Moon pies are classic Southern cookies filled with marshmallow and coated with chocolate. Rebekah Turshen, the pastry chef at Nashville’s City House, developed this recipe. She spreads crispy sugar cookies with chocolate and peanut butter, then sandwiches them around a marshmallow filling. Yum!!
Chocolate–Peanut Butter Moon Pies
Makes about 30 moon pies
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 large egg, plus 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
1 cup chunky peanut butter
2/3 cup light corn syrup
Pinch of cream of tartar
1 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting
Cocoa and cinnamon, for dusting
In a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter until creamy. Add the brown sugar and beat at medium-high speed until fluffy, 3 minutes. Beat in 1 teaspoon of the vanilla and the 1 whole egg. Add the 2 1/4 cups of flour and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and beat until a soft dough forms. Divide the dough into 2 mounds and transfer to 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Pat each mound of dough into a 1/3-inch-thick square, wrap and refrigerate until firm, 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350° and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Working with 1 square at a time, on a floured work surface, roll the dough out to a 13-inch square, 1/8 inch thick. Using a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter, cut out rounds and arrange them 1/2 inch apart on the baking sheets; repeat with the second square of dough. Gather the scraps and refrigerate until firm. Reroll and cut out more rounds, using the scraps only once. Refrigerate the cookies just until firm, about 10 minutes.
Bake the cookies for about 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Let cool slightly, then carefully invert the cookies onto racks and let cool completely.
Spread the melted chocolate on half of the cookies and the peanut butter on the other half. Allow the chocolate to set.
In a small saucepan, boil the corn syrup over high heat without stirring until it registers 230° to 235° (thread ball) on a candy thermometer.
In a clean standing mixer fitted with the whisk, beat the 2 egg whites with the cream of tartar and a pinch of salt until firm peaks form. Slowly drizzle in the hot corn syrup and beat at high speed until glossy, about 2 minutes. At medium-low speed, beat in the remaining 2 teaspoons of vanilla and the 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar.
Transfer the marshmallow to a pastry bag with a plain 1/2-inch tip or a large zippered plastic bag with the corner snipped off. Pipe 1 1/2-tablespoon mounds of the marshmallow onto the chocolate-covered cookies. Top with the peanut butter–covered cookies and press lightly to spread the marshmallow to the edges.
Let the moon pies stand in an airtight container for 2 hours (they will soften slightly) before dusting with confectioners’ sugar, cocoa and cinnamon and serving.Read More
This delicious chocolate-covered marshmallow sandwich is a recipe from Todd English. It was first published in Food and Wine magazine in August, 2001. It makes a wonderfully tender moon pie.
Makes 20 pies
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 sticks (10 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon heavy cream
Filling & Topping:
1 3/4 cups warm water
3 envelopes unflavored powdered gelatin
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups light corn syrup
6 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate–coarsely chopped, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 pound milk chocolate–coarsely chopped, melted and cooled slightly
3 ounces white chocolate–coarsely chopped, melted and cooled slightly
3 ounces semisweet chocolate–coarsely chopped, melted and cooled slightly
In a large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, salt and baking soda. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter with the confectioners” sugar and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, followed by the honey and cream. Gradually beat in the flour mixture until a dry dough forms. Pat the dough into 2 disks, wrap them in plastic and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out 1 disk of dough 1/4 inch thick. Using a 3-inch round biscuit cutter, cut out 20 rounds. Place the rounds on 2 large cookie sheets and bake for 8 minutes. Turn the cookies over and bake for about 5 minutes longer, or until lightly browned. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool. Repeat with the second disk of dough.
Filling and topping:
Pour 3/4 cup of the water into a small saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the surface. Let stand until the gelatin softens, then heat the water over moderate heat just until the gelatin dissolves completely. Keep warm.
In a medium saucepan, combine 2 1/2 cups of the sugar with the corn syrup and the remaining 1 cup of water and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat to moderate and simmer until the syrup reaches 240° on a candy thermometer, about 20 minutes. Carefully stir in the warm gelatin mixture.
In a standing mixer fitted with the whisk, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar and salt until soft peaks form. With the machine on, gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Beating constantly, slowly pour the hot sugar syrup down the side of the bowl and beat the meringue until it is thick and almost cool, about 8 minutes.
Lightly oil a 12-by-18-inch rimmed baking sheet or jelly-roll pan. When the meringue is almost cool, beat in the melted unsweetened chocolate and vanilla. Pour the marshmallow filling into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with a large offset spatula. Let the marshmallow firm up at room temperature, at least 4 hours or overnight.
Dip a 3-inch round biscuit cutter in cornstarch and cut out 20 marshmallow rounds as close together as possible.
Arrange half of the cookies, face down, on a work surface. Spoon a scant teaspoon of the milk chocolate in the center of each cookie and set a marshmallow round on top. Spoon another scant teaspoon of the milk chocolate in the center of each marshmallow and cover with the remaining cookies, face up. Refrigerate the cookies until the chocolate hardens, about 5 minutes.
Line 2 large baking sheets with wax paper. Dip the top of each sandwich into the milk chocolate, letting any excess drip back into the bowl. Set the sandwiches on the baking sheet, chocolate side down. Spread the remaining milk chocolate over the sandwiches, coating them completely. Using a small spoon, drizzle the white and semisweet chocolates over the sandwiches and refrigerate until set.
The sandwiches can be stored in an airtight container for 3 days.Read More
Appropriate for Halloween treats, these cookies are a variation on the New York City classic, Black and White Cookies.
Makes about 3 dozen
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons milk
2 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Orange food coloring, or red and yellow combined
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350°; position 2 racks in the upper and middle thirds of the oven. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Sift the cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt onto a large sheet of wax paper. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs and yolks one at a time, beating well between additions. Beat in the vanilla and milk. At low speed, beat in the dry ingredients until just combined.
Spoon rounded tablespoons of the batter onto the baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes, until the centers spring back when lightly pressed. Be careful not to let the cookies brown or overbake, or they will be dry. Transfer the cookies, flat-side up, to a wire rack and let cool completely.
In a medium bowl, whisk the confectioners’ sugar with the boiling water until smooth. Add the vanilla extract and a few drops of food coloring and whisk until the icing is evenly colored. Using a small offset spatula, spread the orange-colored icing over half of the flat side of each cookie.
In a microwave oven or in the top pan of a double boiler, melt the chocolate. Stir the chocolate into the remaining orange icing. Spread the chocolate icing on the other half of each cookie and let stand until set, about 15 minutes. (If the icing becomes too thick, add hot water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until smooth and shiny. Frost the other half of the cookie. Let stand until icing is completely dry.
Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
I love the crisp fall days and the change in the air. Of course, Halloween is the ultimate holiday of this transition from summer to winter. Here is an easy-to-make gluten-free meringue recipe for ghostly celebration cookies.
Meringue Phantom Cookies
Makes about 24 cookies
3 large egg whites, room temperature
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup superfine sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 cup miniature chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 200oF. Line cookie sheet with parchment.
In the small bowl of an electric mixer set on high speed, beat egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar. Beat until soft peaks form. Add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, and beat until stiff peaks form. Add lemon zest, vanilla and almond extracts. Beat until stiff and glossy, about 1 more minute. Sift the cornstarch and over the meringue and fold-in with a rubber spatula.
Drop batter by double teaspoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheet, lifting the spoon to form little peaks, or pipe with pastry bag. Spacing about 2 inches apart. Place 2 chocolate chips in each cookie for eyes. Bake for 45 minutes. Turn oven off and let them stand in the oven until completely cool, at least 3 hours or overnight. Gently lift each meringue off of the parchment.
Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
Note: Add 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger and substitute dried currants for the chocolate chips for a spicy variation.Read More
Gluten-Free Cookies contains 50 beautifully photographed, easy to make recipes. There is an extensive listing of gluten-free baking ingredients, an overview of baking techniques, and a special section on creating a gluten-free environment for one-time or on-going baking. Luane provides a guide to sourcing gluten-free ingredients as well as a listing of celiac disease support groups. Take a look inside Gluten-Free CookiesRead More