Archive for: s’mores
The most traditional way to make s’mores is over an open fire. You skewer a marshmallow on a stick and roast it over the open flame, then quickly sandwich it between two graham crackers with a chunk of Hershey’s chocolate. S’mores are so popular, however, that you don’t need to be out camping to indulge in them anymore. You can make them over bbqs and backyard fire pits at home, and I’ve even seen people make them over the burners on their stove when the craving strikes (effective, but not recommended). There have been some innovations in the technology used to make the s’mores, too, and there are a variety of smoother, cleaner sticks that are idea for skewering marshmallows than there used to be. But even more impressive than a nice roasting stick is something like Rome’s #62 Original S’more Maker. This gadget allows you to preassemble three s’mores and toast them all together.
I gave one of these gadgets a go on a recent cookout to see how it compared to the traditional method. It was nice to be able to make s’mores in bulk, and was easy to set up. The only problem with the device is that your graham crackers will get a bit too crunchy if you toast your s’mores for too long. Since I like my marshmallows a little on the darker side when toasted, I found that I would get a better toast when doing the marshmallows separately. However, I really liked the way the chocolate melted when it was over the flame. I’ll personally stick to the more traditional method, but if you want to do s’mores in bulk or like a lighter toast on your ‘mallows, you’ll get good results with one of these.
When you think about roasting hot dogs or marshmallows over an open fire, as you might do on a camping trip, you probably picture someone holding a rustic looking stick with which they have skewered their goodies. I know that this is what I picture, probably due in large part to what I saw on cartoons as a kid. On those cartoons, there would almost always be one person with a multi-branch skewer that could hold five times as much as everyone else’s did. I never got to use any rustic looking branches to toast my marshmallows as a kid, even when I was camping (probably just as well, as who knows where a branch you’d find at a campsite has been) and had a more utilitarian skewer instead. But this set of stainless steel Branch Skewers would let me relieve that childhood fantasy of grilling a dozen marshmallows at once with a tree branch – but in a much more modern way.
The Branch Skewers come in a set of two, and their short prongs allow for more even cooking when you’re using them on a grill, while their long handles will keep your hand a safe distance from the fire when you’re toasting marshmallows. They’re dishwasher safe, so they’re easy to clean and reuse – and they also look a bit cooler than your average skewer on top of that! One last point: I can’t tell you how many times I’ve skewered myself accidentally while loading up straight steel skewers, and these are a bit safer to load up by comparison, too.
The combination of toasted marshmallows, crispy graham crackers and melting chocolate is what makes s’mores a beloved summertime treat of so many. Classic s’mores are made over a campfire, but you can capture the flavor of a s’more in different types of baked goods and desserts by using the same building blocks in a different way. A S’mores Layer Cake is a great example of this. This S’mores Ice Cream Terrine, which is another type of layer cake, is another.
A terrine is usually a savory dish, a molded pate that often has layers of vegetables, meats or other ingredients in it. My S’mores Ice Cream Terrine is much sweeter than your typical terrine, but is is molded in a very similar way and has layers of many different ingredients. The dessert is something that is very easy to assemble and can be made well ahead of time and stored in the freezer until you’re ready to serve. It makes a great no-bake icebox cake for summertime parties when you don’t want to heat up the kitchen by turning on the oven.
The terrine is made in a loaf pan by putting together layers of graham crackers, vanilla ice cream, chocolate fudge sauce and mini marshmallows. More mini marshmallows are added top the top of the terrine just before serving and bruleed with a kitchen torch (or under the broiler, if you’re quick about it!) to add that toasted marshmallow flavor. The amounts I’ve given below are more of an estimate and are not exact, because even fairly “standard” loaf pans vary a bit in size and you might want to make your layers thicker or thinner than I did. No matter how you stack things up, though, you’ll get a delicious s’mores dessert when you finally pull this out of the freezer.
If you’re cooking out, you have a chance to make one of the best summertime desserts out there: campfire s’mores. Campfire s’mores are the original s’mores, where the marshmallows are toasted over and open flame and sandwiched with a piece of chocolate between two crisp graham crackers. Despite the name, you don’t really need a campfire (although it doesn’t hurt). Typically, I opt for a barbecue with the heat cranked up or a fire pit (which more s’mores-loving people are installing in their back yards!) to make s’mores.
To make s’mores, you need graham crackers, chocolate, marshmallows and fire-proof skewers. Wood skewers are probably the most traditional, but long metal ones are generally the best choice. You want a chocolate that melts well from the heat of the marshmallow, so a milk chocolates, with their high cocoa butter content, tend to be better choices than dark chocolates for sheer meltability. Jet puff marshmallows tend to give better results than homemade because they hold up to the heat better. Any kind of graham cracker big enough to contain the chocolate and marshmallow goodness will work.
S’mores are – and probably always will be – a favorite summertime treat of mine. And I doubt that I will ever tire of coming up with creative new ways to combine s’more ingredients into new dishes. This time around, I looked at my bag of marshmallows, my package of Hershey’s bars (the classic chocolate, although other bars can be used) and a box of graham crackers and the idea of putting them all into a bread pudding slowly began to take shape.
This bread pudding starts off with a base recipe that I often use for bread pudding: a mixture of cubed sandwich bread, milk, half and half, eggs, sugar and vanilla. I stirred in the chopped Hershey’s bars, graham crackers and marshmallows to really put s’mores into my bread pudding. I used a little less sugar than I might ordinarily use because of the marshmallows that went into the mix, but another way to tone down the sweetness a little bit would be to used chopped dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate.
The marshmallows roast up perfectly in the oven, and when the bread pudding is still warm and the chocolate is still melty, it really does capture that s’more flavor in each slice! The only thing missing is the crunch of the graham crackers, which loose their shape (although not their flavor) while the bread pudding is in the oven. A few pieces of graham cracker as garnish will add that same crunch if you’re missing it. That said, I liked it plain, but it looked pretty with the crackers when it was plated.
When making a bread pudding at home, you don’t need to be precise with the amount of bread – or graham crackers, in this case – that you use. Estimate as you measure and err on the side of adding a little extra bread rather than too little, as a bread pudding will still be moist with a handful of extra bread cubes but might be too wet or set improperly when not enough are used.