S’mores: In Depth

published by Cassis on Dec 26, 2008

Everyone knows that s’mores are delicious, fun to make treats no matter what age. How many know the history of them, all about the components that go into these treats, and multiple ways of making them?

Overview

As a little kid you probably made s’mores over campfires, or in the microwave with your parents, but few people celebrate August 10th, National S’mores Day. Though that day is often overlooked as a typical day, they’re a popular treat that comes in different shapes and sizes. The s’more has also become a flavor for many different food items, from poptarts to candy bars. However, it all comes down to the simple marshmallow and chocolate between graham crackers that makes a s’more a s’more. The little details are how you put them together, what kinds of each ingredient you use, and how you cook them.

History

The name, “s’more”, isn’t just a clever little title, but a contraction of “some more”. It was created for the obvious reason that everyone wanted “some more” of this tasty treat. As campfire recipes are always a traditional thing no matter where you learn them from, the creation of the s’more was never clearly recorded. In 1927, it was introduced for the first time into the mainstream; the recipe was published into the Girl Scout Handbook.

Marshmallows

Ah, the main thing that you think of with s’mores, the one food that stands out the most in them, the pure-sugar lump of fluff that becomes so gooey and makes the s’more a messy food– the marshmallow. We put them in our hot chocolate, in Rice Crispy Treats, and even in fruit mixtures like Ambrosia. They’re such versatile forms of sugar, and they’re prepackaged after being mass produced. Thought it may be strange to think about due to mass production here, in Paris, making these delicacies was a work of art.

When you make your s’mores, you could use home made marshmallows like the French, or buy a factory produced one. Both of them would work just as well for the s’mores, but the tastes will vary. The home made marshmallows are often said to taste better, so feel free to make your own if that’s what you like. However, if you’re too impatient, the store bought marshmallows are also the more common choice.

Marshmallows also come in different colors, flavors, and shapes. A popular form of the marshmallow is Peeps, which comes in colors including, but not limited to, yellow, purple, orange, and pink. You can get marshmallow baby chickens, rabbits, or even pumpkins for the Halloween season. You can also find vanilla marshmallows and marshmallow creme. Mini marshmallows are often put in ice cream such as rocky road, and a multitude of cereal brands.

Chocolate

That’s right, chocolate is a huge factor in the s’more to add that sweetness that everyone loves. What would be a s’more without chocolate? There are so many different kinds you could try to incorporate into your dessert.

The typical flavor, and the one commonly used in s’mores, is milk chocolate. It has a balance of sugar and cocoa to give that creamy, chocolaty taste without being too bitter as straight cacao is.

Then there is white chocolate. It sometimes isn’t even considered chocolate because it uses cocoa butter, milk solids, and sugar. There is little chocolate quality to it other than its texture and tendency to melt in your mouth. The cocoa butter is pure vegetable fat extracted from the cacao bean. It’s probably the creamiest, and the first white chocolate was produced in Europe.

Of course, finally is dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is sugar and cacao with little to no no milk additives. It has a bitter taste, and sometimes is known as “plain chocolate”. What many will be pleased to know is that dark chocolate is actually good for you, besides being a dehydrate as all chocolate is. It has antioxidants in it, which will help protect you from toxins in your body.

Though all of them are often agreed to be delicious, the best balance of sugar and chocolate for s’mores is probably the milk chocolate. Regardless of this speculation, feel free to experiment with any chocolate combination that strikes your fancy.

Graham Crackers

Developed before the s’more in 1822, the graham cracker is to a s’more like bread is to a sandwich; the foundation that keeps all of it together. It also provides that crunch that gives it a crumbly texture. It’s almost unbelievable that you think of something in such a sweet dessert would be created firstly as a health food. The graham cracker was intended originally to be part of the Graham Diet.

The Graham Diet was formulated by a pasture by the name of Sylvester Graham. He wanted to develop a diet of foods that people could follow to live a pure life and get out of bad habits. One of his focus points was to sway from sexual oriented thoughts as Graham crackers were supposed to do with their bland flavors.

Today, they’re not often used to keep people on a path of purity, but they do make good dessert.

Recipes

When I was younger, I used to love a good dessert whenever I was allowed to have it. Sometimes, when we had the things to make it, I’d ask to make s’mores. It was a favorite of mine. I’ve accumulated a few ways to make these sticky treats in the microwave, in the oven, over a grill, and over a camp fire.

Traditional: In the Microwave

The microwave is a great way to get s’mores quick with little effort. You’ll need:

-Two graham cracker halves
-Two large marshmallows, or one cut in half
-A piece of chocolate large enough to cover the graham cracker

Grab a plate and lay out the graham cracker halves on it for a surface to place into the microwave. Put the chocolate onto the graham cracker, then balance the marshmallows on them. It’s effective to have the chocolate on the bottom to keep it from melting and making a mess, and it keeps the marshmallow and the graham cracker together. Place the second half of the graham cracker on your marshmallows and put the plate in the microwave. Turn it on and watch them carefully. It’s fun to watch the marshmallows puff up! Take them out when the chocolate is melted, the marshmallows are puffy, and it looks ready to eat.

Alternatives:

-You could do this same process in the oven, but get an oven compatible pan to place your s’more onto.
-It’s possible to melt the chocolate and spread it onto the graham cracker, though it’s not quite as traditional.
-In some places, people like to put peanut butter on the graham cracker to go with the s’more.
-To substitute the marshmallow, you could always use marshmallow creme.

Over a Campfire:

My family got a fire pit for the backyard a while ago; a great addition to our home. Some nights it’s great to go out to roast marshmallows and make s’mores. Plus, it’s wonderful for parties. During one of those times, I developed a great way to melt your chocolate, and crisp up your marshmallow.

You need the same things as you would need any other time; though this time you will need a camp fire to cook your s’more. Everyone knows how to roast a marshmallow… but do you know the secret to it? The large, blazing fires are the worst places to nicely toast it, or get it browned. If you want that crunchy, browned outer layer, go for the hot coals. Watch it closely, though; it’s hotter than the flames. It can catch your marshmallow on fire.

Now, for the typical s’more, you would roast your marshmallow and smash it between two graham crackers and a piece of chocolate. The new method I developed will melt your chocolate inside of your roasting marshmallow.

I took my stick and first dug a wide whole all the way through the marshmallow. Make sure it’s spacial with enough room to hold your chocolate, and try to get it centered. Now for the messy part; shove and mold your piece of chocolate inside of your marshmallow. Try to press the ends of the marshmallow around the chocolate pieces that will probably stick out on either side. Feel free to break those off and eat them, or shove them into the marshmallow along with the rest of it.

Once you have the preparation all set up, you get to skewer your marshmallow. Making sure that the stick goes through the chocolate on the flat part, secure your marshmallow on your roasting stick. Once that’s done, bring the marshmallow close to the hot coals and let it brown. You’ll notice the chocolate will melt. If it tries dripping, just swirl the marshmallow around to catch the chocolate strings.

Now that your marshmallow is cooked to your liking, carefully remove it and squish it between two graham crackers. Be careful; your chocolate is hot and possibly molten. There’s a good possibility that you will get burnt if you touch it right out of the fire.

Another method to roasting…

You could always turn on the grill and use the little flames on that. If you have a gas stove, it wouldn’t be a good idea to try roasting food over that. You would be cooking your food by exposing it to the gas. Over the grill gives you small, controlled fires to roast at high temperatures.

Other Links

Haven’t got enough of those s’mores? Need more information? Craving other recipes? Here are a few more by other authors along the web.

Inside out s’mores are a clever way to multiply the s’more experience. They look like little home made candy bars!

S’mores pudding bread is a hot chocolate bread with s’mores additives.

A gadget that will help you make s’mores looks intriguing, doesn’t it? This cute little set up will heat your entire s’more at the same time in the microwave.

Ever wanted a s’more cookie? That’s right, a cookie with chocolate and marshmallows with graham cracker pieces in it. Hot, sticky, and a cookie version of everyone’s favorite dessert!

Cupcakes have gone s’mores, too! They’re small, but full of sugary goodness.

To learn more about that Graham Diet, read up on the righteous pasture.

Can’t get enough of those s’more facts? This site goes in depth further about the history and provides more ideas.

Now that you’ve got all that information, why don’t you go cook something, or even look for s’more on these desserts!


5 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. # 1 by Summer
    December 26th, 2008 at 2:07 pm #

    All’s great and good, but it’s odd to call a microwave method traditional after mentioning that they were introduced by the Girl Scouts in 1920(ish). Microwaves haven’t been around THAT long. ;)

  2. # 2 by wajafan
    December 28th, 2008 at 4:13 pm #

    I love smores!!

  3. # 3 by Icewolf/id 83347
    December 29th, 2008 at 12:37 am #

    Nice! Very good deatail. ^_^ S’more S’mores, please!

  4. # 4 by DigiBentoBox
    December 29th, 2008 at 1:00 am #

    Wow… I never knew so much!

    I always get too frustrated to wait for my smores….

  5. # 5 by Jorin
    February 9th, 2009 at 3:56 am #

    Oh, my lord. I have been waiting so long. It’s you.

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