Friday, 30 May 2014

In the Kitchen: Moon Pies!

My husband's very favorite gas station treat is Moon Pies. He never misses a chance on road trips to grab at least one of these treats. I was looking for something new to surprise him with for Valentines this past year when I stumbled on a fabulous recipe for Moon Pies in a southern magazine called Garden and Gun. While this was a great idea for Valentines Day it is also a fantastic idea for Birthdays! Today is my birthday and I would love a Moon Pie! The recipe comes from chef David Guas who owns and operates a Louisiana inspired restaurant in Arlington Virginia called Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar and Eatery. I will warn you this recipe was a little intense and challenging. However, I am not the greatest baker and I was able to pull it off. They turned out absolutely delicious!

A couple things you will need before starting this recipe:

An electric stand mixer with a paddle attachment 
A candy thermometer
A double boiler or a bowl that fits a small saucepan 

Making the Dough: What you need

oz. unsalted butter
¼  cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
¼  cup Steen’s cane syrup ( I wasn't able to find this syrup so I just used Karo brand syrup)
¼  tsp. vanilla extract
1½  cups all-purpose flour
1¼  cups graham cracker crumbs, ground fine
¾  tsp. kosher salt
½  tsp. baking powder
½  tsp. baking soda
¼  tsp. ground cinnamon
tbsp. whole milk

The nice thing about this recipe is that the ingredients are quite simple and the result is amazing!

 Making the Dough 

  1. Cream butter, brown sugar, syrup, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, for 1 minute. 
  2. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients and mix with a fork or whisk. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture and mix on low speed; slowly pour in milk. Continue mixing until the dough comes together. 
  3. Press dough flat, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. 
  4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place chilled dough on a flour-dusted surface, then roll it until it is ¼ inch thick. 
  5. Cut out cookies using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, or for fun I used a heart shaped cookie cutter since it was for Valentines Day. Place cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake 10 to 12 minutes. I actually needed to cook them for an extra 3 or 4 minutes to make sure they would hold up. 
  6. Remove sheet from oven, and while the cookies are cooling, start your marshmallow.

Making the Marshmallow: What you need

4  tsp. powdered gelatin
½  cup of ice cold water, plus ¼ cup at room temperature
4  tbsp. light corn syrup
3  tbsp. honey (clover or wildflower)
¾  cup granulated sugar
3  large grade-A egg whites

Making the Marshmallow
  1. Sprinkle gelatin over ½ cup ice-cold water, and set aside.
  2. Combine ¼ cup room-temperature water, corn syrup, honey, and sugar in a small pot, insert candy thermometer, and simmer until mixture reaches 240 degrees. When the thermometer reaches 200 degrees—but not before—place egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, and whip on high.
  3. Once the sugar mixture hits 240, remove it from heat, and stir in the bloomed gelatin. Then, while egg whites are whipping, slowly drizzle the hot sugar mixture down the inside of the bowl to avoid spattering the hot syrup. Continue whipping for an additional 8 minutes, until the mixture stiffens. The pan will still feel warm to the touch but no longer hot.
  4. Flip over half of the cooled cookies. Lightly coat a spoon with nonstick cooking spray, and spoon approximately a quarter cup of marshmallow onto each flipped cookie. Use the remaining cookies as tops; gently push down until you can see the marshmallow come just to the edge. Move quickly during this process so the marshmallow stays flexible. While making the chocolate coating(see below), allow cookies to chill in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.

Making the Chocolate Coating: What you will need

lb. bittersweet chocolate (61%–70% cacao)
tbsp. vegetable oil or canola oil

Making the Chocolate Coating 

  1. Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a small saucepan of simmering water. Stir until chocolate has melted, then remove bowl from heat and let it cool slightly.
  2.  Once the chocolate is no longer hot, but warm, slowly whisk in oil in a steady stream. Allow chocolate to cool at room temperature for about 5 minutes before proceeding with assembly.


Submerge chilled cookies in the chocolate, using 2 forks to gently lift the sandwiches out of the bowl. Let stand until shell hardens.


From the Harvest Table,

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