The more I learn about what Lucky Moon Pies and More might offer on any given day, the more intrigued I become. As their name states, they make pies. These may include anything from traditional fruit or cream pies, plus a variety of tarts, to quiches and savory meals such as British steak and ale, or spicy fiesta pie.
But, as their name also implies, there are a fair number of other baked goods in their shop every day, as well as a self-service coffee station. The key is this: you may not know what their treat selections will be without calling ahead, and you shouldn’t count on having a whole pie to yourself unless you order one in advance.
My sons (ages 13 and 5) and I recently embraced the mystery. With a half-price coupon from The Got Spot in hand and a game-for-anything attitude, we visited the quaint shop on Rte. 150 in Mahomet.
Cinnamon rolls were featured that day, as were cake pops and slices of chocolate chip cookie cake, among other items. Apparently we arrived too late for quiche. We chose two cinnamon rolls ($5 each), three chocolate-covered peanut butter cake pops and one birthday cake pop ($2.50 each), and one slice of apple pie ($4).
I had been in the building once before, when it was a coffee shop. It was on the small side for a place that mostly served drinks, and now the area where the coffee bar was located is now being used entirely for baking, which leaves just the former entryway for customers to place and receive orders. Still, the space is cozy and inviting. I also enjoyed being able to watch as they prepared our cinnamon rolls for their journey back to Champaign; each roll was carefully boxed and given an extra drizzle of icing.
Maybe that’s why I was most excited to try them, or maybe it’s because cinnamon rolls in general speak to my soul. At any rate, my hopes weren’t disappointed. They make them (or at least, made this batch) out of croissant dough, which results in an endlessly flaky roll that absorbs all of the caramel, cinnamon sugar, and icing into each bite.
Cutting a cinnamon roll for sharing feels wrong. A big part of the enjoyment is in unraveling the roll and anticipating popping the center — the sweetest, softest part — into your mouth whole. I found that sharing one of their rolls wasn’t hard at all, as every bite was as full of flavor as a typical center bite.
At Lucky Moon, they seem to enjoy playing with the rules of baking. While the cinnamon roll dough was light and flaky, the pie crust brought to mind the heartiness of a homemade biscuit. If it’s the same crust they use for their savory pies, I could see it being more than equal to the task. My oldest son claimed the first bite, and he — who is both an apple pie fanatic and brutally honest — declared it “good” before I could ask.
Similarly, the cake pops, while visually pleasing, were not fussed into perfect spheres and elaborately decorated. Their slightly rustic shape promised a generous filling and chocolate coating, and the pops delivered both.
As I am shunning chocolate for Lent, I tried the birthday cake pop. I don’t count white chocolate in my self-imposed ban, although, in this case, I probably should have; it tasted a little too good for a time when I’m supposed to be suffering treat withdrawls. Similarly, my kids loved their chocolate peanut butter pops. Speaking to mine, I think the bakers at Lucky Moon nailed both the texture of the dense center of blue frosting smooshed into cake crumbs — like raw cookie dough, but better — and the creamy but firm white chocolate coating.
Most of their 9 inch pies sell for $19. I’m thinking of finding a reason (may have to go with the old “day that ends in -y” excuse) to try a whole one soon. Whether it will be sweet or savory, I haven’t decided yet. The display pies on the day we visited were both tempting; one was piled ridiculously high with cream, while the other appeared to have a caramel/crumb topping. While the weather is still cold, maybe a dinner pie. Or maybe something for brunch. Certainly, the Lucky Moon has got me dreaming.
Lucky Moon Pies and More
401 E. Oak Street
T-F 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. or sold out
Sa 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. or sold out
Photos by Rachael McMillan