Martha Stewart’s Tennessee-Style Marshmallow Cookies

This delicious riff on store-bought moon pies feature fluffy homemade marshmallow filling that make them well worth the prep.

Courtesy Clarkson Potter
Homemade Toaster Pastries

[ingredients-list title=”Ingredients” serving_size=””]

• 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin (about 2 tablespoons)

• 2/3 cup cold water

• 1 ½ cups granulated sugar

• 2/3 cup light corn syrup

• 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt

• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

• Confectioners’ sugar, for cutting

• 9 store-bought graham-cracker sheets, split in half

• 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted

• 1 cup salted, roasted peanuts, chopped

• Vegetable oil cooking spray

[step-list-wrapper title]
[step-item number=”1″ image_url=”” title=”” ]Coat a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray; line with parchment. Sprinkle gelatin over 1/3 cup cold water in a mixing bowl; let stand 5 minutes.[/step-item]
[step-item number=”2″ image_url=”” title=”” ]Heat granulated sugar, corn syrup, remaining 1/3 cup water, and the salt in a medium saucepan over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until syrup reaches 238°F on a candy thermometer, about 5 minutes.[/step-item]
[step-item number=”3″ image_url=”” title=”” ]Whisk gelatin in mixer on low speed, adding syrup in a slow, steady stream down side of bowl. Gradually increase speed to high, until mixture is almost tripled in volume, about 8 minutes. Whisk in vanilla. Transfer to prepared baking pan. Smooth top with an offset spatula. Let stand until set, at least 3 hours or up to overnight, covered with plastic wrap.[/step-item]
[step-item number=”4″ image_url=”” title=”” ] Dip surface of crackers into chocolate to coat, and transfer to parchment- lined baking sheets.   Refrigerate until set, about 10 minutes. Cut out nine 2½-inch square marshmallows using a cookie cutter or a knife dipped in confectioners’ sugar.[/step-item]

[step-item number=”5″ image_url=”” title=”” ]Sandwich marshmallows between crackers, chocolate sides in. Dip half of each sandwich into chocolate, on the diagonal; sprinkle with peanuts, and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until set, about 10 minutes.[/step-item][/step-list-wrapper]

All-American Backstory:
Created to be more filling than a cookie, the original Moon Pie—which was introduced in 1917 and is still being produced by the same family-owned business in Chattanooga—featured two graham crackers around a marshmallow-cream filling, all dipped in chocolate. Today you can find them in other flavors, including vanilla, strawberry, and banana (and there are also “double deckers” with three cookies and two layers of filling). Yet the classic flavor combination remains the standard-bearer. And it is the best place to start for anyone wanting to replicate them at home. This version is embellished with chopped salted peanuts, which could just as easily be omitted. Making your own marshmallow filling is what sets these cookies apart from the rest. It does require accuracy when cooking the sugar syrup to the right temperature, but your mixer will do most of the heavy lifting (and the addition of gelatin helps ensure you achieve the right texture, even on the first try). Whether you also choose to use homemade graham crackers is entirely up to you, but the press-in-the pan dough is simple enough to prepare, and the cookies’ flavor and texture can’t be beat. Make a batch of these for your Southern pals and they’ll think you’re out of this world.

Reprinted from the book Martha’s American Food by Martha Stewart. Copyright © 2012 by Martha Stewart. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest