When I hear “Moon Pies,” I smile.
Do you have a favorite childhood summer memory? I have several. Nearly all of them involve piling in the car, hair hanging in messy damp wringlets, the smell of chlorine heavy in the air. Mom would make the 20-minute drive to Humble (the H is silent!) to the bakery to get bread. And Moon Pies.
My other favorite memories involve picking blackberries, canning preserves at Grandma’s, and entire days spent running between the XLR8 and the Tidal Wave at Astroworld. There were Moon Pies then, too.
If you’re not familiar with Moon Pies, you’re really missing out. They’re graham-cracker like cookies filled with plain marshmallow and dunked in chocolate.
This is my week to host Project Pastry Queen. In the very back of the book, there is a recipe for “Mars Pies.” Mars Pies are a fancier, more complicated version of Moon Pies. While there are times when I’m all about the fancier and more complicated, I don’t think Moon Pies need to be either.
The original recipe for Mars Pies had 4 components and were not a sandwich cookie like the traditional Moon Pie:
A layer of Chocolate-Caramel Ganache
A layer of Chocolate Marshmallow
I changed up the recipe so that they would be a sandwich cookie. I chose to skip the ganache since Moon Pies were never that fancy. And it sounded horribly messy in the form of a sandwich cookie. I also chose to forgo the chocolate marshmallow filling for a plain marshmallow filling – and then changed my mind and made dulce de leche marshmallows. My Moon Pies were never that fancy either but, man, that was the best decision I made all day 🙂 Especially the part where I dunked leftover marshmallow squares into melted chocolate and called that lunch.
The Moon Pies won’t actually take you too terribly long to make, just get organized. I made the cookie dough. While the dough was chilling, I cooked the marshmallow filling. I rolled the cookies while the marshmallows where whipping. I put the cookies in the freezer when they came out of the oven to quickly chill them, and then I piped on the marshmallow filling. After the filled cookies sat up in the fridge, I pulled out the chocolate for coating. For a 3 component dessert, they came together relatively quickly! (I said relatively.)
Homemade Moon Pies
The southern favorite Moon Pie gets a homemade makeover with dark chocolate and dulce de leche marshmallow filling.
- For the cookies
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cup whole wheat or graham flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- For the Dulce De Leche Marshmallow Filling
- 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
- 1/3 cup cold water
- 1 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup light corn syrup
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup dulce de leche (for plain marshmallows, substitute 1/3 cup water)
- For Chocolate Coating
- 8 oz dark chocolate, chopped
- 1 Tbsp shortening
- To make the cookies: Preheat the oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.
- Cream butter and the sugar on medium until fluffy.
- Add both flours, the salt, baking powder, and vanilla. Beat on medium until thoroughly combined.
- Turn out dough onto plastic wrap and press into a flat round. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes, just until firm enough to roll.
- On a floured surface, roll the dough to ~1/8- to 1/3-inch thick and use a 3-inch round cutter to cut 12 circles (knead the scraps together and re-roll to get all of the cookies).
- Place the cookie rounds on the baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown.
- Cookies must be at least room temp before filling so you can put them in the freezer to do this quickly.
- To make the marshmallow filling: Place 1/3 cup cold water in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle gelatin over top.
- In a medium sauce pan, heat sugar, corn syrup, salt, and dulce de leche (or water) over medium heat and stir constantly until the temperature reaches soft ball stage (234F).
- Add the heated sugar mixture in a slow, thin stream to the stand mixer while on low. Increase speed to high and whip for ~15 minutes, until thickened and cooled (the side of your mixer bowl should feel like room temp).
- Transfer mixture to a pastry bag or large zipper bag (using a buttered spoon or spatula is helpful), and snip off one corner.
- Pipe 2-3 Tbsp of marshmallow onto the center 6 of the cookies.
- Place in the fridge for 10 minutes to set.
- Top with the other cookies.
- To make the chocolate coating: Heat chocolate and shortening in the microwave until completely melted.
- Holding the bottom cookie with your fingertips, dip the cookies in the chocolate and shake to remove excess. Set on a rack above a baking sheet to catch any drips (I didn't coat the very bottom with chocolate).
- Refrigerate until set. Store the cookies in an airtight container, each separated by wax paper or like I did - in the fridge on a plate.
Yields: 6 servings
Estimated time: 1 hour 30 minutes
You can check out the other Project Pastry Queen members Moon Pies:
Smells Like Home
I Heart Yummy
I never heard of Moon pies before and thanks for sharing it with us. It sure does looks too delicious to miss. It was fun reading your childhood memories 🙂
That dulce de leche marshmallow filling sounds wonderful!
I loved moon pies as a kid too, though I don’t specifically associate them with summer. This homemade version (and your take on the recipe specifically) looks heavenly!! I am beyond excited to give these a shot soon 🙂
These are so freaking amazing and so worth the effort! I can only imagine how wonderful the ddl marshmallow must be if my plain marshmallow turned out so good. Great choice and gorgeous photo, Shawnda!
You might hit me for this but I’ve never actually had a moon pie.
I KNOW. I’m now realizing what a mistake that’s been.
Looks fantastic! I’m sad I missed this one – might have to cheat and make it next weekend 🙂
sweet friggin sarah woman!
you kill me.
i am so afraid to make moon pies because i won’t feel as though i will get them all nice and even.
yours are friggin perfect.
send me some? crumbs? 🙂
It would have to be crumbs. That’s all that’s left 🙂
Wow those do sound awesome.
I have never tasted this moon pies, everyone seems to have very good memories with them and love them, i’m getting kind of curious! i’ll just have to try them very very soon! thank you for sharing your recipe 🙂 , you always sharing very good recipes!
cheers from mexico 🙂
mmm, these looks so yummy! i love how you’ve made a mass produced biscuit into a homemade treat!
Oh my goodness, I can’t believe I missed this one! I love moonpies so much and yours look extra delicious!
OH wow…these cookies sound like Mallomars! Boy would I love to eat a cookie RIGHT NOW! My mouth is watering from your photo!
These look delicious, nostalgic, and- dulce de leche marshmallows? Inspired.
You know how sometimes your memories of childhood favorites don’t quite live up? I loved these as a kid, but if I ate the same store-bought ones now as an adult, I know they just wouldn’t be as sublime. Thanks for giving us all a way to enjoy a kid-favorite in a much tastier and more modern way.
The Tidalwave WAS awesome! Oh-and these look awesome too! 🙂
Wow these moon pies look amazing!! What a great recipe. Def need to try!
Haha… we have them over here, but they’re called “wagon wheels”
That looks gorgeous, and so perfect. We get a similar thing here called ChocoPie, but homemade is ofcourse, always better 🙂
I can’t believe I missed out on these — they look divine! She totally should have included a photo in the cookbook on these…
Thank you for posting this recipe! My husband is a moonpie fanatic, and he will be thrilled when I surprise him with a whole batch. His favorite thing to do is put them in the microwave for a teensy bit, so the marshmallow gets gooey. And boy did you bring back summertime memories for me with your mention of Astroworld. I grew up in Alvin and spent many, many summer days & nights waiting in line for rides. My favorite has always been Greased Lightning. I miss that place.
P.S. I meant to tell you my name is Chanda, too.
YUM! These look so good, and it is styled beautifully! Just pinned and stumbled it so I will not forget it! 🙂
I made these and they were great, but left me wondering…did you use graham flour or whole wheat for yours? If graham flour, what is that and where do you find it?? Thanks!
I used whole wheat. My store does carry graham flour in 1lb bags but it’s *really* pricey.
I cannot wait to try these. Thank you.
Is there a substitute for corn syrup? Even sugar syrup?
My mama would have loved these.I would sneak her a moonpie in the nursing home. When she died, I made a pie very similar to this receipe. Took it to the staff, & they loved it!RIP mama!
Sure look good….
Oh boy I just found you via Smells Like Home and I cannot wait to try my hand at this recipe. As a kid, I would beg Mallomars off friends as was never allowed to have them at home. So good! Now I don’t need anyone’s permission to indulge. I had never considered just making them myself. The kid in me thanks you!
We are making these tomorrow!! So excited but we couldn’t find dulce de leche in our grocery store so we bought caramel sauce. Do think it will be an ok substitute?
I might be a little nervous if the caramel sauce is really thin… But there’s only one way to find out for sure 🙂
I used to enjoy moon pies as a child, but these days, find them a little dry unless they’re heated, and then they’re messy. (However, if you have never had a fried moon pie, you’re seriously missing out!) They always seem like something that’s great in theory, but just short of really good- or maybe they’re something that just isn’t as good as it used to be? Not sure.
Either way, I figured making my own would take them over the top- which is how I found your recipe and blog. They look delicious- can’t wait to try them!
My daughter will love these!