I was driving home from work a couple nights ago and was thinking a lot about my grandma. By the time I hit the exit, I had to have one of her desserts. I am really trying to eat healthier. Really. But sometimes you just need a little taste of nostalgia. And I needed it that night.
When I got to my exit, I pulled over and texted my sister to ask for the recipe for Nannie’s Black Moons so I could stop at the store before I got home. They can best be described as chocolate cake sandwiches – kind of like whoopie pies made almost exclusively out of Crisco, haha. My grandma, who we called Nannie, made them for my sister and I every summer when we stayed with her, and we’d often help her in the kitchen. The last time I recall her making them for us was during my sister’s freshman year of college at U.C. Berkeley, not long before she passed away. She had sent them up with my dad for us to enjoy while we were together.
Now it was my girls’ turn to help me in the kitchen. After dinner, they poured all the dry ingredients, and watched me mix in the wet ingredients and drop the batter on the pans to bake. I added the filling after they were in bed, and they got to try them after dinner the following night. They showed a lot more patience than I did! But they loved them. I think these might become a childhood favorite for them, too.
I have no idea where my grandma got this recipe, if she created it or got it from a neighbor or clipped it from Good Housekeeping or off a Crisco label. (It doesn’t exactly match up with other old school family recipes like stuffed grape leaves, hummus and kibbe.) But I’m sharing it with you in good faith as a childhood favorite.
Black Moons Recipe
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
In large mixing bowl with electric beater, cream together:
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup Crisco vegetable shortening
- 1 egg
Add dry ingredients alternately with 1 cup milk. Add in 1 tsp. vanilla extract. Drop by tablespoonful onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Cool and spread filling between two cakes, making a sandwich.
In a small mixing bowl, combine:
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup Crisco vegetable shortening
- 1/3 cup canned evaporated milk
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla
Mix and let stand for 10 minutes. Beat with electric beaters until thick, smooth and holds shape.