Category Archives: Tennessee

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
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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.

Hunka Hunka Pan-Fried Love: Grilled Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches – Tennessee

Tennessee is known for many Southern specialty foods, but being rabid Elvis fans, we turned our attention to Memphis – the River City – and its most famous house, Graceland, for inspiration. The King lived life large and is said to have enjoyed a special treat that

Grilled Peanut Butter and Banana - TN

has become his signature dish – the Grilled Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich. Similar to a grilled cheese in construction and cooking, the sandwich has a number of variations. We used an artisan Italian bread as the basis for our recipe, as it held up a little better in the skillet, and we mixed the PB with honey for a sweeter, smoother spread. As for the banana, you can mash it and spread it – although we prefer slices. Add crispy bacon if you want that little extra salty crunch.

Celebrate Elvis’ birthday (January 8th!) with weekend-long festivities at Graceland and other Memphis venues including a dance party, movie screenings, concerts and Elvis bingo.

Grilled Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 10 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 4 slices Italian bread, toasted
  • 4 tablespoons peanut butter (or to taste)
  • 1 ripe banana, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon honey (optional)
  • 2 slices cooked bacon (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine

Instructions

Smooth peanut butter (mixed with honey, if you prefer) onto two slices of bread. Place sliced banana on top of peanut butter. Place remaining two slices of bread on top of bananas and spread outsides of sandwich with butter or margarine. Place in pre-heated fry pan or griddle. Cook until toasty brown and heated through.