Are you ready for the fun and spooky stuff of late October?
Speaking of things that are scary, you all know it’s spring down here and that means that the bugs are coming alive, major eeek! Have I ever mentioned that the
birds bumblebees here are rather large? Well, they are. They’re so big actually, that they are more like small animals than insects and they’re so fuzzy they could almost be cute……except for when they’re trying to eat you!! Luckily they are usually pretty nice as far as bugs go and won’t bother you unless provoked, so they’re the least of my concerns when it comes to insects.
You see, very few houses in this area have air conditioning because, with the mild climate, it’s really not necessary. However, that means we always open up the windows when the weather is nice, and um, they don’t have window screens either, so it’s not surprising that we get a number of little friends sharing our house during the Spring and Summer. Somehow they always find a way into the kitchen too, which leaves me running around like a crazy person trying to eliminate the incessant buzzing in the windows, or worse, trying to swap the stupid bugs that keep wacking into my face while I’m trying to make food.
I’m just really thankful that this area doesn’t have tabenos (also know as my least favorite creature on the planet). They are these huge, fat flies that will literally chase you down to land on you, bite you, and suck your blood. I call them vampire flies and they’ll even bite through your clothes if you give them the chance. It’s not that it hurts a lot, it’s not even comparable to a bee sting, but it’s enough to make you really cranky that it got you.
Last summer we lived around Lago Ranco and the horrible things would be a plague for about three and half weeks smack dab in the middle of heat season. Someone told us that they came in from Argentina to mate or something and then went back afterwards, but I don’t know if that’s true. All I know is that we were so glad to be rid of them when they finally left. Some of the locals that grew up in that area told us they used to make a game of trying to catch them. I can’t decide if I think that’s more pragmatic or insane, but yeah, they don’t come around here so I get to keep a little extra of my own sanity thank you very much.
But more on point, these moon pies……….. As you can see, they are not you’re traditional moon pie. Actually, I’ve probably only had a real moon pie once, ever, and from what I remember it wasn’t really my thing. Trust me, these are different. My brother-in-law has been telling me I should make moon pies for a really long time now and I got this idea many weeks ago when I was brainstorming for October. I thought the whole moon pie idea would be fun to put a darker spin on. Do you get it, full moon? Yeah, like werewolves. So fun, right?
Even more fun is how yum they are! They have this amazing mocha marshmallow fluff filling (that you’ll probably want to drink by itself) sandwiched between two perfectly crunchy chocolate shortbread cookies with a hint of saltiness. Of course, then you dip the whole thing in chocolate and it becomes something dangerously addictive.
I’m not gonna lie, these aren’t the quickest recipe you’ve ever made but, man are they worth it. My whole family is still talking about these and they were unanimously voted to be almost as good as my snickers bars from last weekend. I’d say those are my best dessert creation to date so that’s saying something. You’ve just gotta do it!
If you’re wanting to something fun and festive then this is it! They’re triple the chocolate and perfect for any party. Seriously, if you make these for your friends they will love you forever and a day. The spookiest thing about them is how fast they disappear. Lightning fast, I’m telling you!
Dark Chocolate Mocha (Full) Moon Pies! (Vegan)
There's nothing like making some fun sweet treats this time of year. These little sandwich cookies make a perfect treat with a darker side.
Mocha Marshmallow Cream:
- 1/2 cup aquafaba liquid from a can of garbanzo beans
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules
- 1/2 cup 1 stick vegan butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 tablespoons almond milk
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules
- 2 - 2 1/2 cups dairy-free semi-sweet chocolate
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil or butter
In the bowl of a stand mixer, start beating the aquafaba and cream of tartar on medium speed and increase speed a little after every minute for about 5 minutes until soft peaks form.
Meanwhile, pour sugar, water, and syrup into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium low heat. As it heats, dip a rubber spatula in a cup of water and use to scrape down any sugar that starts to crystallize on the sides of pan. Stir gently until mixture is clear, then cook without stirring until it reaches 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and cool for a minute or two.
Turn mixer onto low speed and slowly pour syrup into stiffly beaten aquafaba. Slowly increase the speed every few minutes as it cools for 5 to 10 minutes, then beat on high until fluffy. Add vanilla, salt. cocoa, and coffee, and beat until combined. Scrape into an air tight container and store in fridge until ready to use.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 C). Beat butter and sugar together in a medium mixing bowl until creamed. Add baking powder, salt, vanilla, and milk and mix until combined. Add flour, cocoa, and coffee, then mix until dough is completely combined.
Turn out onto lightly floured surface and roll into a layer about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick and cut into small squares or circles, about 1 inch. Place them about 1/4 inch apart on a parchment or silicone lined baking tray and bake for 6 - 8 minutes until edges are browned and crisp. Cool completely.
Spread a small amount of marshmallow cream between 2 cookies and place on tray; repeat with all cookies. Place tray in freezer for 30 minutes to 1 hour until chilled.
Melt Chocolate and oil in a double boiler and remove tray from freezer. Dip cookies into chocolate and place on wire rack to allow excess to drip off. Allow chocolate to dry completely before serving.