Homemade Moon Pies with Marshmallow Filling
I’ve never had a moon pie before today. Living in California and Philadelphia, moon pies weren’t popular at all. But as I came to the south, I hear talks of moon pies and whoopie pies. I guess most people are used to Little Debbie’s Moon Pies, but I wanted to try to make them on my own. I was nervous, and I certainly failed at some parts, but the end result was delicious!
Things I Can Improve On:
(1) Using gelatin in cooking (I explain my failure in more detail below)
(2) Better presentation of the final product. My friends thought they looked delicious, but I think they could look cleaner. I think this was also because I don’t own a wire rack, which would have helped immensely.
(3) Better photography. I’ve been reading about food photography, but there is always room for improvement.
As I’ve said before, I’m certainly not an expert baker. My presentation and photo skills need work, and I mess up recipes. I’m the first to admit that I make mistakes while baking. When making the moon pies, I originally tried to make a marshmallow filling with gelatin, water, sugar and corn syrup, but I failed miserably. On further reflection, I should have taken a picture of the mess I made in my kitchen. I found the recipe and thought it would be a great thing to try, but when my sugar-corn syrup mix was put in the same bowl as my gelatin-water mix, it became an amazingly strong super glue like substance. I had to use a knife on my counters to get this magical substance off. I very quickly realized that I was going to have to find a new recipe.
Luckily, I did (and it did not include gelatin) and the marshmallow filling came out delicious! I used a regular shortbread/sugar cookie recipe and a simple chocolate coating to complete the moon pies. I thought about using a ganache to cover the cookie, but thought it might be too rich and take away from the cookie and filling. Check out the recipe below!!
Total Time: About 2 hours Baking Time: 10-12 minutes
Makes: 14 cookies
1 cup/2 sticks of Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
¾ cup Light Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2¼ cups All-Purpose Flour
½ teaspoon Salt
1 egg whites (I just use the Egg Whites that comes in the little containers)
Pinch of Cream of Tartar (if you’ve never used this you can find it with the spices)
1/3 cup Light Corn Syrup
1 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
½ cup Powdered Sugar
15 ounces Semi-Sweet Chocolate
¼ cup Vegetable Oil
(1) Beat the butter in a medium-sized bowl until creamy. Add the light brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg and the vanilla extract, and beat to combine. At a low speed, slowly add the salt and flour and mix well. Divide the dough into two disks and wrap in parchment paper. Then refrigerate the dough for at least 45 minutes. I find that refrigerating the dough, not only adds more flavor to the cookies, but it also makes it easier to form and roll the dough as well as when using cookie cutters.
(2) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Doing one disk at a time, roll out the dough until it is flat and thin on the parchment paper. If making this recipe again, I would try to make the dough as thin as I could. I think the thickness affected the marshmallow filling. I then used a circle cookie cutter (I got it from my favorite online baking store Bake It Pretty),to cut the cookies and put them on the baking sheets. Refrigerate the cookies on the sheets for another 15 minutes.
(3) Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned.
(4) Using a mixer beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until peaks form, gradually increasing the speed from low to high. I allowed peaks to form, but I would go another few minutes until the filling was a bit thicker. I think mine was a bit too thin. In a small pan, boil the corn syrup until it begins to boil. Slowly drizzle the hot corn syrup into the egg whites while beating on a medium or a high-speed. Reduce the speed and beat in the vanilla extract and the powdered sugar.
(5) Spoon the marshmallow filling into the center of a cookie. Top with another cookie and press lightly to spread the marshmallow to the edges. This is really a trial and error type of thing. I quickly discovered what was too much. This is also why the cookies should be thin. I think my cookies were too heavy and the filling too thin that it smushed out too easily.
(6) Using a double boiler or, how I do it, with a small saucepan in a large pan filled with water, melt the chocolate and vegetable oil together until completely smooth. Spoon the melted chocolate over each cookie so that it runs down the sides and covers most of the cookie. This is where a cookie rack would have come in very handy. I don’t have one so I had to spoon the chocolate over the cookies while they were sitting on the baking sheet. So the chocolate all started to meld together and I had to break off the excess before serving. If I had a wire rack, it could have dripped to parchment paper that was below. Refrigerate cookies for at least an hour and half, and let sit for about 15 minutes before serving.
(Marshmallow Filling Recipe from Food & Wine)