Friday, December 19, 2014

Moonpie cookies

Moonpie cookies: A homemade cookie version of the classic Moonpie, with crunchy graham flavor, sweet marshmallow frosting and a drizzle of chocolate.

Homemade moonpie cookies

Moonpies. Oh boy oh boy, peeps: Moonpies, together with Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies (like a second cousin once removed), are one of the things I really, really miss about having given up highly processed snacks.

I know, some of you might think the fake-ish waxy chocolate coating is nasty, but I looooooved those little snack cakes. They're like little packaged s'mores you can eat whenever you want.

They're on my list, along with Cool Ranch Doritos, of Processed Foods I Will Eat with Abandon If I'm Told the World Is Ending in 24 Hours.

In case you have lived under a rock (or at least never in the Southeast) for your entire life and don't know what a Moonpie is (so sad!), I'll give you a little background. Moonpies are graham cookies with a marshmallow Fluff filling, dipped entirely in chocolate. According to the company web site, they were created in 1917 when a Kentucky coal miner asked the Chattanooga-based bakery's traveling snack salesman for a "snack as big as the moon" that was also portable (for the lunch pail) and filling. Hence, the Moonpie. 

Lately I've been seeing all sorts of copycat Oatmeal Creme Pie recipes around Pinterest, so I decided it was time to give the Moonpie its similar due. But rather than make decadent sandwich snacks dipped in chocolate, I deconstructed them into cookies.

Homemade moonpie cookies

Y'all: These are some cookies! I'm not even going to pretend that these meet my normally healthy-ish recipe criteria. Which is why I've made them at holiday time, when all attempts at healthy eating are basically out the window until Detox January anyway.

But don't worry: These Moonpie cookies are so worth the extra treadmill time. Especially if eating them gives you another chance you never thought you'd have to taste all that old Moonpie goodness without the waxy chocolate coating.

Worth. It. 

(And I'll tell you from experience -- recipe testing is hard work, people! -- that the plain, unfrosted, undrizzled cookies are mighty fine all on their own and freeze exceptionally well.)

Are you a Moonpie fan? Are you as excited about my deconstructed Moonpie cookies as I am? Or do you just think I'm nutty? Leave a comment: The Ninj wants to know.

Homemade moonpie cookies

Moonpie Cookies

(adapted from Garden and Gun, with a hat tip to for frosting inspiration)

12 tablespoons (6 oounces) unsalted butter
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup Lyle's Golden Syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs (about 1 sleeve of crackers)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons skim milk
4 egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate

Using a mixer, cream the butter, brown sugar, syrup and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla for a minute or two until combined. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cracker crumbs, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon, then add to the butter mixture. Mix on low speed, then drizzle in the milk, continuing to mix until the mixture comes together as dough. Press the dough (it'll be a bit sticky) into a flat round, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or two.

Once the dough is chilled, preheat the oven to 325 degrees and roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out circles using a 3-inch cutter (this yields a true Moonpie-sized cookies, once they spread in the oven -- use a smaller size cutter if you'd prefer smaller cookies) and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Continue re-rolling scraps and cutting out circles until all the dough is used up (my 3-inch cutter yielded about 16 cookies). Bake for about 12 minutes or until golden and beginning to set. Cool on the pan for a few minutes and then transfer on a wire rack.

When the cookies have completely cooled, make the marshmallow frosting by combining the egg whites, cream of tartar and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a heat-safe bowl. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering hot water and whisk the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved (egg whites should be warm, NOT hot). Add this mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat, using the whisk attachment, at high speed until stiff peaks form (like a meringue), about 6-8 minutes. Gently mix in the vanilla, then immediately frost the cooled cookies.

Lastly, for the chocolate drizzle, melt the chocolate in the microwave or using a double boiler, then drizzle over the iced cookies. Allow the cookies to rest until the chocolate hardens and the frosting is thickly set.
-- print recipe --


  1. YUM! I love moon pies! These sound great!

  2. OMG! I haven't thought about Moonpies in years. They were one of my childhood favs! Love your variation on a classic!