Ok, confession time: I haven’t had a MoonPie in years. In fact, I’ve probably only had a total of two MoonPies in my whole life, but those two MoonPies certainly had a lasting impact. I mean, I love the idea of MoonPies because they are a solid combination of three foods that go really well together: chocolate, graham cracker, and marshmallow. I’m typically not a fan of marshmallows but I love them in s’mores and MoonPies. Also, one of the main reasons why MoonPies have been top of mind lately is because the MoonPies Twitter account is one of the best things on the Internet.
For the uninitiated, MoonPies are yummy cookie sandwiches that have this uncanny ability to open up the gates of heaven with every bite. They are baked graham cracker cookies with marshmallow sandwiched in between, and coated in chocolate. You can commonly find them in gas stations, vending machines, and now in my kitchen. I’ve been waiting for a reason to make homemade MoonPies for a while, so I’m glad I found this very solid recipe from Garden and Gun!
At first I wanted to make these homemade MoonPies vegan, but I ran into some trouble with making good vegan marshmallow fluff. I saw some recipes that called for using agar powder instead of gelatin, but I had a tough time sourcing agar powder from my local grocery stores (even Whole Foods failed me). So I stuck with using normal gelatin, but I’ll continue to test out a vegan marshmallow recipe that works.
Homemade MoonPies are one of those things that you may think are not worth the trouble, since you can pretty much buy this same thing for about 99 cents (and it tastes pretty much the same, to be honest). But, the benefits of baking things like this at home are two-fold: 1) you know all of the ingredients that go into it, which makes it better for your body, 2) it’s just fun! Being able to say I can make MoonPies from scratch is something I’m admittedly proud of, and you can totally ride that wave, too.
So here we go, here’s how to make MoonPies at home! To get into the Valentine’s Day spirit, I made the MoonPies heart-shaped ❤️but you can of course make them circular, or any shape that fits your fancy!
Graham Cracker Cookies:
- 6 oz. unsalted butter
- 1/4 c light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1/4 c light corn syrup
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 c graham cracker crumbs, ground fine
- 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp. almond milk
- 4 tsp. powdered gelatin
- 1/2 c water, ice cold
- 1/4 c water, room temperature
- 4 tbsp. light corn syrup
- 3 tbsp. honey
- 3/4 c granulated sugar
- 3 large egg whites
- 1 lb. dark chocolate (61%–70% cacao)
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil
- Cream butter, brown sugar, syrup, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, for 1 minute.
- In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients and mix with a fork. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture and mix on low speed; slowly stream in milk. Continue mixing until the dough comes together. Press dough flat, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Turn out chilled dough onto a flour-dusted surface, then roll it until it is ¼ inch thick. Stamp out cookies using a cookie cutter. Place cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake 10 to 12 minutes. Remove sheet from oven, and while the cookies are cooling, start your marshmallow.
- Sprinkle gelatin over ½ cup ice-cold water, and set aside.
- 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, place egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, and whip on high.
- 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.
- 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. While making the chocolate coating, allow cookies to chill in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.
- 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. 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 for a few minutes until shell hardens.
Source: Garden and Gun