Category Archives: Dessert

Maple Glazed Apple Strudel – Vermont

Sniff around outside in the Green Mountain state from early late March to late April, and you’ll suddenly be struck with a craving for pancakes. That delicious smell is from sugarmakers who are

Maple Glazed Apple Strudel - Vermont

processing and boiling the sap of sugar maples to make Vermont’s most famous product, maple syrup. We’ve talked before here and here about how maple is the official state flavor (pretty cool to have one of those, right?).

This apple strudel recipe calls for maple syrup both in the filling and also in the glaze on top. Using puff pastry for the dough makes it super easy, too. If you don’t like pecans leave them out or add a ¼ cup of raisins to the filling if you are so inclined.

Check out the Maple Open House Weekend, March 25-26, 2017, when sugarhouses across the state of Vermont give tours, demos and samples.

Maple Glazed Apple Strudel

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 50 min.
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

 For Strudel:

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 2 large tart apples
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted

For Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans

Instructions

On a lightly floured surface, unfold puff pastry and roll out with a rolling pin until it is 12 by 12 inches. Peel the apples, core them, then slice thinly. Sprinkle with lemon juice so they do not brown. In a medium mixing bowl, add sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, breadcrumbs and ½ cup of pecans. Mix well. Add apples and stir until they are well coated. Place apple mixture on one half of the puff pastry. Fold over the other half and pinch the edges closed. Gently lift onto a parchment lined baking sheet and turn seam side down. Cut 3 vents in top of puff pastry to allow steam to escape. Brush top and sides with melted butter. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

To make the glaze, in a small bowl, combine confectioners sugar, maple syrup and vanilla extract (if glaze is too stiff, add a teaspoon of milk at a time to reach desired consistency). When strudel is cooled, add maple glaze, then sprinkle with ¼ cup chopped pecans.

Hawaiian Donuts: Leonard’s Bakery Malasadas

Malasadas are the Hawaiian donut you never met but will instantly love. Leonard’s Bakery in Honolulu has been making these sugary orbs of goodness since the 1950s. Originally a Portuguese

Malasadas - Hawaii

confection, these treats jumped two oceans as well as the vast expanse of North America when sugar cane and pineapple workers from Portugal immigrated to Hawaii. Created to celebrate Fat Tuesday, now you can find malasadas throughout the year and all over the Hawaiian Islands. If you are driving in Hawaii and see a food truck with a long line of people, pull a U-turn and check it out, they could be selling malasadas.

What makes malasadas different than donuts is the rich batter, fortified with eggs and half and half. The basic recipe we have used here from Leonard’s is plain sugar but on Hawaii you can find malasadas filled with all sorts of custards, including vanilla, chocolate and coconut. Super ono! Malasadas are a bit time consuming as they have to rise twice but if you make them, you will be the rock star of your household and neighborhood — if you dare give some away.

While in Hawaii, don’t miss the USS Arizona Memorial, including the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. This is one of the most heavily visited sites in Hawaii and is a very moving memorial to the sailors and service people who died there.

Leonard’s Bakery Malasadas

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 3 hrs.
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 1 ½ cups sugar, divided
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup half and half
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups bread flour, sifted
  • Canola oil (for frying)

Instructions

Combine yeast,  one teaspoon sugar and two tablespoons of warm water in a small bowl. Set aside until foamy.

In the bowl of a stand mixture with the paddle attachment, beat eggs. Add yeast mixture, ½ cup sugar, butter, milk, half and half, and salt. Beat until combined. Add sifted flour gradually and mix until dough is smooth and elastic (it will be quite sticky). Transfer to a clean bowl coated with vegetable oil. Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place for 90 minutes or until doubled in size.

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 12-inch square, so the dough is about ½ inch thick. Cut the dough into 12 3-inch squares (alternatively, you can make smaller, round malasadas by cutting the dough into 24 pieces). Place each dough piece on an individual square of parchment paper on two baking sheets at least 3 inches apart. Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place again, for approximately one hour.

Heat oil to 350 degrees. Place remaining sugar in a large mixing bowl. Working in batches, remove dough from parchment paper and drop gently into hot oil. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Toss in sugar when cool enough to handle. Serve while warm.

Fit for Royalty: King Cake – Louisiana

The parades! The parties! The food and drinks! Mardi Gras is in full swing down in New Orleans and will culminate on February 28, which is when Fat Tuesday falls this year. King Cake actually refers to the three kings who visited baby Jesus in his manger as the

King Cake - Louisiana

season extends from Epiphany until the day before Ash Wednesday when Lent begins. The French likely brought the King Cake tradition to New Orleans and it always includes inserting a plastic baby

Plastic babies for King Cake
Do you think we have eaten too many King Cakes through the years?

or dried bean in the cake after it is baked. The person who receives the piece with the trinket is said to be blessed with good luck and must host the next Mardi Gras party or buy the King Cake for the next party.

There are literally dozens of variations of fillings for this cake including cinnamon, praline and strawberry. We opted for a cream cheese and apricot filling which is a family favorite.  The cake is

Apricot and cream cheese filled King Cake

usually decorated with icing or sugar in the traditional Mardi Gras colors which signify justice (purple), power (yellow) and faith (green). We can’t lie, this cake is time consuming to make. To break up the steps, feel free to make the dough the day before. Let rise and then put into the refrigerator. So worth the effort and waaaaay cheaper than a plane ticket to NOLA.

If you are lucky enough to live near New Orleans or plan to visit in the next week, check out the Mardi Gras parade schedule so you don’t miss a moment of the action.

Apricot and Cream Cheese Filled King Cake

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Time: 3 1/2 hrs.
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

For Dough:

  • 1 envelope dry yeast
  • 1/8 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups flour (approx.)

For Filling:

  • 1 16 ounce can apricot pie filling
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 whole egg (for egg wash)
  • 2 tablespoons water (for egg wash)

For Icing/Finishing:

  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk or half-n-half
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Yellow, purple and green colored sugar
  • One plastic baby, or uncooked bean

Instructions

For Dough:

In a small bowl, mix yeast with warm water. Add 1 teaspoon sugar and 1 teaspoon flour. Let sit until mixture begins to bubble. Meanwhile, heat milk in a medium saucepan until just boiling. Add butter and remaining sugar. Remove from heat and let stand until lukewarm. Add egg, egg yolk and yeast mixture. Beat with wire whisk until incorporated.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add liquid. Then add 1 cup flour. Beat using dough hook attachment until dough smooth. Add additional flour gradually and continue to beat until dough is elastic and glossy. Turn dough out into a lightly oiled large bowl. Cover with a tea towel and let sit in warm place until dough has doubled in size, approximately 1.5 hours. Punch dough down and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to use. (Dough can be made day ahead and left in fridge overnight).

For Filling:

In a large bowl, mix cream cheese, sugar, flour, egg yolks and vanilla. If apricot filling is watery, drain in colander.

To Assemble:

Shape cold dough into a log. On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough until it is a rectangle shape, approximately 30 X 9 inches. Spoon the cream cheese mixture down the middle of the dough, longways, about 3 inches from the long edges but almost to the ends. Add the fruit filling right next to the strip of cream cheese. Mix the egg with the water to create an egg wash. Brush the edges of the dough with the egg wash. Fold one long edge over the filling, do the same with the other long edge. Turn seam side down onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Gently form into a circle, joining the ends together. Cover with a tea towel and let rest for approximately 30 minutes.

Brush cake with remaining egg wash. Cut several slits to allow heat to escape. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool completely.

Mix confectioners’ sugar with milk and vanilla. Spoon over cake. Sprinkle cake with colored sugars. Before serving, insert baby or bean into bottom of cake.

Ohio Shaker Lemon Pie

The Shakers were a Christian sect that began in Great Britain and made their way to the Northeast of the United States in the middle of the eighteen century. By the 1840s, several communities in Ohio

Ohio Lemon Shaker Pie

existed. Shakers were a very thrifty bunch and this pie presumably came about in an effort to use every part of the lemon. Yes, indeedy-doo, this pie uses the lemon pulp, the juice AND the skin. Use Meyer lemons as the flesh is sweeter than a regular lemon and the skin is more aromatic. The bitterness of the skin is tempered by the two cups of sugar that the lemons macerate with overnight. We have seen recipes for this pie with a top crust as well, but we liked the single crust version – all the better to see and taste the sunny yellow filling. Just the thing to brighten these gray winter days.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland is a mecca for rock aficionados. With five levels of exhibits including sound booths, interactive opportunities and a U2 3D film, this museum is not to be missed.

Ohio Shaker Lemon Pie

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Time: 1 hr.
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

For crust:

  • 1¼ cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons shortening
  • 1/4 cup cold water

For filling:

  • 2 Meyer lemons
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions

For crust: Place all ingredients except water in food processor and blend until fine crumbs are formed. Add water a little at a time until the dough is moist and forms a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge until ready to use. (Can be made a day ahead).

For filling: Over a medium mixing bowl to catch the juice, slice the lemons very thinly (can use a mandolin), discarding the ends. Reserve 3-5 slices of lemon for center of pie. Chop the remaining lemon slices into small pieces, then add to the mixing bowl, along with any lemon juice. Discard any visible seeds. Add 2 cups sugar and stir to combine. Let sit for at least 3 hours or overnight in fridge.

Roll out crust onto a floured surface. Gently lift onto a 9-inch pie plate. Finish edges by fluting or forking them.

Add beaten eggs and salt to lemon mixture. Add flour and vanilla and mix. Pour lemon mixture into pie crust. Array reserved lemon slices in center of pie.

Bake at 425 degrees for the first 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake for approximately 30 minutes more or until crust is golden brown, the pie is set and the filling is bubbly. If necessary, cover edge of crust with foil to prevent overbrowning. Let pie cool on a wire rack before serving.

Nutmeg Log Cookies with Eggnog Icing – Connecticut

Connecticut’s unofficial nickname is the Nutmeg State. This comes from the alleged practice, in the 18th and 19th centuries, of shrewd Yankee peddlers who sold unsuspecting customers wooden nutmegs instead of real ones. Then again, some claim that certain less

Nutmeg Log Cookies with Eggnog Icing

culinary-inclined customers might not have realized that whole nutmeg (which indeed looks like a little wooden bead) needed to be grated to be used. Swindlers or not, the moniker stuck.

We consider ourselves to be cookie connoisseurs but we had never even heard of these Nutmeg Logs until a few weeks ago. They use a generous amount of nutmeg and make your house smell like all kinds of Christmas when you bake them. And nothing goes better with nutmeg than eggnog, thus the eggnog icing. The fun part is running the fork tines over the icing before it sets to create a log effect.

Visit the Mark Twain house in Hartford, a terrific example of American High Gothic style, where Twain lived from 1874 to 1891. One writer has described this house as “part steamboat, part medieval fortress and part cuckoo clock.”

Nutmeg Log Cookies with Eggnog Icing

  • Servings: 3 dozen
  • Time: 60 min.
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

For cookies:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

For icing:

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 3/4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons eggnog
  • Ground nutmeg for topping

Instructions

For the cookies:

In the bowl of the electric mixer, add butter and sugar. Mix on medium speed until fluffy and light. Add egg and nutmeg. Mix until just combined. Add flour. Mix until incorporated. Take batter and divide into thirds. On a lightly floured surface, form dough into three logs approximately ½ inch in diameter. Cut each log into 3 inch pieces. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes or until cookies just begin to brown.

For the icing:

In the bowl of an electric mixer, add butter and confectioner’s sugar. Mix on medium speed. Add vanilla, then 1 tablespoon eggnog. If icing is too thick, add another tablespoon of eggnog until desired consistency is reached.

Once cookies are completely cooled, spread icing on cookies. Run the tines of a fork over the icing to make the “log.” Top with grated nutmeg. Let icing set before packaging cookies.

Pumpkin Pie Bars – New Hampshire

Pumpkin became the state fruit of New Hampshire in 2006. The New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival, first held in Keene, New Hampshire, and now in Laconia, set a world record in 2013 with over

Pumpkin Pie Bars - New Hampshire

30,000 lit jack-o-lanterns. The lit pumpkins are housed on a huge scaffolding tower and honestly, it’s a sight to behold.

Because Thanksgiving is coming and because we can’t get enough of all things pumpkin we decided to bring you these pumpkin pie bars. They give you all the sumptuous goodness of pumpkin pie without the hassle of rolling out pie dough. Bake these and stash them in your freezer for the next time you are craving pumpkin pie.

The Portsmouth Harbour Trail is a walking tour that passes by 70 significant historical spots including 10 national historical landmarks and 10 buildings listed on the National Register of Historical Buildings.

Pumpkin Pie Bars

  • Servings: 24 bars
  • Time: 65 min.
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

For crust:

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

For filling:

  • 15 oz. can pumpkin filling
  • 12 oz. can evaporated milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For topping:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped

Instructions

To make crust: In the bowl of the electric mixer, combine oats, flour, brown sugar and butter. Mix on low with the paddle attachment until just combined. The mixture will look crumbly. Press into the bottom of a 9 X 13 pan. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

To make filling: While crust is baking, combine pumpkin filling, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, spices and salt. Mix on low until smooth. When crust is done, pour mixture over it and then return pan to oven for 20 minutes.

To make topping: While filling bakes, combine brown sugar and chopped pecans in a small bowl. When filling has baked approximately 20 minutes, remove from oven. Sprinkle topping over the filling which will be wiggly and not yet set. Return pan to oven for an additional 20 minutes or until top is golden brown.

Beat the Heat: Huckleberry Lemon Ginger Yogurt Pops – Montana

Montana is huckleberry central and late July to August is prime huckleberry season. We’ve talked before about how huckleberries are so venerated in the state that the legislature passed a law  in 2007 that made it illegal to label a product huckleberry if it contains any other fruit. A close cousin to the blueberry, this delectable fruit grows best between elevations of 3,500 and 7,000 feet, in forests with about 50 percent tree cover.

Huckleberry Lemon Ginger Yogurt Pops - MT

We decided with this hot weather that we had to make frozen yogurt pops and came up with this winning flavor combination. Don’t worry if you can’t find huckleberries, just sub in blueberries, the flavor is very similar. This recipe yields about 2 cups of batter, enough for 6 small pops, or 4 large.

Glacier National Park is one of the jewels in the country’s park system. With over 1,500 square miles, 700 lakes, and 175 mountains, the park is replete with fishing, boating, hiking and camping opportunities.

Huckleberry Lemon Ginger Yogurt Pops

  • Servings: 6 small pops
  • Time: 45 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 knob of ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1 heaping cup huckleberries
  • Zest from one lemon
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt 

Instructions

In a small pan, combine sugar and water. Heat over medium until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, add ginger. Set aside until cool, then refrigerate. In the meantime, in the bowl of a food processor, process huckleberries until smooth. Place huckleberry puree in a sieve over a medium bowl. With a rubber spatula, press puree through the sieve, so that seeds and skin are left behind. Add lemon zest and lemon juice to the puree. When simple syrup is cold, remove from refrigerator, discarding ginger slices. Add simple syrup to puree, then add yogurt. Pour mixture into molds. Freeze for at least 4 hours or until hard.

Perfect Pairing: Strawberry Rhubarb Galette – California

Tomorrow is National Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day! Didn’t know it was a thing, did you? California is the top producer of strawberries in the U.S. with 2.3 billion pounds harvested in 2014. We don’t know

Strawberry Rhubarb Galette

why they pair so well but the strawberry’s best friend is rhubarb, in all its celery-like simplicity. We decided instead of pie, we would make a rustic galette which is just a free form pastry, baked without a pie plate. We topped our galette with sliced almonds, another California product. In fact, California is the only state in the country that produces them. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and you have an easy dessert that will impress any guest.

Slice of Strawberry Rhubarb Galette

Big Sur is a 90 mile stretch of gorgeous coastline from Carmel to San Simeon. Camping and hiking are the big draws, with several state parks along the route, but you can also shop, grab a bite to eat or climb the Point Sur Lighthouse.

Strawberry Rhubarb Galette

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 60 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

For crust:

  • 1¼ cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons shortening
  • 1/2 cup cold water

For filling:

  • 1 ½ cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 ½ cup sliced rhubarb
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Lemon zest from half of lemon
  • Juice from half of lemon
  • 3 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • 2 tablespoons milk (can use non-dairy milk)

 Instructions

For crust: Place all ingredients except water in food processor and blend until fine crumbs are formed. Add water a little at a time until the dough is moist and forms a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge until ready to use (can be made a day ahead). Roll out onto floured surface, adding a bit of flour at a time if the dough is too sticky. Lift the dough with a spatula and transfer carefully onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

For filling: In a large bowl, combine strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Add cornstarch. Mound fruit mixture into center of dough. Fold sides of dough in, leaving about a 6 inch diameter in the center. Sprinkle with almonds. Brush milk over the outside of the crust. Place in 350 degree oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or the filing is bubbling and the crust is golden brown.

Oh, Give Me a Home: Cowboy Cookies – Wyoming

We will not say one discouraging word against the Cowboy Cookie. A variation on the tried-and-true chocolate chip, this cookie is satisfyingly crisp on the outside and chewy in the center. The origin

Cowboy Cookies

of the name is as fuzzy as spring duckling. Some say it has something to do with the addition of coconut, oats and pecans, which help keep a cowboy fortified in the saddle. Sounds mighty sensible to us. The StateEats kids gobbled these up before we could utter “giddyup.”

Cowboy Cookies - Wyoming

If you’ve never seen it, the Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming is a wonder to behold. It is the largest hot spring in the U.S. and is known for its striking rainbow hues.

Cowboy Cookies

  • Servings: 2 dozen
  • Time: 35 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Instructions

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside. With the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, cream the shortening and two types of sugar on medium speed until thick and creamy. Add eggs, and vanilla. Add flour mixture. Stir by hand until well combined. Then add oats, coconut, chocolate chips, and nuts if using. Stir by hand until well combined. Drop walnut size dough balls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 7-9 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove to wire rack to cool. Transfer to an airtight container.

Lunar and Luscious: Homemade Moon Shaped Moon Pies – Tennessee

Nothing is more Southern than a moon pie and a RC cola. If you’ve never indulged, a moon pie is a graham cookie marshmallow sandwich enveloped in chocolate. Invented in 1917 as a snack for

Homemade moon pie

coal miners, the Chattanooga Bakery has been producing this beloved snack for close to 100 years. They are also closely associated with Mardi Gras as moon pies are a throw (a giveaway thrown from a parade into the crowd) at Mardi Gras celebrations across the South.

With a little bit of effort and time, you can make moon pies at home. We had fun with our moon-shaped cookie cutter. Check out the (very quick – 15 seconds!) Instagram video at right if you want to see us making them in action.

If you planning on checking out the Great Smoky Mountains, consider the Smoky Mountain Wine Fest, April 9, 2016, in Gatlinburg.

Homemade moon pie

Homemade Moon Shaped Moon Pies

  • Servings: 18 pies
  • Time: 2 hrs. 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Ingredients

For cookies:

  • 2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For marshmallow filling:

  • 1 envelope Knox gelatin
  • 2/3 cup cold water, divided
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cups light corn syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

For chocolate coating:

  • 10 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ tablespoons shortening

Instructions

For cookies:

With the paddle attachment of the electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add two types of flour, salt, baking powder, honey and vanilla. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated. Turn dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Wrap well and refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight. When ready to make cookies, turn half the dough to a well-floured surface. Return other half of dough to fridge. Roll out until 1/8 to ¼ inch. Cut out cookies and lift with a spatula onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining half of dough. (If you use a 3-inch round cookie cutter, it will yield about 18 cookies, a half moon or smaller round cutter will yield about 36 cookies). Bake at 350 degrees for 11-13 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Remove to wire rack to cool completely.

For marshmallow filling:

In the meantime, add 1/3 cup cold water to the bowl of the electric mixer. Add one package of gelatin. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, add sugar, corn syrup, salt and 1/3 cup water. Heat on medium-high, stirring occasionally until the mixture comes to the soft ball stage, 234 degrees with a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and let cool a few moments.

Using the whisk attachment of the mixer set on low, slowly add the hot sugar mixture to the gelatin mixture. Once incorporated, turn the mixer to high and beat until marshmallow forms and is light and fluffy, about 15 minutes. Set aside if marshmallow is still warm.

Once the mixing bowl is room temperature, gently spread marshmallow on half of cookies and top with remaining cookies, being careful not to break cookies (you can also use a pastry bag and pipe the marshmallow on). Return cookies to refrigerator for about 10 minutes or until marshmallow sets.

For chocolate coating:

Add chopped chocolate and shortening to a microwave save bowl. Heat in one minute bursts until chocolate is melted and smooth. Dip the moon pies in the chocolate, letting the excess chocolate drip off. Don’t worry about covering all the edges with chocolate.

Transfer moon pies to a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Continue until all moon pies are dipped. Return to fridge until set, then transfer to an airtight container.