Moon Pie! {someone hand me an RC cola!}

MoonPie

Along with gumbo making, Moon Pies are pretty much on the Southern cook’s list. When I was a kid my father’s favorite cookie was called Mallomar. It’s similar in that there is a cookie base, a puff of marshmallow all covered in dark chocolate. Some like to equate it to a S’more- but I say without the burnt sugar and ash on the marshmallow, it doesn’t compare a bit.

Because of their delicateness and tendency to melt, Mallomars were only distributed in the cooler months. This was largely due to the fact that in 1913 New Jersey, when the cookie was created, delivery trucks were not kept cool. Nowadays that’s not a problem, but the marketing geniuses have kept to the schedule to create a demand.

 undimmed moon pie~ A stack of dishes

The Moon Pie has been around for about as long  as the Mallomar and originated out of Chattanooga. It was created as a one hand dessert to be enjoyed by the “working man”.  In fact, my wife’s grandfather was a farmer here in Northern Louisiana. Back in his day he would go down to the general store each day to buy his men their lunch. When asked what they would like, invariably the answer would be “A Potato Po’Boy, a Moon Pie and an RC cola”. It was NRBQ’s song “An RC Cola and a Moon Pie” that make the combination popular with the rest of the world, but in the South they had long been at it.

Another claim to fame for the moon pie is it’s place during Mardis Gras. Along with the mountains of beads that are tossed from floats, you can also catch a flying Moon Pie if you’re lucky. Catching beads during a parade is tremendous fun, but I wish you could have seen my face when a cello wrapped Moon Pie landed at my feet. What a wonderful world it is where they toss delicious baked goods at you!!

justdipped

Moon Pies are a little fiddly to make, but such the crowd pleaser. As you can see I did a little “cheat” with my dipping. This chevron dipping allowed me to keep my fingers clean while making a pretty presentation. I also cheated by using marshmallow cream in the middle. I will admit that I regret that decision. Though it was super delish- the cream was too soft and made the cookies a little weepy. If you’re going to eat them right away you can get away with this trick, otherwise I recommend taking the time to make some marshmallow.

Moon Pies
The cookies are made in steps, which you can mete out over time. Bake the cookies one day, fill and dip the next.
Print
241 calories
33 g
22 g
12 g
2 g
6 g
58 g
66 g
20 g
0 g
5 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
58g
Yields
30
Amount Per Serving
Calories 241
Calories from Fat 106
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12g
19%
Saturated Fat 6g
32%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 22mg
7%
Sodium 66mg
3%
Total Carbohydrates 33g
11%
Dietary Fiber 1g
4%
Sugars 20g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
4%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
1%
Iron
3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  2. 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  3. 1 large egg
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  5. 2 1/4 cup flour
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt
Marshmallow
  1. 2 egg whites
  2. pinch of cream of tarter
  3. pinch of salt
  4. 2/3 cup caro syrup
  5. 2 teaspoon vanilla
  6. 1 cup powdered sugar
  7. {marshmallow cream}* see notes
Chocolate coating
  1. 12 oz semi sweet chocolate
  2. 1/4 cup vegetable oil
Instructions
  1. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and incorporate. Add the flour and salt until it binds. Shape into a disc, wrap in plastic and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Roll out the dough into 1/4" thickness and cut 60- 2" rounds with a biscuit cutter and space evenly on the baking sheets.
  4. Bake for 13-16 minutes, rotating halfway through, until golden brown around the edges.
  5. When the cookies are cool prepare the marshmallow.
  6. Warm the caro syrup in a small clean pan until it reaches 230 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat.
  7. Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in a spotlessly clean mixing bowl with the whip attachment. Beat until foamy and add the salt. Continue beating until you get soft peaks.
  8. Carefully drizzle the syrup over the whites as you beat them and add the vanilla. Beat for 1 minute, then carefully add the powdered sugar. Beat for 4 minutes until slightly cooled.
  9. Using a pastry bag with a large round tip- or alternatively using a large plastic bag with the corner snipped (snip smaller than you think, you can always enlarge), fill the bag with marshmallow and immediately pipe onto half of the cookies.
  10. {any remaining cream can be piped out onto parchment and saved as eating marshmallows- dust with powdered sugar}
  11. Top with the second cookie.
For the chocolate
  1. In a medium heat proof bowl, carefully melt the chocolate and oil over low heat. When smooth you may dip your cookies. To fully dip, use two forks to lower the cookie in and out of the chocolate. Set onto clean parchment paper to allow the chocolate to set.
Notes
  1. I used marshmallow cream to save time. I made and served the cookies right away so I was able to get away with this. However, if you need the cookies to sit for any length of time I recommend taking the time to make marshmallow.
beta
calories
241
fat
12g
protein
2g
carbs
33g
more
A Stack of Dishes http://www.astackofdishes.com/

Getting My Irish Up! Traditional Irish Soda Bread

irish soda bread20140314_0210

Oh the magic that is St Patrick’s Day! For me as a young adult it meant standing out in a miserably rainy and cold afternoon watching a parade of kilt wearers while bathed in the warmth and glow of Irish Whiskey. There is nothing like frozen toes while your cheeks blaze with an alcoholic glow. This experience, for an Irishman, is a quintessential metaphor for how life is lived. So much fun, while pretty much hitting yourself over the head with a hammer. Celebration and Struggle. Gotta love it.

The Watson Clan harkens back to Galway. I had always believed as a child that I had some Welsh and English blood in me, but it turns out that we are all a bunch of Irishmen.

sodaduo

In honor of my heritage I decided to bake up a batch of Irish Soda Bread- which like too many things- turns out to be more of an American invention rather than something my rosy cheeked Great Grandmother would have made.

The fact that most Irishman were of limited resources (that being pretty much what they raised or grew themselves), meant that fancy things such as raisins, or caraway seeds were not readily available in the pantry. But I say Pishaw! to all that- If you’re going to bend rules it can be for dried fruits- Green beer on the other hand is harder to swallow (pun most definitely intended).

preoven

As I was removing the loaf from the oven, my 18 year old Texas raised nephew, Justin, walked into the kitchen. Always curious and eager to learn, he asked me what it was that I had made. Never having heard of Irish Soda Bread,  it turned out to be a challenge to describe. Here’s what I came up with: [Read more…]

Rosemary and Corn Kernel Quick Bread

Rosemary Cornbread~ A stack of DishesI’ve been thinking about making some kind of Corn Quick bread for a couple of weeks now. I wanted something to eat for breakfast as I run out the door, but not anything sweet. I was thinking about something earthy and toothsome, and light on the tummy would be good too.

I am a so-so fan of cornbread really. Mostly I find it dry. Not a bad thing when pairing it with a soup or stew, but as a breakfast treat, eh… This recipe is quite the opposite. It’s moist and light, and the corn adds a some natural sweetness and chew. The rosemary is a bit of a surprise. To be honest, I started out thinking about cheese and jalapeños, or peppers and feta, something along those lines. The rosemary was  a last-minute inspiration, largely due to the fact that a bunch of it was sitting in my fruit bowl for no good reason. The combination is fantastic! A happy chance.

I also did something different with this batch. Like a good Southern wife, I pre-heated the pan in the hot oven before filling it. I think this really made a difference too as the cornbread gets good heat from all sides. No extra work either. I just placed the pan in the oven as it was heating and pulled it out when I needed it. I’m sold.

cornbread Slices~ A stack of Dishes

Rosemary and Corn Kernel Quickbread
A moist and tender bread that gets some natural sweetness and chew from corn kernels.
Print
205 calories
31 g
50 g
6 g
7 g
1 g
128 g
301 g
5 g
0 g
5 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
128g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 205
Calories from Fat 57
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g
10%
Saturated Fat 1g
7%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 50mg
17%
Sodium 301mg
13%
Total Carbohydrates 31g
10%
Dietary Fiber 2g
7%
Sugars 5g
Protein 7g
Vitamin A
4%
Vitamin C
5%
Calcium
19%
Iron
5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup cornmeal
  2. 3/4 cup AP flour
  3. 4 teaspoons baking powder
  4. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 2 large eggs, beaten
  7. 1 1/2 cup lowfat cultured buttermilk
  8. 2 tablespoons canola oil
  9. 2 cups corn
  10. 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425˚ and place an 8x8" pan (or 6x9" like the one I used) in the oven to preheat too.
  2. In a large mixing bowl add: cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir to combine.
  3. Add the eggs, buttermilk, oil, corn and rosemary and stir until just mixed. Do not over mix.
  4. Carefully remove the pan from the oven and coat with cooking spray. Pour in the batter and place into the oven until a toothpick comes out of the center cleanly. About 30 minutes.
Notes
  1. Try not to eat it all at once- and as good as this is as a breakfast treat- it would go equally as well with a bowl of chicken soup too.
beta
calories
205
fat
6g
protein
7g
carbs
31g
more
A Stack of Dishes http://www.astackofdishes.com/