“Life is better when you add fresh air, a warm campfire, bright stars, and s’mores.” —Unknown
Each summer, my thoughts turn to camping in our RV, campfires, and s’mores. My love of s’mores started as a Girl Scout around a campfire and if you’re reading along, my guess is that you had a similar introduction to this wonderful treat, perhaps discovering them in your own backyard over a hot grill or around a fire on a camping trip with your family. Whatever way you learned to love them, s’mores are a perfect combination of a crisp graham cracker, melted chocolate, and a toasted, gooey marshmallow. The perfect combination. Or is it?
S’mores are fun for kids of all ages and they can be one of the easiest treats to take on a camping trip or a simple dessert option for a big crowd! After lots of personal research and testing, I hope I can inspire you to be adventurous and try the s’mores variations that I discovered or better yet, find a combination that you create that speaks to you.
You know it! It’s the version of s’mores that we all fell in love with as kids. A soft, fluffy marshmallow roasted over an open, smoky fire becomes the star of the show. Sandwiched between two pieces of crispy graham crackers and paired with a piece of a chocolate bar and Viola! Simple, sweet, gooey, and messy. You know you did it right if you are licking your fingers when you’re done.
Fudge Striped Cookie S’mores
As unconventional as it sounds, a toasted marshmallow tastes awesome between two Fudge Striped Cookies. The cookie is the swap for the graham cracker and the chocolate is already part of the cookie! How easy can you get?
Another childhood treat that most of us have taken with us into adulthood is the beloved Oreos. This version of a s’more is a great combination of s’more and cookie. Twist open your Oreo like most of us do when we eat one but instead, place your toasted marshmallow between the cookies. What could be better than two childhood favorites coming together? As another super easy version, the only other addition I would recommend would be a small piece of chocolate to send this combination over the top.
Ritz-Peanut Butter Cup S’more
To me, there is nothing better than a salty-sweet combination and I love to sandwich my toasted marshmallow between two salty, buttery Ritz Crackers. With this option, I’ve added my personal favorite, a thin peanut butter cup, as my source of sweet. In fact, the thin version of the peanut butter cups does not overwhelm the other elements making for a perfect balance of salty and sweet. As my go-to favorite, I make sure to have the supplies for this version on every camping trip we take!
This is a fun way for a group to enjoy and experiment with s’mores. It’s also an easy dessert for a group that really requires no cooking for the host.
Set up a “buffet” of ice cream cones and any filling you can imagine to fill the cones. We opted for sugar cones to experiment but I would suggest a larger waffle cone so you have plenty of room for your goodies!
For the marshmallow in this version, I recommend using the mini marshmallows so you have room in your cone for the goodies you want to add. To begin, place 3 to 4 mini marshmallows in the bottom of your cone and then start layering fillings such as strawberries, raspberries, or bananas. As you go, make sure to mix in your chocolate too along with more marshmallows. For the chocolate, consider chocolate chips, Rolos, or any chocolate that you may enjoy. Other additions that would be great could include spreading peanut butter or a hazelnut spread that we all love on the inside of your cone followed by your other ingredients.
When you have filled your cone with your masterpiece, wrap it loosely in aluminum foil and place it over your hot coals or on your grill. It only takes a few minutes to melt your chocolate and marshmallows and warm your cone. If your heat source is really hot, be careful not to leave it on too long to prevent burning your cone.
After many test tries, my favorite concoction was a peanut butter cup, banana, and marshmallows. Very Elvis Presley but oh, so good! The marshmallows don’t toast inside the cone but they do get warm and gooey. The chocolate or spread, if used, will melt and mix together with all the other fillings you use and your cone should be a warm replacement for the traditional s’more graham cracker.
NOTE: When kids are participating, adults should handle the hot-wrapped cones off the fire. Oh, and before digging in, keep in mind that the marshmallows and chocolate will be very hot so care should be taken to allow the cones to cool a bit before taking that first bite.
This version is also great for a crowd and can be enjoyed inside at any time of the year. First, preheat your oven, or toaster oven, to 450 degrees. Meanwhile, over a low flame, heat a small cast iron skillet and melt 1/2 tablespoon of butter in the bottom and sides of the skillet. When the butter is melted, turn off the heat. Arrange chocolate chips to cover the bottom of the skillet and top with mini marshmallows. In the preheated oven, toast the dip for 5-6 minutes or until the marshmallows are perfectly toasted. Serve right away, placing the skilled on a trivet. To serve the dip, we gave everyone a spoon to help maneuver the hot dip onto pretzels, crackers, cookies, or graham crackers.
Note: The idea is to serve the dip hot so be careful to remind your gang and any kids present to be careful when they start to dig in.
Bailey’s Dipped Toasted Marshmallows
After the kids are in bed, who says that the adults can’t enjoy s’mores their way? After toasting your marshmallow, try dunking it in a little Bailey’s! This is truly a grown-up version of S’mores worth trying.
Think of your toasted marshmallow as a delicious, blank canvas and pair it with any kind of cookie-chocolate chip cookies pop to mind, in a cone, or even in a casserole in your home kitchen. Explore the possibilities and have fun doing it!
Remember, with just the slightest planning and simple ingredients in your pantry, a warm, crackling fire or a hot grill can produce the easiest dessert that is great for a couple or a big crowd.