7.13.2011

Homemade S'mores

“Hey, you want a s'more"
“Some more what?"
“No, no, you want a s'more?"
“I haven't had anything yet, so how can I have some more of nothing?”
“You're killing me Smalls! These are s'more's stuff. Okay, pay attention. First you take the graham, you stick the chocolate on the graham. Then you roast the 'mallow. When the 'mallows flaming... you stick it on the chocolate. Then you cover it with the other end. Then you stuff. Kind of messy, but good!”


I still think of these lines, from one of my favorite movies growing up, The Sandlot, every time I make s’mores! When I went camping with Boyfriend and some of his old coworkers about a month ago, I was totally sitting there with my marshmallow over the fire, thinking, “When the ‘mallows flaming…”

Since then, I’ve been craving s’mores really bad. Instead of taking the easy route, just buying the marshmallows and graham crackers at the store, I decided I wanted to make them both from scratch.

Homemade graham crackers and homemade marshmallows. Time consuming, yes, but not nearly as hard as it sounds! If you can make meringue, you can make marshmallows. The only scary part is the boiling sugar. (I still picture myself with a sugary toasted hand.) There was a minor freak out when my sugar syrup started turning toward a caramel color before it reached the right temperature. I thought for sure I was going to end up with brown marshmallows (yuck), but after whipping them with the gelatin, they were perfectly snow white. And DELICIOUS. I cut the leftover scraps into tiny little squares and seriously ate them as a snack. I couldn’t stop. These will definitely make an appearance again, because I can already think of 2 things I want to use them for.


And the graham crackers? No harder than a regular cut-out cookie! The dough is quite a bit sticky at first, so make sure your work surface and rolling pin are well floured. Also, I had better luck freezing my dough than just chilling it in the fridge. From the fridge it softened up way too quick, but the frozen dough held together much better without sticking nearly as much.

While they’re not exactly the quintessential campfire s’mores, with the toasted marshmallow squishing out the sides, and the melty chocolate, they’re a really good, not-as-messy substitute. They’re more s’morewiches than s’mores, but I’m okay with that. I think they’d be perfect for a picnic or a summertime cookout!



Vanilla Bean Marshmallows
Adapted from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home
Makes 24 2½-inch square marshmallows



½ cup cold water, divided
Three ¼-ounce packets unflavored gelatin
2 cups granulated sugar
¾ cup corn syrup
¼ teaspoon salt
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped and reserved
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting


1. Make marshmallows a day in advance: Spray an 11x17-inch baking pan lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Line pan with parchment paper and lightly spray parchment as well; set aside.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle gelatin over ¼ cup of water. Let soften for 5 minutes.
3.Meanwhile, combine remaining ¼ cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and vanilla seeds in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Without stirring, continue to cook until syrup reaches 236F on a candy thermometer.
4. With the mixer on low, using a whisk attachment, slowly drizzle the hot syrup into the gelatin. Gradually turn the mixer up to high, beating until the mixture is thick, fluffy, and sticky, about 8 to 10 minutes. (The bowl will probably still be warm to the touch.)
5. Turn the mixture out onto the prepared baking sheet. (Don’t worry about trying to scrape it all out of the bowl. It’s not going to all come out, and you’ll just end up covered in marshmallow. Trust me.) With wet hands, spread the mixture to the edges and smooth the top. Cover with a sheet of parchment paper, lightly sprayed with cooking spray, and let stand overnight.
6. Once set, using a knife or a square cookie cutter, cut marshmallows into shapes. Toss in confectioners’ sugar to coat, tapping lightly to remove any excess.

Graham Crackers
Adapted from Cherry Tea Cakes and Smitten Kitchen
Makes about 52 2½-inch square crackers

2 ½ cups plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes, chilled
1/3 cup honey
5 tablespoons whole milk
2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Garnish:
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 ounces dark chocolate, melted and cooled slightly

1. Line baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats; set aside.
2. Combine flour, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in the bowl of an electric mixer, pulsing a few times to mix. Add butter and mix on low until it mixture resembles coarse meal. (Alternately, you can do this in a food processor.)
3. In a small bowl, whisk together milk, honey, and vanilla extract. Add to flour mixture and mix until dough just comes together. Divide dough in half, pat into discs, and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill dough rounds until firm, about 2 hours.
4. Using one dough round at a time, generously flour a clean work surface (the dough is pretty sticky, so keep flouring as needed), and roll the dough into a large rectangle about 1/8-inch thick. Using a 2 ½-inch square cookie cutter, cut out shapes and transfer to prepared baking sheets, about ½-inch apart. Gather and reroll scraps, chilling again if the dough gets too soft.
5. To create traditional graham cracker decorations, using the blunt side of a knife, gently press vertically down the center of the square. Then poke holes with the blunt end of a skewer on either side of the line. Sprinkle with granulated sugar. Chill baking sheets in the refrigerator until firm, about 1 hour more.
6. Preheat oven to 350F. Bake until lightly browned and firm to the touch, about 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet for several minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
7. Once graham crackers are cooled, assemble smores: In a microwave safe bowl, or a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, melt chocolate, stirring until smooth. Allow to cool slightly.
8. Spread about ½ teaspoon of melted chocolate on the bottom side of 1 graham cracker. Top with marshmallow, pressing gently to spread to the edges and adhere. Spread another ½ teaspoon of melted chocolate on top of the marshmallow and top with another graham cracker, pressing down gently. Let stand until chocolate is firm. (Or place in refrigerator for half an hour until chocolate is set. Bring back to room temperature before serving.)
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7 comments:

Mara Bakes said...

I LOVE that movie! Lol and these look tasty!

Kiesha said...

Yowzers. Might have to make these in the next few weeks!

Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust said...

Okay. This settles it. I have to try and make my own graham crackers. I've craving them now. I have a feeling they will ruin Honey Maid for me forever. ;) Great photos!

Rachel @ Baked by Rachel said...

nom nom nom :)

oneordinaryday said...

Ooooo baby! These look absolutely, positively perfect!

Kiesha said...

You think if I left these in the fridge overnight that they'd hold up for an hour until they made it to air conditioning? Or would the chocolate and the marshmallow just melt?

Danae - The Busty Baker said...

Kiesha- I think they'd be okay. The marshmallow would be fine definitely, but the chocolate might get a little melty if left out for too long. But if you chill it first, it should hold up.

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