Get ready to celebrate Pie Day on 3.14 with Sweet Tea Moon Pies! Inspired by our Southern roots, this recipe is steeped in childhood nostalgia. For those of you who’ve never had the pleasure, Moon Pies are a graham cracker cookie sandwich, filled with marshmallow, and dipped in chocolate. What more could one ask for? This treat is heaven for any sweet tooth and has been a down home signature treat since 1917. The thin layer of chocolate on the outside gives a satisfying bite and quickly melts in your mouth, making this palm sized treat even more delightful. Of course we wanted to try our hand at Moon Pies from scratch because they are such a tempting flavor canvas. For this batch, we added lemon zest to the cookie and flavored the marshmallow fluff with Irish Breakfast Tea, giving the Moon Pies the bold malty flavor of a Southern sweet tea with a twist.
The first step is making the cookies. Whole wheat flour creates the perfect texture for the cookie, and the dough is so forgiving! You can cut them out large or small. The large size is true to the boxed variety and lives up to the “treat as big as the moon” tagline. The outer ring of a wide mouthed canning jar works well if you don’t have a cookie cutter that is big enough. Be sure to cool the cookies completely before piping in the marshmallow fluff.
Making the fluff is sticky business! Watch the consistency as it is coming together in the mixer, the longer you mix it the stiffer the fluff will become. Generously pipe the marshmallow fluff, but leave a small lip exposed on the rim. Once the top cookie gets added, the marshmallow will evenly distribute.
You can make the Moon Pies fat and rustic or thin and chic. Either way, put a quick chill on the assembled sandwiches before dunking in the chocolate ensures that they hold together well. The svelte size are easier to dip, whereas the larger ones present a bit more of a challenge. Our recipe makes plenty of dipping chocolate so you’ll be covered for either size. We found that rolling the sides of the large pies, like a wheel, helped get the melted chocolate where it needs to go. Then tip them down on each side before removing from the chocolate.
For The Cookies
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
- 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 vanilla bean scraped
- Zest from 1 lemon
- 1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
For The Filling
- 1/2 tablespoon gelatin powder
- 1-1/2 tablespoon cold water
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1 egg white, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon Irish Breakfast Tea, ground
For The Chocolate Glaze
- 12 ounces dark chocolate chips
- 1-1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
For The Cookies
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugars, and salt together on medium speed until well combined. Add the egg, egg yolk, vanilla and lemon zest and mix until combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the flour and cornstarch together. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in the mixer and combine until a dough ball is formed. Shape the dough into a flat disk, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 325°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Once the dough is chilled, roll it out on a large piece of parchment paper to 1/8" thickness. For palm sized Moon Pies, use a large cookie cutter or the outer ring from a wide mouthed canning jar to cut round shapes out of the dough. Place the rounds 1" apart on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, until the edges of the cookies are lightly browned.
- Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
For The Filling
- In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the 1-1/2 tablespoons of water and set aside to bloom.
- Combine the sugar, corn syrup and 2 tablespoons of water in a small saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil and cook until the mixture reaches 235°F.
- Once the syrup reaches 235°F, add in the softened gelatin and mix until fully dissolved. Meanwhile, in a stand mixer using the whisk attachment, beat the egg white on medium speed until soft peaks form. With the mixer running on low, slowly pour the syrup mixture into the beaten egg white. Turn the mixer to high speed and continue to beat until stiff. This will take 5-6 minutes. Watch the strands of fluff around the whisk. As the fluff becomes stiffer, these strands thicken up. In the last 30 seconds of beating the marshmallow fluff, slowly sprinkle in the ground Irish Breakfast.
- The marshmallow fluff may turn out thicker or thinner depending on the humidity in your area. If it is nice and stiff, use an oiled rubber spatula to scoop out a generous portion onto each one of half the cookies.
- If it is thinner, transfer the marshmallow fluff into a pastry bag with a round tip. Pipe a large round of marshmallow on the bottom side of half the cookies. Top the fluffed round with a second cookie to form a sandwich. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. This is important so the cookies stay together as they get dipped in the warm chocolate.
For The Chocolate Glaze
- Add about an inch of water to a sauce pan and place a heat resistant bowl on top. Select a bowl that is wide enough to dip your Moon Pies in, with sides that are not too high. This will make the chocolate dipping easier. Add the chocolate and oil to the bowl. Heat water on low, stirring the chocolate constantly until the chocolate is completely melted, which should take about 5 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat once the chocolate is melted to prevent burning. Working with one cookie sandwich at a time, use small tongs dip the cookie into the bowl of melted chocolate. Flip it over to fully coat the cookie in chocolate. Tap off any excess chocolate back into the bowl. Place the cookies on a wire rack set over a large baking sheet. Refrigerate until chocolate is set.
- Keep cookies stored in the refrigerator until ready to serve. They keep well for up to a week.
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Now that we’ve got the hang of it, we’ll be making more Moon Pies and sky’s the limit on flavors. The tea takes a bit of the edge off the sweetness in the fluff and you could switch it up with Northwest Tea Time for smoky flavor or Earl Grey and Lavender for a spot of the British flavor.