half Moons


Amerikanern are cake-like cookies you find in German bakeries for after school snacks. They are vanilla flavored, with icing on the bottom of the cookie and served upside-down. For the history of Amerikanern in Germany, see below.

Makes 18 large cookies

See larger image

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes


  • ***Cookies***
  • 9 T. unsalted butter (125 grams)
  • 1 c. sugar (200 grams)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 c. plus 2 T. milk (250 ml)
  • 1 T. rum or 1/4 tsp. rum extract
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract or 1 T. vanilla sugar
  • 3 1/2 c. flour (450 grams)
  • 2 tsp. double acting baking powder
  • ***Glaze***
  • 1c. powdered sugar (120 grams)
  • 2 T. rum or Grand Marnier
  • ***Chocolate Glaze***
  • 4 oz. dark chocolate (100 grams)
  • 2 tsp. butter
  • 2 T. hot water
  • 1/2 c. powdered sugar


There are two theories of how they came to be named Amerikaner. Either they were brought to Germany by the GIs after the war, or they were named Ammoniakaner for ammonium hydrogen carbonate, or "Hirschhornsalz", which was used as a leavening agent. This seems like a stretch to many people.

It is known that New York City has the same cookies called "Black and Whites" and they might first have traveled to the US with Jewish immigrants before traveling back to Germany. In the last decades they have dropped the chocolate glaze in favor of an all white glaze.

Cookie Dough

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each.

Add 1 tablespoon of vanilla sugar or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract plus rum or rum flavoring, if desired.

Sift the flour with 2 teaspoons baking powder, then add flour to the batter in three parts, alternating with the milk. Mix well after each addition.

Mound about 1/4 cup onto a cookie sheet (about 6 to a sheet, they spread) and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes.

When still warm spread flat underside with glaze out of powdered sugar mixed with rum and water.

Second Option: spread one half with sugar glaze and the other half with melted chocolate glaze.

Chocolate Glaze

To make chocolate glaze: Melt chocolate and butter in 45 seconds in the microwave, stirring after each 15 seconds. Stir in powdered sugar, then add enough hot water to thin and beat with a spoon until the glaze is smooth.

Eat fresh.

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