Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Coming from the Northeast, I had heard of whoopie pies (origin Pennsylvania, or perhaps New England, depending on which story you believe). Moon pies, though, were a new one on me. Southern Living's February 2012 issue brought me up to speed on one of the South's most beloved sweet treats. But they decided to put their own S'more's twist on moon pies, by making a graham cracker cookie sandwiched with marshmallow filling, then dipped in melted chocolate and chopped nuts. The photo (above) looked so inviting -- so "swoon" worthy -- that I decided to make them.
Southern Living insisted the swoon pies, like the original moon pies, paired well with an RC cola, but I passed on that idea. While I was swooning over the swoon pies, a friend came over. Originally from the deep South, he said he was transported back to his childhood, when he and his friends ate moon pies and swigged down RC colas. I'm not recommending anyone repeat that tradition, as there's plenty of sugar in these delightful cookies without the added cola.
These cookies are amazing and well worth the trouble of making them. I wrapped up the leftovers individually in plastic wrap and froze them. Thank you, Southern Living, for another great recipe.
Adapted from Southern Living Magazine, February 2012
Rating: 10 out of 10
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1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. Diamond kosher salt, or table salt
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar (I used 1 Tbsp. NuNaturals Stevia + 2 Tbsp. sugar)
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract (I used my homemade extract.)
1 (8-oz.) container sour cream (I used plain non-fat Greek yogurt)
Marshmallow filling (recipe follows)
6 oz. (about 1/2 pkg.) semisweet chocolate morsels
2 tsp. shortening (I used butter)
Toppings: chopped roasted salted pecans, chopped crystallized ginger, sea salt
Heat oven to 350F. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl; stir in graham cracker crumbs.
Beat butter and sugars at medium speed with paddle attachment of a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, beating until blended.
Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with sour cream (or yogurt), beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition, stopping to scrape bowl as needed.
Drop batter by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake at 350F 13-15 minutes or until set and bottoms are golden brown. Transfer cookies to wire rack and cool completely, about 30 minutes.
Make Marshmallow Filling: Beat 1/2 cup (1 stick) softened unsalted butter with electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add 1 cup sifted powdered sugar, beating well. Add 1 cup marshmallow creme and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract. Beat until well blended.
Turn 12 cookies over, bottom sides up. Spread each with 1 heaping tablespoonful Marshmallow Filling. Top with remaining 12 cookies, bottom sides down, and press gently to spread filling to edges. Freeze on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet 30 minutes, or until filling is set.
Pour water to depth of 1 inch in a medium saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer; place chocolate and shortening (or butter) in a medium-size heatproof bowl over simmering water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5-6 minutes or until melted. Remove from heat and let cool 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, remove cookies from freezer, and let stand 10 minutes.
Dip half of each cookie sandwich into melted chocolate mixture. Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with desired toppings and freeze 10 minutes or until chocolate is set. Cookie sandwiches may be covered with plastic wrap and stored in fridge up to 24 hours. Or wrap each sandwich individually in plastic wrap and place in freeze container for longer storage.