Smores are a quintessential summer food. And also rife with nostalgia. Maybe they take you back to your first overnight camp? Or a Girl Scout jamboree? Or a bonfire on the beach? Or perhaps a family barbecue? The truth is, you can make smores almost anywhere.
You can toast marshmallows over almost any fire, the flames of your gas grill, or even near a coil-style electric burner (if you happen to have an older stove in your life somewhere!). You can even toast marshmallows with a kitchen torch that you might use for toasting meringue or making creme brulee.
Both of these recipes make a lot – but since we may not have a lot of crowds this summer, you can freeze both easily. Which means you can make a batch now and your family can enjoy smores all summer long. Just defrost 6-8 marshmallows and 12-16 cookies, depending on the size of the chocolate bar you can get your hands on.
If you are strapped for time (but really, who is, lately?), you can focus on the marshmallows. If you’ve never had a homemade marshmallow before, you will quickly become a convert. Alone, they are both gluten- and dairy-free which makes them a lovely gift for many. After toasting them all summer long, you can use the same recipe to top your Thanksgiving sweet potatoes, or include in your holiday baking. The possibilities are nearly endless.
I have tried many versions of homemade graham crackers over the years – and none have replicated the crisp of the package you probably grew up with using for smores. That being said, these speculoos cookies may be rolled thin and have a nice spiced note that works well.
Toast marshmallows to your liking and sandwich between speculoos cookies with a piece of chocolate of your choice (for a real treat, try a specialty chocolate bar, like the organic dark chocolate caramel crunch with sea salt from Equal Exchange or the organic superdark mint crisp chocolate bar from Alter Eco – can you tell I like dark chocolate?)
So, are you ready to make the best smores?
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 1 cup cold water divided
- 3 1/4- ounce envelopes unflavored gelatin
- 2 cups sugar 1 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup light corn syrup 1 cup honey
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- Spray a 9×13 glass baking dish with cooking spray and dust with powdered sugar.
- Pour 1/2 cup cold water into bowl of heavy-duty mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Gently stir in gelatin and allow to sit for 15 minutes.
- Combine 1/2 cups sugar, honey, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup cold water in heavy medium saucepan.
- Swirl pan gently until sugar dissolves, then attach candy thermometer to side of pan.
- Raise heat and bring syrup to a boil. Watch carefully, without stirring, until syrup reaches 240 degrees (about 8 minutes).
- With mixer running at low speed, slowly pour hot syrup into gelatin mixture in thin stream down side of bowl (avoid pouring syrup onto whisk, as it may splash). Gradually increase speed to high and beat until mixture is very thick and stiff, about 15 minutes. Add vanilla and beat to blend, about 30 seconds longer.
- Scrape marshmallow mixture into prepared pan. Smooth top with wet fingers. Let stand uncovered at room temperature until firm, about 4 hours.
- Stir cornstarch and powdered sugar in small bowl to blend. Sprinkle over top of the marshmallows, and onto work surface.
- Turn marshmallow slab out onto work surface and sprinkle more starch-sugar mixture over marshmallow slab.
- Coat wheel of pizza cutter (or cookie cutters) with nonstick spray. Cut marshmallows into squares or other shapes. Toss each in remaining starch-sugar mixture to coat.
- ½ cup 1 stick butter
- ¼ cup 2oz superfine sugar, plus extra to finish
- ¾ cup 6oz all purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Beat the butter and the sugar together until smooth.
- Stir in the flour and spices to get a smooth paste. Turn on to a work surface and gently roll out until the paste is ½ inch thick.
- Cut into squares (or any other smores shape you prefer) and place onto a baking tray. Sprinkle with remaining superfine sugar and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until pale golden-brown. Set aside to cool on a wire rack.
What does it take for you to have the best smores? Comment below.
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