American Classics: Moon Pies

American Classics

Lost classic desserts from our wide and varied past.

Editor's Note: You may know Alexandra Penfold as Brownie from the popular blog Blondie and Brownie. She'll be stopping by weekly, digging up long-lost classic desserts and regional favorites.


[Photograph: Alexandra Penfold]

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A Moon Pie is neither a moon nor a pie. Discuss. A signature item at the Chattanooga Bakery since 1917, Moon Pies have deep Southern roots. In the '30s miners and laborers popularized the "working man's lunch" a combination immortalized in Big Bill Lester's 1951 country hit "Gimme an RC Cola and a Moon Pie."

Over on the Talk boards there is hot "Scooter Pies or Moon Pies?" thread about the beloved chocolate covered marshmallow cookie sandwiches and their various regional iterations that reminded me how much I looked forward to getting Scooter Pies, the Northern cousin of Moon Pies, in my lunchbox. I haven't had a Scooter Pie in ages, but sadly, the last Moon Pie I had a few years ago didn't live up to the magnificence I remembered from childhood.

Perhaps it was me—I'll admit my intense sweet tooth has dulled with time, and I can no longer pound packages of Peeps like I once did. Or maybe I just have less of a tolerance for all the artificial goodies—I'm looking at you, high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oil blend! Nevertheless, the concept behind a Moon Pie is great, and the marshmallow cream/graham cracker/chocolate shell trifecta is more than worthy of a makeover.

Though the graham cracker in the homemade recipe has more of a crunch to it than the cakelike versions in commercial Moon Pies, reactions from my trusted tasters were uniformly positive, from "I don't remember Moon Pies being this good!" to "Very, very tasty." The extra bit of saltiness in the homemade grahams got high marks. Even my marshmallow-hating husband, who mocked my desire to make my own graham crackers ("why mess with perfection?") admitted that the homemade version was well worth the effort.

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Got a favorite classic American dessert recipe you'd like to see featured here? Email us with the subject: "American Classics."