What have you been doing for these past two glorious yet sticky weeks of summer? In my house, and I sure hope in yours too, unless you live under a rock or something, it’s been London 2012 all day every day. I have no shame though–how can you not watch the Olympics?! It (the Summer Games, that is) only comes on once every four years, people! Even our annual family vacation had to include adequate Team USA time. My whole family gets into it: even my brother occupies a reserved seat in front of the TV and contributes rousing choruses of “‘MERICA!” and “SSB!” (Star-Spangled Banner for all you non acronym-obsessed people) to our cheering. The awesome Team USA performances in gymnastics, track and field, beach volleyball, etc. are slowly helping the end-of-swimming induced depression to wear off. (Ahh, swimming! I could opine nerdily–it’s my sport–but I’ll spare you.)
The grueling event of spectating does require a bit of fuel, however. Cookies always get neglected during the summer because a) they don’t use tantalizing summer produce and b) I don’t need portable sweet bites for school lunches. (Speaking of school, let’s not speak about
how dangerously close it’s approaching nope, in denial.) I bookmarked these cookies back in February because they looked too apropos not to make. Stephen Stryjewski, who has a restaurant here in New Orleans, contributed to Bon Appètit this recipe for moon pies, a graham-crackerish marshmallow sandwich cookie often eaten in New Orleans during Mardi Gras season. I’ve never been a fan of packaged moon pies though. Those prized moon pies with crinkled wrapping snatched off the ground during the hustle of a parade often have a dry, crumbly, flavorless cookie with sticky, chewy, marshmallow cream sandwiched inside. The texture is off and the flavor (often chocolate or banana) is bland. But these hearty oatmeal, cherry, pecan, and chocolate (inside and drizzle atop) cookies are chewy and chunky and a perfect sweet snack for Olympic-watching. Go USA!
1 year ago: Nectarine Blackberry Pie
Chocolate Oatmeal Moon Pies
adapted from Stephen Stryjewski (of Cochon in New Orleans) via Bon Appétit, February 2012
You can absolutely omit the marshmallow filling and/or chocolate glaze and have “plain” (I say that sarcastically because they’re anything but) or chocolate-drizzled oatmeal cookies. I made some moon pies with the filling and some without; some with chocolate glaze and some without. If you want a more structured filling, Annie used more of a frosting-type filling on her moon pies that I was tempted to try but gave way to the easy route of pure marshmallow creme. These cookies can be any size you want, but I’d warn you that even 2 small cookies make a large sandwich cookie once stacked together. Also, be wary of adding too much marshmallow creme between each cookie. I tried to be generous with it but it dripped out. Also why flattening the cookies is essential–the cookie is too thick and heavy otherwise.
1 1/4 cups (5 ounces | 140 grams) all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (10 ounces | 280 grams) packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups (6 3/4 ounces | 195 grams) old-fashioned oats
1 cup (5 ounces | 140 grams) dried cherries, chopped
1 cup (3 1/2 ounces | 100 grams) pecans, toasted and chopped
3/4 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (4 ounces), chopped into chocolate chip-size chunks
1 7-ounce jar marshmallow creme
1/2 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (2 1/2 ounces), chopped
1 tablespoon honey or corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350° F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a hand mixer and a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until completely incorporated and smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture and mix just until combined. Stir in the oats, cherries, pecans, and chocolate chips by hand using a spatula or wooden spoon.
Scoop out cookie dough using a small ice cream scoop or 2 level tablespoons (you can make these whatever size you want though, see headnotes) and place on baking sheets, spaced apart. Press down on each ball of dough until about 1/2-inch thick.
Bake cookies for about 12 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown, the edges are set, and the centers are still soft, rotating the baking sheet halfway through. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 1o minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Spread about 2 teaspoons marshmallow creme on the bottom of half the cookies, and sandwich with the remaining cookies.
Chocolate Glaze: Place chocolate and honey in a medium heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream to just under a boil (called scalding). Pour over chocolate and honey, and let stand for 1 minute. Stir until melted and smooth; there shouldn’t be any bits of solid chocolate. Let the glaze stand until slightly more thickened. Drizzle over the cookies.
Storing: The moon pies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days, about 3.