When you think fireside dessert, you think s’mores don’t you? S’mores happen to be one of my all-time favorite sweet treats. As a kid I loved the classic: Graham crackers & Hershey’s chocolate. And while that’s still a go-to combo, my adult palette has broadened my s’mores horizon.
My name is Chloe Mackintosh, from the blog Boxwood Avenue, and today I’m sharing some of my favorite s’mores recipes. I recently visited Northstar California, and took full advantage of the après-ski s’mores scene. It was a scene that included both the Village at Northstar for daily afternoon s’mores (complete with s’mores chefs), and The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe, featuring Marshmology and their resident Marshmologist.
Fittingly, I took the gondola up to The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe to experience Marshmology myself. Sure enough, at promptly 4:30 p.m., the Marshmologist rolled out the s’mores cart full of all the ingredients for the perfect mountainside s’more. The Ritz-Carlton chef even whipped up a few specialty mallows, including some that were cherry- and orange-flavored—truly delicious! Kids and adults then gathered around the cart to collect marshmallows, graham crackers, skewers, and chocolate to roast around the large fire pit.
Even though we were all mostly strangers, the simplicity of melting our marshmallows side-by-side brought us together. I’ll tell you, enjoying a s’more, in the mountains, cozied up under a blanket by the fire was a moment of pure bliss.
So how fun would it be to serve s’mores as a dessert the next time you have friends over? Instead of making the classic s’mores, you can get creative and tweak the recipe to pair with your meal, like The Ritz-Carlton’s resident Marshmologist did.
Homemade marshmallows may take a little bit of prep, but once you make your own, you’ll have a hard time going back to store-bought marshmallows. I love how flexible homemade marshmallows are; you can add any kind of extract or food coloring to make exceptional flavors. To make your homemade s’mores even more unique, use dark chocolate, white chocolate, or even caramel. And for something different from the traditional graham crackers, try using shortbread cookies or flavored graham crackers!
When combining flavors, think of common pairings that you are familiar with: sea salt & caramel, chocolate & bananas, coffee & toffee, orange & vanilla, and so many other flavor combinations that I could go on and on about. While there are so many different ways you can be creative, it’s important use flavors that pair well with each other and align with what you are serving.
If you’re having Thai for dinner, you might want to use coconut extract with some coconut flakes on the marshmallows. Or, if you’re making Mexican food, try adding some spice into the s’mores, like chili powder. Use these common flavor pairings as a base line, and then go from there. Even as I’m writing this I’m dreaming of dark chocolate with maple-flavored marshmallows & a little bit of sea salt… Yum!
Needless to say, s’mores shouldn’t be reserved just for kids! They are an easy dessert to make at home and dress up for a festive final course—or first course for that matter—at your next get-together. I hope you enjoy pushing the boundaries and getting creative. If you’d like to see more of my ideas, you can give me a visit at Boxwood Avenue; I’d love to have you!
You can check out my full story and recipe about homemade marshmallow here, or grab the recipe below.
- 1 cup water, divided into two 1/2 cups
- 3 packets unflavored gelatin
- 1 tsp kosher salt (I used Maldon)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
- non-stick cooking spray
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten
Prep: Combine cornstarch and confectioners sugar in a small bowl. Spray a 13x9 dish with non-stick spray, then dust it with the cornstarch mixture. You will have some starch/sugar left over - save it to dust the top of the marshmallows.
Step 1: In a large mixing bowl (I used my electric mixing bowl), combine gelatin and 1/2 cup cold water. Stir to dissolve the gelatin and allow to sit while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
Step 2: Combine granulated sugar, salt, corn syrup, and the remaining 1/2 cup water in a saucepan. Over medium heat, stir the ingredients to dissolve the sugar. Once dissolved, turn the heat to high and bring to a boil - using a candy thermometer, closely monitor the temperature.
Step 3: Whisk the mixture as it boils and keep a close eye on the temperature. As soon as it reaches 240 degrees F, remove it from the heat. This takes about 15 minutes.
Step 4: Slowly pour the syrup into the dissolved gelatin mixture. Use an electric mixer to whip the mixture for about 15 minutes. It will become light and fluffy...like marshmallows!
Step 5: Once the mixture becomes marshmallow-like, add the vanilla and mix until combined.
Step 6: Use a spatula to pour the marshmallow mix evenly into the prepared baking dish. Dust with remaining confectioners sugar mixture, and let the marshmallows sit overnight, uncovered. Once the mallows have dried out a bit, you can cut and dust with more confectioners sugar or sprinkles!
Notes: We live in a dry environment, and I left mine out overnight, uncovered. They remained a bit sticky, and were tricky to cut. I think leaving them out longer would do the trick; however, I didn't mind the "stickiness" - they were delicious!!! Try dusting with more confectioners sugar so that they won't stick together if you plan on gifting these.
Some have mentioned that the mallows were a bit hard to remove from the pan, if you have some handy, you can use parchment paper to line the dish!