Do you remember nights as a kid gathered around a campfire munching on the stacked combination of graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate known as a s’more? If so, you know it’s hard to go wrong with this campfire classic. But it turns out there are ways to make a s’more even better. We tapped s’mores afficionados to learn the secret to toasting the marshmallow perfectly, the ingredient swaps that add unforgettable flavor and more! Plus, a delicious recipe for a s’mores-inspired milkshake with a grown-up twist that we promise you won’t want to miss.
Ensure marshmallows melt perfectly
It’s no secret that the marshmallow is the star of the show — and getting it just the right texture for your s’mores is key. “Make sure the marshmallow is soft all the way through,” advises sweets enthusiast Lisa Adams, author of S’mores. For a ‘mallow that is perfectly ooey and gooey, she advises opting for metal skewers when you toast. “They work because they conduct heat to the center of the marshmallow, but you can still get a good roast with a regular old stick.”
Get perfectly melted chocolate
“Most of the time, a roasted marshmallow isn’t really hot enough to melt a slab of chocolate, so you get a lackluster, barely warm s’more,” says Adams. She recommends melting your chocolate well — whether you do so over a fire, on the grill or in an oven. Don’t want to deal with even more mess? Choose a soft spread like cookie butter or Nutella in place of regular chocolate.
Choose the best graham crackers for sturdy s’mores
When you’re biting into this summertime staple, the last thing you want is for your s’more to fall apart in your hands. And s’mores expert Martha Ware, founder and owner of the Mallow Box shop in Plano, Texas, has made enough s’mores that she knows which brands are best. Her advice? “Use a brand that doesn’t crumble easily, like Honey Maid, or Benton’s from Aldi. “Crumbly grahams can make it challenging to eat the s’mores.”
Or consider swapping graham crackers for cookies
The classic s’more is hard to beat, but swapping out the traditional ingredients for more creative options can add even more mmm. For a fun spin, try this recipe from Dan Whalen, author of S’mores!: Roast a marshmallow, open an Oreo and set the marshmallow on the bottom half. Top with a square of chocolate and replace the top half of the Oreo. “Putting marshmallow and chocolate inside an Oreo is sort of like stuffing it to the max — the roasted marshmallow flavor and texture is like what Oreo cream wants to be when it grows up.”
You can also experiment with fun toppings and flavored marshmallows. “Our most popular variation is made on a brownie-flavored cookie, and we use a salted caramel marshmallow, dark chocolate, caramel sauce and caramel bits,” says Ware. “It’s heavenly!”
Adams suggests mixing things up by swapping out regular chocolate for a peanut butter cup or a caramel-filled chocolate square, or adding slices of fresh or dried fruit, such as strawberries, bananas, raspberries, or dried apricots to your s’more. You’ll get just the right touch of sweetness to balance out the rich chocolate!
How to build the perfect s’more
“You want to have a solid base, such as a graham cracker or a crispy cookie, so it won’t fall apart when you heat it or add toppings,” says Adams. After choosing your base, add your melted chocolate of choice, place any fruit or nut toppings in the chocolate to help secure the ingredients and then add the toasted marshmallow. Top with another graham cracker or cookie and enjoy!
The genius trick that adds even more flavor to marshmallows
“When I saw the stuffed marshmallows on my grocery store shelf, I knew I could do even better,” says Woman’s World Food Director Julie Miltenberger, who oversees all recipes created in our test kitchen. “When I got home, I used a knife to cut an opening in the center of an extra-large marshmallow and inserted a square of dark chocolate. Then I roasted the marshmallow over a fire, inserting the roasting stick just off to the side of the marshmallow instead of in the center so the insides don’t get pushed out. Since then, I’ve experimented with mini peanut butter cups, chocolate-covered caramels and sliced candy bars and they’re all delicious!
Or skip the mess and make a s’mores cocktail!
Enjoy all of the irresistible flavor of the classic treat without the mess by whipping up a made-in-seconds, vodka-infused s’mores milkshake
½ cup milk
1 oz. vodka
½ cup vanilla or chocolate ice cream
4 large marshmallows
½ cup ice
In a blender, puree all ingredients together until smooth. Garnish with crushed graham crackers, toasted marshmallows and a few sprigs of mint, if desired. Makes 1 drink