Though a close cousin to the hundreds of s’mores I indulged in as a child, MoonPies always felt like a rarity to me. While I could find an excuse to secretly toast marshmallows over the gas stove in my kitchen at virtually any time of the year, MoonPies were only thrown, quite literally, into my life during Mardi Gras.
Sure, the endless supply of bright pink bubble gum and Tootsie Rolls handed over by riders on horseback and Shriners in impossibly small cars was exciting for any kid, but there was nothing more exhilarating than the race to pick up as many MoonPies as I could hold in my arms before the other kids got to them.
Years have passed since I risked my life for the prepackaged snacks, but MoonPie nostalgia hits me every Mardi Gras without fail. My interest in baking grew as I did, and I discovered how to make my favorite childhood treat from scratch. I’d made many flavors before it dawned on me: why not make them with equal parts vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate? No beating around the bush here—these are a little bit time consuming. But the payoff? Totally worth it.
Graham Blackall is a New Orleanian food blogger and photographer. He is finishing his undergraduate degree at Loyola University, working with the Besh Restaurant Group, and producing the dessert blog Glazed & Confused.
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 egg white, room temperature
- Pinch of cream of tartar
- Pinch of salt
- ¾ cup light corn syrup
- ½ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1 ounce freeze-dried strawberries, blended into a fine powder
- 16 ounces white chocolate, chopped
- ¾ teaspoon plus ¼ teaspoon coconut oil, divided
- 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- Fat-soluble red food coloring*
- Preheat oven to 350°. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add butter and brown sugar; beat at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of bowl, and add egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Mix until combined. Sift in flour, and mix on low speed until the mixture just comes together.
- On a floured surface, divide dough in half, and roll into ⅛-inch-thick rectangles. With a 2-inch round cutter (or the rim of a glass), cut circles, and transfer to parchment-lined rimmed baking sheets. Reroll scraps as needed. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes. Bake until golden around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add egg white, cream of tartar, and salt, and beat at medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. In a small saucepan, heat corn syrup over medium heat until a candy thermometer registers 240°.
- Add hot corn syrup to egg white mixture, and continue beating on medium-low until thick and glossy. Add confectioners’ sugar, strawberry powder, and remaining 1 tablespoon vanilla, and mix until just combined. Using a spoon, place a dollop of marshmallow cream between 2 cookies. Repeat with remaining cookies. Freeze cookies for 10 minutes.
- In a heatproof bowl, add white chocolate and ¾ teaspoon coconut oil. Microwave in 30-second increments until melted and smooth, stirring in between. Coat cookies in white chocolate, and freeze until set, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Mix a drop of red food coloring with the remaining melted white chocolate, and cover a third of the cookie. Set in freezer. Microwave and melt semisweet chocolate and remaining ¼ teaspoon coconut oil for the final third. Place on parchment to set.
- *We used AmeriColor Oil Candy Color.