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
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A Stack of Dishes http://www.astackofdishes.com/

Incredibly Easy and Twice as Delicious: Almondine Cookies- Day 3 of Sweets with Irene’s Beans

You are either going to love me or hate me for this recipe. These Almondines are so crazy easy to make, and the crunchy and yet chewy texture of the cookies are frighteningly addicting.

This past Mother’s Day I was delighted to celebrate in my new apartment. It was the first time that I had my Mother over to see the new place and I looked forward to entertaining her. It was a beautiful day spent with my three children and my Mom. The weather was warm and sunny in NYC, warm enough for us to take a walk along the river in Riverside park after we shared a cold lunch that I had prepared: Cold poached lobster served on green sauce, Shrimp ceviche with melons and mint (similar to my previous post), Israeli cous cous salad with heirloom tomatoes and cumin and a romaine salad with bleu cheese dressing and bacon bits. I’m sorry that I didn’t take a photo, but sometimes guests need full attention and Mother’s Day was a day that I got to indulge myself in them.

My “children” are all adults now, so gathering them all together in the same space and time gets harder and harder. The beautiful thing is when they do end up in the same room, it’s back to the old antics from their younger years. Seriously, I believe my children can take their “act” on the road. When they were younger I referred to them as The Flying Walendas. They are a three ring comedy act, and they move in sync without missing a beat. As a mother who was always in the kitchen, listening to my children play in the background (I had strategically placed doors and mirrors so I could keep an eye on them at all times), the raucous laughter brought back memories of those earlier days. They joke and tease, and break into song and little dances to punctuate a story, that to me is poetry in motion.

I’ve often thought of raising children as the same as enjoying an ice cream cone on a scorching hot day. There is so much effort spent on managing the drips, and then it’s gone before you can fully enjoy it as much as you should.

The years certainly have zipped by, and with three kids and a demanding business, I managed too many drips. So naturally, I feel blessed when I can recapture some of those moments.

My eldest, Olivia, brought us some apple hand pies (that being the hands of Paul Bunyon, they were huge and gorgeous!). Before we headed out into the sunshine, I made a quick batch of these cookies. They cooled while we strolled in the dappled sunlight and walked off a bit of the lunch. When we returned, I warmed the apple pies and served chunks of the pies with some ice cream with the Almondines on the side, while the coffee brewed.

With this sweet I paired Irene’s coffee from Papua New Guinea. The coffee has a caramel-y, nutty note, not too heavy to suggest an added flavoring, with a tinge of earth and smoke. A great coffee for any time of day and lovely with these cookies or not.

This is a great recipe to keep in pocket. Only 3 ingredients and 2 minutes to throw together. The only hard part is to keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. The sugar and the egg whites make for a slightly chewing cookie, and the almonds give it some crunch and depth of flavor. I pulled it directly out of Ottolenghi: The CookBook, so I am sorry, I cannot, and will not, print the recipe- but I can attest, that the cookbook is well worth owning, if you don’t already.

These cookies are a bit of a metaphor for this next stage in my life. Keep it simple, keep it sweet, make it delicious, and share with the ones you love.