This sweet Southern snack pairs well with RC Cola
Give me a RC Cola and a MoonPie I’m playing Maple on the hill
I’ll catch that freight train on the blind
Leave my corn down at the mill.”
From Bill Lister’s song “A RC Cola and a MoonPie.”
Long before moon landings, there were MoonPies, a sweet Southern snack that originated at the Chattanooga Bakery in 1917. The name comes from an anonymous Kentucky coal miner, who told Chattanooga Bakery’s traveling salesman, Earl Mitchell, that he wanted a snack to carry in his lunch bucket into the mines.
“Want it to be graham cracker and have marshmallow, be as big as the moon and twice as thick.” They flew off the shelves and went on to become comfort food for servicemen and servicewomen during World War II.
The American confection became so popular that an annual RC-Moon Pie Festival is held in Bell Buckle, Tennessee. It isn’t completely clear why the MoonPie and RC Cola are such a popular pairing, but most likely because RC Cola came in a bigger bottle than its competitors. Originally, you could get both for about a dime.
Recipe courtesy of David Guas of Bayou Bakery
6 ounces (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1⁄4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1⁄4 cup cane syrup (Steen’s if available)
1⁄4 teaspoon vanilla extract
11⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1⁄4 cups graham cracker crumbs, ground fine
3⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons whole milk
4 teaspoons gelatin
1⁄2 cup water, ice cold, plus 1⁄4 cup room temperature
4 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 tablespoons honey
3⁄4 cup granulated sugar
3 large egg whites
1 pound bittersweet chocolate (61-70 percent cacao)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
For the cookie dough:
Cream butter, brown sugar, cane syrup and vanilla in a bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment.
In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients and mix with a fork. Add dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix on low speed, slowly stream in milk. Continue mixing until the dough comes together. Press flat, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 325 F.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until 1⁄4-inch thick. Stamp out cookies with a 3-inch cookie cutter. Place cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake 10-12 minutes. Remove sheet from oven, and while cookies are cooling, start marshmallow filling.
For the marshmallow filling:
Sprinkle gelatin over the 1⁄2 cup ice water and set aside.
Combine 1⁄4 cup room temperature water, corn syrup, honey and sugar in a small pot, insert candy thermometer and simmer until mixture reaches 240 F. When the thermometer reaches 200 F, but not before, place egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whip on high.
Once the sugar mixture reaches 240 F, remove from heat and stir in the gelatin. While egg whites are whipping, slowly drizzle the hot sugar mixture down the inside of the bowl to avoid splatters. Continue whipping for an additional 8 minutes, until the mixture stiffens. The pan still will feel warm to the touch, but no longer hot.
Baker’s note: If your prefer not to make homemade marshmallow crêpe, buy a 12-ounce jar from the store and call it a day. No judging.
Flip over half the cooled cookies. Lightly coat a spoon with oil or non-stick spray, and spoon about 1⁄4 cup of marshmallow crêpe onto each flipped cookie. Use the remaining cookies as tops and push down until the marshmallow comes to the edge. Chill in the refrigerator while making your chocolate coating.
For the chocolate coating:
Melt chocolate in a heat-proof bowl set over a small saucepan of simmering water. Stir until chocolate has melted, then remove bowl from heat and let it cool slightly. Once the chocolate is no longer hot, slowly whisk in oil in a steady stream. Allow chocolate to cool for 5 minutes before coating the cookies.
Submerge chilled cookies in the chocolate, using two forks to gently lift sandwiches out of the bowl. Let stand until shell hardens.