Chocolate MoonPie Fail
I’ve always liked eating sandwich cookies and this year I decided to actually make sandwich cookies. MoonPies have been overshadowed by the ever popular Whoopie Pie. Whoopie pies come in flavors such as pumpkin, chocolate, banana, and red velvet. MoonPies seem a little bit less frilly than whoopie pies, but I can’t shake the childhood memory of those plastic wrapped, frosted sandwich cookies. The sweet and waxy taste of the frosting and the delicious filling created a special soft cookie interior. The problem was, many of the cookies were squished or crumpled in the pouch. It was so sad! Why couldn’t the grocery stores and gas station convenience stores properly care for the cookies? Which reminds me of a second memory; shaking crumbs from the bottom of the wrapper and into my mouth. MoonPies are not frilly.
The Brown Eyed Baker is one of my favoring baking blogs and I have tried out several of her recipes and until today, the treats I’d made were tasty. Ah, we live and learn. What do I think went wrong? I probably didn’t beat the marshmallow filling long enough so it wasn’t think enough. You’ll note in the photos that the filling oozed out all over the wax paper and the tops of the cookies slid off. I may not have put a big enough pinch of cream of tartar either so that may have changed the consistency of the egg whites. Another thought? Refrigerate and firm up the marshmallow while the cookies are baking and the chocolate is melting.
Next time, I think I’ll coat the cookies in a traditional chocolate ganache instead of the chocolate sauce made with vegetable oil. The flavor of both chocolate sauces is really good. I think the texture of the chocolate sauce in this recipe is really close to the MoonPie itself, especially after it set.
In addition to the ingredients listed in the recipe, you’ll need a few kitchen supplies:
- Round cookie cutter about 2-3″ in diameter
- Pastry bag with a round, hollow tip, a coupler (If you don’t have a pastry bag, use a large spoon to scoop the marshmallow onto the cookie halves.)
- Rolling pin
- Wax or parchment paper and saran wrap
- Candy thermometer
- Mixer with a whisk attachment
- Rubber spatula
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Wire cooling rack
I found these round cookie cutters at Williams Sonoma and use them for making biscuits, cookies, pancakes. It’s a pretty cool set to have on hand and they’re durable. I’ve seen them in under places and they’ll run you less than $20.00.
This pastry bag came with a set of frosting tips. If you have a pint size drinking glass, place the narrow end into the glass and fold the top of the bag over the outer rim of the glass. The bag-over-the-glass tip makes scooping the marshmallow filling into the bag easy and neat.
You can use a spoon and scoop the marshmallow onto the cookie – the recipe only makes 14-18 sandwich cookies so you may want to avoid the mess and use a spoon. Course, I made a huge mess because my marshmallow was runnier than I would like.
Here is the Brown Eyed Baker‘s recipe for each element of the cookie:
Yield: About 18 double-decker moon pies
Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes | Bake Time: 30 minutes
For the Cookies:
8 ounces (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1. To Make the Cookies: With a mixer on medium speed, beat the butter until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the brown sugar and beat at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium, add the egg and the vanilla extract, and beat to combine. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour and the salt, and mix just until a soft dough forms. Divide the dough in two, shape into disks, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line at least two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside. Working with one disk at a time, roll out the dough to about 1/8-inch thickness. Using a 2½-inch diameter round cutter, cut out the rounds and place them on the prepared baking sheets, about ½ an inch apart. Refrigerate the cookies (on the baking sheets) for 10 minutes.
3. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool on the pans for a couple of minutes, and then move to a cooling rack to cool completely.
This is a picture of one of the saran wrapped refrigerated dough discs. The dough is moist so I recommend chilling it a good hour or two to avoid sticking.
Do you want to save dishes and keep the dough from sticking to your rolling pin? Place the dough in between two sheets of saran wrap or waxed paper, roll the rolling pin directly on top of the saran wrap until it is about 1/8″ thick.
This dough is a little sticky and next time I’ll keep it in the fridge another hour before rolling it out. The cookies don’t have to be perfect circles, I prefer a homemade look myself. The chocolate covering will hide any major boo boos, too.
Here’s a picture of the cooled cookies, lying belly up waiting to be topped with marshmallow.
For the Marshmallow Filling:
2 egg whites
Pinch cream of tartar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
It’s true. I’m in love with my mixer. It’s been with me for nearly a decade and it’s still going strong.
4. To Make the Marshmallow Filling: Using a mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the the egg whites with the cream of tartar and the salt until firm peaks form, gradually increasing from medium-low speed to medium-high speed as the egg whites gain volume. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, boil the corn syrup over high heat without stirring until it registers 230 to 235 degrees F on a candy thermometer (thread ball stage). Slowly drizzle the hot corn syrup into the egg whites and beat at high speed until glossy, about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium-low, beat in the vanilla extract and the powdered sugar.
See how the consistency appears thick but not really, really thick? As I mentioned above, you may want to beat the egg whites to a stiffer consistency, adjust the amount of cream of tartar, or beat the marshmallow sauce longer. I’ll put the marshmallow in the fridge next time while the cookies are baking and cooling next time.
5. Using either a pastry bag or a spoon, mound about 1½ tablespoons of marshmallow filling into the center of a cookie. Top with another cookie and press lightly to spread the marshmallow to the edges. Add another mound on top of the second cookie, and top with another cookie, again pressing slightly to spread the filling to the edges. Repeat with the rest of the cookies.
For the Chocolate Coating:
12 ounces semisweet chocolate
¼ cup vegetable oil
6. To Make the Chocolate Coating: Using a double boiler or in the microwave on 50% power and in 30 second increments, melt the chocolate and vegetable oil together until completely smooth. Place the assembled cookies on a wire rack set over a sheet of wax paper. Spoon the melted chocolate over each cookie so that it runs down the sides and covers most of the cookie. Allow to set at room temperature for about 2 hours (or refrigerate to speed up the process). Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
(Recipe adapted from Food and Wine)
Brace yourself for a less than beautiful cookie construction set of photos! The cookies are beautiful and the marshmallow? Well, take a look.
Spoon the chocolate over the cookies. Note to self: use a wire rack next time.
Close up of a cookie slip-sliding away.
Next step, I picked up the cookies and dipped the bottom in chocolate to coat entirely.
I placed the finished cookies in an air tight container and into the fridge to set. Here’s a photos of the MoonPies…the morning after.
Not exactly the prettiest looking cookies but they TASTE really good! Good luck with the baking and be sure to let me know how your MoonPies turn out!