This post is going to be all about my trip to the grocery store to buy the ingredients for Moon Pies. I consider myself “old school” when it comes to the grocery store. There’s always a handwritten list in the order that you go through the grocery store (produce first, frozen food last). When I am making a new recipe the first time, I write out the whole recipe and then cross off the things I already have (like flour and butter).
One day my husband came home and randomly asked me if I thought I could make a homemade Moon Pie. I must have been multi-tasking and said something in the affirmative because in the blink of an eye there were Moon Pies in my house “for research”.
I remember eating Moon Pies growing up, but it had been years since I’d had the “inverted s’more” pie. So I did what any respectable person would do, I googled “homemade moon pies” and found a recipe on Garden and Gun, written by Kim Severson. Literally saw her name in the by-line and was like “this will be perfect” and moved on with my life.
A week later, it’s the Friday night before starting this project, when I decide that I need to make this even more complicated. I thought to myself “I should definitely make my own graham crackers for the crumbs in that recipe”. Yep. That happened. I flipped open my trusty Cookie Companion and set to work on making graham crackers.
On Saturday Night, I swing by the store with my shopping list that I scribbled out on a sheet of notebook paper:
- gelatin powder
- Steen’s Cane sugar
- 1 lb of 60 – 71% chocolate
I hit the baking aisle and easily find the gelatin powder. Start looking around for Steen’s Cane Sugar, naturally near the sugar. Stand there for a solid 3 minutes. Put my hand in my pocket to grab my phone to Google it. No phone. Try to use the ping feature on my Apple Watch. No phone detected. I could have panicked, but I had a list of ingredients to pick up. I figured that Cane Syrup must be some derivative of molasses, so I scratch it off the list and kept it moving. Later, like the millenial I am, I googled Cane Syrup and maybe it was for the best that my store didn’t have it.
Now about the chocolate. A POUND of nice 61-70% chocolate would have cost $12. Since this was my first time attempting these I didn’t want to waste the cash if things fell apart. There is always a great chance of failure. That’s what makes all of this fun. Also, I am a cheapskate. I bought a couple of 100% Baker’s Bar and mixed in semi-sweet chocolate chips. Next time I will definitely splurge.
Real Talk. This recipe isn’t quick and it’s some work. But, you get to practice so many technical skills that might someday qualify you for Great British Bake Off. Tempering chocolate; making marshmallow cream; handling a finicky dough and put it all together. Be Brave. Dig In. You can do this.
- 6 oz unsalted butter (room temperature)
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 2 tbsp light corn syrup
- 1 tbsp molasses
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cup all purpose flour
- 1 ¼ cup graham cracker crumbs
- ¾ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp whole milk
- 1 packet powdered gelatin
- ½ cup water (ice cold)
- ¼ cup water (room temperature)
- 4 tbsp light corn syrup
- 3 tbsp honey
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 3 large egg whites
- 1 lb bittersweet chocolate 61% to 70%
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
Make the Cookies:
- In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the butter on medium speed for a minute. Then add in the brown sugar and mix for another minute. Turn the mixer off and add the corn syrup, molasses and vanilla extract. Mix on medium until smooth.
- Add the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture and stir on a low speed until combined. Slowly pour in the milk and mix until the dough comes together. Press the dough flat and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 325º F.
- On a work surface dusted lightly with flour, roll out the dough until it is ¼ inch thick. Cut out cookies using a 3 inch cutter. Place cut out cookies on baking sheet lined with parchment.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet.
For the Marshmallow Cream:
- “Bloom” the gelatin by sprinkling the gelatin powder in the ½ cup of ice cold water. Set aside.
- Pour the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. DO NOT START THE MIXER YET.
- In a small pot whisk together the ¼ cup water, corn syrup, honey and sugar. Clip on a candy thermometer and simmer over medium heat until the mixture reaches 240ºF.
- When the sugar mixture reaches 200º F START THE STAND MIXER. Whip the egg whites on a high speed
- Once the sugar mixture reaches 240ºF, remove from heat and whisk in the bloomed gelatin. Slowly pour this mixture into the egg whites. The goal here is a steady stream to prevent splashing.
- Whisk on high for 8 more minutes.
Assembling the Pies:
- On a parchment lined baking tray, lay out half of the cookies flipped over. Scoop about ½ cup of marshmallow cream on half of the cookies. You can either spoon the mixture or using a piping bag with a large tip. Place the second cookie on top of the marshmallow cream.
- Put the tray of sandwich cookies in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.
For the chocolate:
- Roughly chop the chocolate and place in a heatproof bowl set over pot of boiling water. Stir constantly until all of the chocolate is melted. Remove from heat and let cool slightly (3-5 minutes.)
- Whisk in the vegetable oil and let cool at room temperature for another five minutes.
Finish the Moon Pies:
- Using a fork, drop a moon pie in the bowl of chocolate. Once coated, flip the cookie over with the fork to submerge the other side. Let extra chocolate drip before putting the moon pie back on the parchment lined baking sheet. Let chocolate coating set at least 30 minutes.