Out of all the food I made for the Bedtime Stories Baby Shower, I was perhaps the most excited to make the "Goodnight Moon" Pies. I have always been a big fan of Moon Pies - especially when they are zapped in the microwave for about 10 seconds... melted chocolate, gooey marshmallow.. mmmm.
I consider Gale Gand to be a reputable source for recipes, so even though I didn't do a test-run of these like I normally would a complicated cookie, I felt confident. And I figured that if they didn't turn out, well, I could just go by some moon pies :-)
To me, these didn't really taste like moon pies. Though admittedly it has been a while since I've had one (probably the last time I went to Mardi Gras in Mobile, which was 4 years ago). I don't remember the cookie being chocolate, and it is more cake-like. However, these are seriously delicious. You start by making chocolate shortbread cookies, make homemade marshmallow filling, form sandwiches, and dip in semisweet chocolate. These are really really rich, but they are also pretty small, so its a perfect size. I really like if these were made to be the same size as a moon pie they would be too rich (and you guys know I don't use that term lightly).
I know that it's not even Thanksgiving yet, but I also know that some of you (myself included) are already planning out holiday baking. These would be a a really fun addition to a cookie swap or gift baskets, and I think I'll make them again to take to family gatherings.
Mini Moon Pies
Gale Gand, via Food Network
makes 4 to 5 dozen
- 12 Tbs butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 Tbs cornstarch
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 egg whites
- 1 Tbs gelatin
- 2 Tbs cold water
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 12 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
In a small bowl, combine the cocoa powder, cornstarch, and flour. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Shape the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill at least 2 hours, or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator, and allow to warm up just enough to roll and shape without cracking. On a floured surface (it doesn't matter if you get specks of white on the chocolate cookies - they'll be covered in chocolate and no one will see), use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to 1/8-inch thick, or as thin as you can get it. Use a flour-dipped 1 1/2 inch round cookie cutter to cut the cookies, and place them on the prepared baking sheets, leaving 1 inch between each cookie. Bake 12 to 14 minutes, or until the cookies are crisp. Cool completely on the pans. Repeat with remaining dough.
To make the marshmallows, combine 1/4 cup water, the corn syrup, and the sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook to the soft-ball stage (about 235 degrees).
Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites to form soft peaks. In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 2 tablespoons of cold water, and let dissolve. Once the syrup has reached 235 degrees, remove from heat and stir in the gelatin. Mix well. Pour the syrup into the whipped egg whites. Add the vanilla and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
Transfer the marshmallow mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a round tip. Pipe a swirl of marshmallow onto half of the cookies, then form sandwiches with the remaining cookies. Allow to sit at room temperature for 2 hours.
To make the chocolate coating, melt the chocolate and corn syrup together in the bowl of a double boiler or by microwaving in 10 second increments, stirring after each heating. Use a fork to drop each cookie sandwich into the chocolate, then gently shake to remove excess chocolate. Arrange the cookies in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and let set at room temperature until chocolate is set, 12 hours. Or refrigerate until ready to serve.