More to s’mores: Almost 100 years after the invention of the original s’more, it is time to get creative
S’mores are a camping staple. Across the United States, families gather around campfires with the traditional and indispensable three elements of the s’more: marshmallow, graham crackers and milk chocolate.
First appearing in a 1927 Girl Scouts Handbook, the recipe for “some mores” has become a tried and tested classic. Simple and well-known, you cannot go wrong with a golden-brown roasted marshmallow sandwiched between melting chocolate and graham cracker. For the creative camper, however, alterations to the timeless s’more can elevate your outdoor dining.
Valeria Connelly, a Summit County local who sells her own s’mores kits, has been making s’mores in the backyard with her kids for years. Noticing the number of visitors to the mountains who were unused to the classic s’more, she began selling kits of all the essentials for making s’mores, whether over the grill in the backyard or fire at the campground.
“I do not think we realize living in the mountains we have these experiences over time,” Connelly said. “The idea was to have it all in one place.”
Connelly offers her own tips for making s’mores, though she acknowledges that every family likes to make them differently.
“My kids are always burning the marshmallow, but we kind of like it that way,” she said. “For perfect stacking of the s’more, it is best to aim for that lightly roasted, golden-brown marshmallow.”
To achieve lightly roasted perfection, Connelly suggests holding the roasting stick near the coals at the bottom of a campfire pit rather than the flames to prevent the marshmallow from catching fire. There are also a few certain essential tools or methods that can make the s’more-cooking process safer.
“I always have my reusable s’mores sticks,” she said. “But if you are using wooden sticks, soak them in water first to prevent them from catching fire.”
Making s’mores is an inherently messy process, but Connelly encourages campers or backyard s’more builders to be organized for the most efficient and enjoyable process.
“A bag of wet wipes is such a necessity,” Connelly said. “Try to store all your s’mores ingredients and tools into one storage box, so your family is not in lots of different boxes, and you can contain the mess.”
While Connelly’s family enjoys the classic s’more, she still encourages every family to make s’mores their own and to experiment with ingredients they like.
“You can get out of the box on it. Try different chocolate, like mint or caramel-filled chocolate,” Connelly said. “You can also get chocolate-filled marshmallows that keep the process a little less messy.”
For families that want to experiment with the traditional s’more, these variations explore some additions to the original recipe:
S’more dip, please
For this variation of s’mores, no roasting spits are required. Instead, layer a cast iron skillet with chocolate bars topped with marshmallows and set your skillet right on the coals or in the oven for five to 10 minutes. Wait for the marshmallows to achieve that perfect golden brown that can be harder to achieve directly over the flames.
Once the marshmallows have begun to melt, remove the skillet and use strips of graham cracker to dunk into the delicious dip
Safe and baked s’mores
Making s’mores with your family is always a good idea. But sometimes the process can be messy and daunting with sugar-happy kids running around near a campfire and wielding hot sticks. Take the hassle out of s’mores with this minimal-mess s’more hack.
Arrange a rectangular graham cracker parallel to the end of a strip of aluminum. Place Hershey’s chocolate pieces on both halves of the rectangle, add a marshmallow and put another rectangular graham cracker on top. Wrap up the s’more in the foil, and set it on a grate above the fire or in the coals. Test the doneness of the s’more by pressing down on the top of the foil package with a stick. If the foil does not spring back when pressed, then the s’more is ready to go.
Remove the package from the fire with mits and let them cool before unwrapping the foil. Be aware that the foil will still be hot. This s’more technique is not only good for reducing the mess, but is also perfect if you do not have marshmallow sticks handy.
Find yourself with a hankering for s’mores but lacking the niche ingredients of graham crackers and Hershey’s chocolate? Not to fear. This Oreo variation of s’mores does justice to the original recipe. Replace chocolate and graham crackers with Oreos and peanut butter.
To begin, spread a dollop of peanut butter on the top of two Oreos, then roast a marshmallow over a fire or stove. Rather than the traditional s’more, sandwich the marshmallow between the two Oreos with the peanut butter-covered sides facing inward. With the peanut butter acting as an adhesive, enjoy your unconventional twist on the s’more that combines family favorite ingredients.
The s’more pop
Whether you are at the campsite or in the house, make s’mores a craft for the whole family. To prepare, melt chocolate chips in a glass bowl and set up a bowl of ground-up graham crackers. Skewer marshmallows on popsicle sticks. Dip the marshmallow fully in the bowl of melted chocolate, then sprinkle graham cracker pieces onto the chocolate.
Set marshmallows in the fridge until they are hardened. These mess-free snacks can then be enjoyed around the fire.
Grilled banana s’mores
Concerned about the sugar content of your dessert? Add more fruit to the typical s’mores by losing the graham cracker. Grill your dessert by cutting a banana down the side — do not remove the banana peel. Once the banana is split open, fill it with mini marshmallows and chocolate chips.
Wrap up the bananas in foil wrap and throw them on the grill or a grate above the campfire for five minutes. You can tell if they are done by pressing on the foil with a stick. If the banana presses inward, then they are ready to be cooled and eaten like a banana split!
Red, white and blue s’mores
Celebrate the Fourth of July with a patriotic punch to your s’mores. In addition to the traditional graham cracker, chocolate and marshmallow, add blueberries and sliced strawberries for some fruity flavor and a touch of color.
To help the strawberries and blueberries stick, spread cream cheese, peanut butter, Nutella or jelly on one side of the graham cracker to keep your s’more together. For variations of fruit, try adding banana slices to the classic s’more recipe.
However you cook your s’mores, you cannot go wrong with the classic American dessert. Add new ingredients, make substitutions and change your technique to make the perfect s’more recipe for your family. Make your s’mores as fancy, simple or deconstructed as you would like, but remember to have fun while doing it and get creative.
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