I wanted to make something extra special, since today is What the Dog Ate's first blogiversary! This little delicacy has been on my "someday" list for quite a while now, so I decided why not shoot for the moon and make Moon Pies!
Thank you to What the Dog Ate's followers. To say "thank you", today's post includes a photo tutorial. And finally, I'd especially like to thank my family who, on more than one occasion, has had to wait for me to shoot the picture before they could eat dinner.
Moon Pie Cookies (adapted from Alphabet Soup and Brown Eyed Baker)
For the Graham Cookies
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 14 pieces, very cold
1/3 cup honey
5 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
For the Marshmallow Filling
3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 cup cold water, divided
12 ounces sugar (or 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Chocolate Coating
23 ounces dark chocolate
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Make the Graham Cookies
In a food processor, pulse to combine both types of flour, the brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the butter and pulse to a coarse meal. In a separate bowl, whisk together the honey, milk and vanilla extract. Pulse to make a sticky dough. Remove from bowl, separate into two disks, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
My dough was very sticky, so I just rolled it out on my Silpat Mat, and made the cookie cutter cuts right on the mat.
I baked the whole thing at 350 for 12 minutes and got this.
I let the whole thing sit for about 3 minutes, and then used my cookie cutter to re-cut the circles.
In the end, this is what I produced. I know that bowl of scraps seems like a waste, but it was emptied within the hour!
Make the Marshmallow Filling
Note: This recipe makes a lot of filling. I suppose you can halve the recipe. I turned the remaining filling into actual marshmallows.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, use a fork to whisk together 1/2 cup of cold water and the gelatin. Set aside.
Add the sugar, remaining 1/2 cup of cold water, corn syrup, and salt to a small saucepan. Do not stir. Cover, and cook over a medium high heat for 3 minutes. Uncover and reduce heat to medium. Insert a candy thermometer. Bring the mixture to 240 degrees; the softball stage. This will take 10-12 minutes.
Begin whisking the gelatin mixture on low. Slowly stream in the hot sugar mixture. When you have added all of the sugar syrup mixture, turn the mixer on high and let 'er rip for about 10 minutes. Add the vanilla. Continue to whisk for another minute or two.
Transfer about a third of the mixture to a gallon sized baggie. Aim for a corner. Snip the corner, and...
Cover with the remaining rounds. At this point, I allowed the filled cookies to set up for about an hour.
Make the Chocolate Coating
Place the chocolate chips and vegetable oil in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir. Continue to microwave in 30 second increments until the chocolate is melted and well combined with the oil. Stir between microwaving.
Place the wire rack of cookies on a rimmed baking sheet. Clear a space in your freezer to accommodate this baking sheet.
Use a ladle to drench the filled cookies in melted chocolate. Oh my!
Place the top-half covered cookies in the freezer for about 10 minutes to harden up.
Remove the cookies from the freezer. They seem to stick to the rack, so use a fork to flip them over, and repeat the process on the other side. Place in the freezer for another 10 minutes to allow this side of chocolate to harden. See all that excess chocolate on the baking sheet? I scraped it up with a spatula, put it in a bowl, and used it to dip the homemade marshmallows in.
So about those homemade marshmallows... In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar. Spray a 9 x 13 glass baking dish with vegetable spray, and then dust the pan with the powder. Transfer the remaining filling to this pan. Spray your hands with vegetable spray to pat it down. Allow to set up at room temperature for about 2-3 hours. Flip the marshmallow loaf onto a powdered cutting board. Use an oiled and powdered pizza cutter to cut the marshmallow into squares. Dust the edges of each marshmallow square in the powder to prevent sticking.