The Moon Pie and Mardi Gras
There aren’t a lot of experiences more “Mobile” than eating a freshly caught (from a float) Moon Pie amid the chaos of a Mardi Gras parade. Despite their 1917 birth in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Moon Pies are at home in Mobile–perhaps it’s because we drop a 12-foot-tall one in lieu of a disco ball for New Year’s Eve. So this Mardi Gras, I had to try to make my own homemade Moon Pies.
What is a Moon Pie?
On the off-chance that you’re not familiar with a moon pie, it’s a unique take on the age-old combination of graham cracker, chocolate, and marshmallow, aka a s’more. Two graham cracker-flavored cookies sandwich marshmallow filling (made super easy with a jar of the already-prepared stuff). The major difference is that the chocolate coats the entire confection.
How do you make a Moon Pie?
I used this Coastal Living recipe as a guide. To make them yourself, you whip up cookie dough and fortify it with pulverized graham crackers. I actually tried the cookies two different ways. The dough is soft after mixing, and the first way I made them was to scoop them with a cookie scoop, like a drop cookie. This way made a somewhat cakey cookie that puffed up a bit, as in the recipe below and pictured above.
The second way was to knead the sticky, chilled dough with enough flour to get it to comply with being cut into rounds and baked. This yielded a much crispier cookie and the sandwiches were a little easier to assemble and coat with chocolate (pictured below); however, I preferred the softness of the first cookies. I sprinkled mine with sea salt after dipping because I’m extra like that, but if you don’t prefer the marriage of salty and sweet, feel free to leave it out. (But who ARE you?!)
Homemade Moon Pies
These copycat desserts are graham cracker cookies sandwich marshmallow fluff filling, coated entirely in rich, dark chocolate.
- 3/4 cup butter softened
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg at room temperature
- 1 and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 and 1/4 cup finely crushed graham cracker crumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 jar marshmallow creme
- 12 ounces dark chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- flaky sea salt (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two baking sheets with parchment.
Cream butter and brown sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
Mix in egg and vanilla.
Combine flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda and powder, salt and cinnamon together in a bowl.
Add flour mixture and cream alternately, starting and ending with flour.
Cover and chill dough for 30 minutes.*
Using a 1.5 inch cookie scoop, scoop dough into even balls onto parchment.
Bake for 13-15 minutes until edges are browned and top isn’t wet anymore. Immediately flatten top of cookie with a spatula.
Once cool, pair up similar sized cookies. Spread or pipe (in a plastic bag with tip snipped off) a blob of marshmallow creme onto one cookie and top with the other. Freeze sandwiches for ten minutes.
Melt chocolate chips in a microwavable bowl with oil until melted, stirring every 30 seconds.
Dip sandwiches in chocolate and remove with two forks to a parchment covered cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt, if you would like. Chill until chocolate is set.
*If you would like a crispier cookie, knead the chilled dough with enough flour to make it not stick to the rolling surface. Roll it out on a floured surface and cut it into 2-4 inch circles. Bake as directed but for less time–probably around 12 minutes. Fill as directed.
I won’t say they’re the prettiest dessert I’ve ever made, but they blow the storebought version out of the water. It’s not just me saying that, either. The biggest Moon Pie enthusiast I know happens to live in my house, and he agreed wholeheartedly. So give these homemade Moon Pies a try this Mardi Gras, and let me know what you think!
And if you’re looking for more Mardi Gras treats, check out this Pecan Praline Cream Cheese King Cake.