Summertime brings thoughts of camping, picnicking, beach-going, and vacations. And for us, it is time for S’mores. But the kids don’t want to wait for a family camping trip, they want S’mores whenever they can get them.
Years ago, I had a pizelle maker. I LOVED making pizelles for the kids to snack on – and honestly, they loved it when I made them pizelles. One other benefit of this occasionally used piece of kitchen equipment was that I could transform the pizelles into a S’mores dessert. Two prepared pizelles would sandwich a scoop of vanilla ice cream, which I would then top with chocolate sauce. It was my at-home version of their favorite camping snack.
But alas, my waffle/pizelle maker bit the dust and when I bought a new waffle maker, it didn’t give me the ability to switch heating plates from waffle to pizelle. Consequently, the kids have been S’more-less for some time.
Last weekend, I finally pulled out the book The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee, which includes a collection of inventive recipes from Caitlin Freeman, the Blue Bottle pastry chef. The recipes included are delicious when paired with coffee, but don’t let that dissuade you from enjoying them anytime you want.
I decided to make the Brooklyn Bootleg S’mores, and they immediately gained entry into my arsenal of DIY favorites. Albeit not as easy to make as the campfire versions — or it’s pizelle counterpart – they are deliciously addictive (especially since I used Oban Scotch in the marshmallows), and worthy of making several times this summer.
What I like about it, is that everything is homemade — graham crackers, marshmallows, and ganache. Instead of the ganache in the book, I used a homemade chocolate sauce recipe from David Lebovitz that I had left-over from a recent birthday celebration:
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup, agave nectar, or glucose
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-processed)
2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
In a medium saucepan, whisk together the water, sugar, corn syrup (or agave or glucose), and cocoa powder.
Bring to a boil over medium heat. Once it’s just begun to simmer and boil, remove from heat and stir in the chopped chocolate until melted.
Let the Chocolate Sauce stand for a few hours before serving, which will give it time to thicken a bit.
The fact that had never made neither marshmallows nor graham crackers made me a bit apprehensive. And the the swarm of kids that found their way into the kitchen asking to help make S’mores, added a bit more apprehension to the situation. But I had already declared that I was making S’mores, that I couldn’t back down . . . the drool from my kids’ mouths was already dripping on the kitchen floor.
It was late in the day, so I thought I would only conquer the marshmallows that evening. I’d make the graham crackers the following day. Addie washed her hands an pulled the stool over to help me make the marshmallows. It was like a little science experiment, as everyone wondered how in the world was Mom going to make marshmallows. I needed to concentrate and there were too many questions and too many hands that wanted to help. I had to shush everyone – and even banish persistent Keely to the kitchen table to watch from afar. She cried, but I had to move on. There was no room – or patience – for any more distractions.
I got back to the book.
Nearly 3 pages long. Yes, that’s how long the recipe was. I had to get into the frame of mind to focus otherwise they wouldn’t turn out. (I posted the recipe separately, as it is quite lengthy. You can access it here: Brooklyn Bootleg S’mores)
I started with powdered gelatin, then heated a few ingredients on the stove, which were eventually added to the gelatin. I pulled out the stand mixer, and let Addie take charge of the mixing. Starting off on low, she was instructed to increase the speed to high and keep an eye out for when it began to turn glossy and create firm peaks. At that point is was ready to be spread into the pan to sit for 3 to 4 hours. She then indulged in licking the beater and the bowl.
In the morning, everyone wanted to see how the marshmallows turned out, but I wouldn’t let any taste . . . not yet. It was graham cracker making time. Another first for me, but it was so easy.
Each step along the way brought interest from the family. The time it took to make and assemble the Brooklyn Bootleg S’mores was much longer and more complicated than a traditional campfire S’more. But, I can speak for the entire family — they were well worth the effort.
Head on over to our recipe section at Family Eats where you can find the full recipe. And, if you like that, there are many more delicious recipes in The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee including Olive Oil and Rosemary Shortbread, Affogato with Smoky Almond Ice Cream, and Ellsworth Kelly Fudge Pops. I’ll keep you posted if I decide to whip any up.
You can purchase the book here.