Feel stress melt away as you’re transported to those lazy, care-free days of your childhood in just one bite —that’s the power of a moon pie! This sweet little taste of summertime as a kid combines graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate into one treat that many consider to be an all-American classic. In fact, moon pies have been around for more than 100 years. Read on to learn about their fun history, then grab your mixer and try one of our favorite recipes for making moon pies from scratch. They’re not only easy and delicious, they bake up as minis so you can indulge in more than one!
What is a moon pie?
A moon pie traditionally consists of two graham crackers filled with fluffy marshmallow creme and then dipped in chocolate. This sandwich-like treat originated in 1917, around the time when Earl Mitchell Sr., a salesman for Chattanooga Bakery in Tennessee, was selling graham crackers to coal miners. During a trip to Kentucky, one coal miner reportedly asked Mitchell to make a snack “as big as the moon.” Taking up this request, Mitchell tasked the bakery with creating a treat that uses their graham crackers along with marshmallow creme and melted chocolate. This snack became known as the “MoonPie” and was an instant hit because they were inexpensive and fit perfectly into a coal miner’s lunch pail.
In the decades to follow, this treat became more commercially available and a favorite among parents who wanted their kids to eat a filling snack. Moon pies not only flooded grocery store shelves, but they gained mainstream popularity thanks to country singer Big Bill Lister’s 1951 song “Gimme an RC Cola and a Moon Pie“. The rich history of moon pies is a huge reason why they’re so out of this world!
Do moon pies come in different flavors?
The standard version of moon pies is covered in chocolate, which adds a decadent touch to this sugary dessert. But the options don’t end there! Bakers have coated them in all sorts of flavors, including salted caramel, banana, vanilla and strawberry. Moon pies are also sold in various sizes. “Double decker” moon pies are thicker than normal ones as they boast two layers of marshmallow creme sandwiched between three graham crackers and dipped in a flavored coating. Miniature-sized moon pies are another popular option that make snacking on the go a breeze.
Does all of this talk about moon pies make you crave one (or few)? Us too! Although you can buy this treat from this store, the homemade version is extra-tasty and surprisingly simple to make. Keep reading for a no-fuss moon pie recipe that’s sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
How do you make moon pies?
Our test kitchen loves cookbook author Christina Lane‘s recipe for Mini Moon Pies. The recipe comes from her cookbook Sweet & Simple: Dessert for Two (Buy from Amazon, $23.80), and it uses staple ingredients alongside healthy swaps such as coconut oil and honey. This puts a lighter spin on the classic chocolate-covered snack. Another perk of making this recipe is that it yields the right amount of moon pies for snacking and sharing. “Most dessert recipes make enough for eight to 10 people, but I don’t need eight extra slices of cake from tempting me from my fridge,” Lane says.
Follow the recipe below to make a DIY version of the snack you’ve known and loved since childhood!
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
- 1 cup chocolate chips (your favorite kind)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- ¼ cup marshmallow fluff
Yield: 6 pies (1 per serving)
- Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Using electric mixer on medium speed, beat first 4 ingredients until fluffy. Add salt and flour; beat to combine. Chill 30 minutes.
- Transfer dough to floured cutting board; sprinkle flour on top. Press into 6-inch square. With 2-inch wide biscuit cutter or rim of juice glass, cut 12 circles. Spread out on prepared baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes. Let cool.
- In double broiler over medium heat, melt chocolate chips and coconut oil.
- Spread bottoms of 6 cookies with one teaspoon marshmallow fluff; sandwich with remaining cookies. Dunk half of each sandwich in chocolate. Chill on wax paper-lined plate 10 minutes before serving.
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