MoonPies: A Taste of Appalachian History and a Homemade Recipe
In the heart of the Appalachian Mountains lies a tradition that has warmed the hearts and bellies of generations - the MoonPie. This beloved treat, distinguished by its marshmallow center, graham cracker crust, and chocolate coating, carries a rich history that traces its origins back to a whimsical request from a coal miner in 1917. Today, we'll not only delve into the fascinating story of the MoonPie but also share a delightful recipe that puts a unique spin on this iconic Appalachian snack: Salted Caramel & Marshmallow Moon Pies.
Background: The MoonPie Legacy
The MoonPie's story begins with a Kentucky coal miner who, under the moonlit Appalachian sky, framed the celestial body with his hands and playfully asked a traveling salesman for a snack "as big as the moon." This seemingly fanciful request captured the imagination of the salesman, Earl Mitchell, who returned to the bakery determined to bring this vision to life.
The bakery set to work, crafting a substantial, satisfying treat that met the miner's request for size and provided the sustenance needed for the demanding work of Appalachian coal miners. The result was the MoonPie, which quickly became a symbol of resilience, a representation of Appalachian culture, and a source of warmth during difficult times.
Recipe: Salted Caramel & Marshmallow Moon Pies
For the Cookie:
- 3 cups of flour
- ½ cup of sugar
- A pinch of salt
- ¾ teaspoon of baking powder
- ⅜ teaspoon of baking soda
- ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 16 tablespoons of butter, softened
- 3 eggs, beaten
For the Marshmallow:
- 1 tablespoon of powdered gelatin
- 2 tablespoons of cold water
- ¼ cup of water
- ¼ cup of light corn syrup (Karo syrup)
- ¾ cup of sugar
- 2 egg whites
- ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract
For the Caramel:
- 2 cups of sugar
- 1 stick of butter
- ½ cup of corn syrup (Karo syrup)
- 1 can of evaporated milk
- 1 ¼ cup of heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon of salt (adjust to taste)
- 2 cups of chopped and melted chocolate or chocolate chips
For the Cookies:
- Mix all the dry ingredients until well combined.
- Slowly add the softened butter to the dry mix while stirring until it forms a dough.
- Incorporate the beaten eggs into the dough.
- Shape the dough into a ball and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Roll out the dough to about ¼ inch thickness and cut out shapes.
- Chill the cutout cookies for 15 minutes, then bake at 375°F until golden brown.
For the Marshmallow:
- Sprinkle gelatin over cold water.
- Prepare a foil-lined and butter-greased casserole dish with powdered sugar.
- Boil water, corn syrup, and sugar until 235°F.
- Remove from heat and add the gelatin mixture.
- Beat egg whites until soft peaks form, then add syrup mixture and vanilla.
- Pour this mixture into the dish and let it cool and firm up.
For the Caramel:
- In a saucepan, bring sugar, corn syrup, salt, and cream to a boil, stirring constantly.
- Cook until it reaches 264°F, then add milk, butter, and vanilla.
- Continue cooking until it reaches 238°F.
- Pour this caramel mixture onto a greased cookie sheet and allow it to cool.
- Place one cookie face up.
- Use the same cookie cutter to shape marshmallow and caramel.
- Layer marshmallow, caramel, and another cookie.
- Place assembled moon pies on a wire rack.
- Spoon melted chocolate over them.
- Let them set until the chocolate is dry.
the MoonPie is not just a snack; it's a cherished Appalachian tradition that embodies the spirit of the hardworking men and women of the region. And while the classic MoonPie remains a favorite, these Salted Caramel & Marshmallow Moon Pies are a delightful twist that pays homage to the creativity inspired by a simple request for something "as big as the moon." Enjoy this homemade delicacy and savor a piece of Appalachian history! 🌙🍪
As you enjoy these homemade Salted Caramel & Marshmallow Moon Pies, let their nostalgic flavors whisk you back to cherished childhood moments. Craving more childhood favorites? Explore a delightful collection of recipes that'll transport you to those carefree days by clicking here childhoodfaves Relive the tastes of your youth, one delicious recipe at a time.