Our family loves to make s’mores, whether around a fire pit or over the gas range in the kitchen. We decided to try several variations on the traditional Hershey’s bar, marshmallow, and graham cracker favorite on our latest camping trip.
Who Came Up with S’mores?
Marshmallows originally came from a plant. The leaves and roots aided in inflammation, and the Greeks used them for medicinal purposes.
The French found the root juices sweet and mixed them with egg and sugar to form a treat. People also used it in this lozenge form to soothe a sore throat.
Extracting the juices from the roots took time and money. Soon, gelatin replaced the root juices making marshmallows readily available to everyone.
A Presbyterian minister, Sylvester Graham, in the early 19th century believed the downfall of society was due to the foods people ate. He believed robust meals like steak and wine contributed to the desire for sex.
He combined wheat flour, wheat bran, and ground germ to curb this desire to make a dry cracker. He, of course, named the cracker after himself.
The first recipe for s’mores came from, you got it, the Girl Scouts. They featured the recipe in their book, “Tramping and Trailing with Girl Scouts.” The original recipe was titled “Some More.” But the name, over time, blended itself into one word – s’more!
What Happens When You Roast a Marshmallow?
It isn’t as simple as sugar burns. When you roast a marshmallow, a chemical change happens.
Air makes up most of a marshmallow. When air heats up, the molecules expand. Thus as a marshmallow’s temperature rises, it expands. This expansion not only occurs over an open flame but also happens when you microwave a marshmallow.
As the marshmallow expands, moisture escapes through the tiny pores formed. The moisture leaves as steam.
The oxygen in the air spreads over the marshmallow. This oxygen mixes with the carbon of the marshmallow resulting in a blue flame.
The Perfect Roasted Marshmallow
Not everyone agrees on the perfect roasted marshmallow. My oldest daughter loves her marshmallows burnt to a crisp. I, on the other hand, like mine, a nice brown on the outside.
To get a burnt marshmallow that also melts, hold the marshmallow over the fire until you see it melting. Then thrust it into the flames. Voila, burnt marshmallow!
For the lightly browned marshmallows, time and a hotbed of coals are essential. Fire is not your friend for this roasting technique. Find a spot in the fire that is hot but not flaming. Slowly rotate the marshmallow over the radiant heat.
Over several minutes, the marshmallow toasts and melts. Catch it with your graham cracker and chocolate right before it melts off the stick. Yum, the perfect marshmallow!
Not Your Traditional S’mores
If your family is like our family, we make s’mores many times through the year. We thought, “Let’s mix it up.” So we did.
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup
We love some Reese’s cups; who doesn’t? It only makes sense that this delectable candy bar replaces the chocolate bar in our s’mores change-up. To our surprise, the taste was not as good as we hoped.
My mother-in-law suggested we try the peppermint patty. I was a bit reluctant. Peppermint patty with marshmallows? It blew me away. This version was by far my favorite, as well as most of the adults.
My daughter wanted to try replacing the graham crackers with Chips Ahoy! cookies. I liked it, but not as much as the peppermint patty version. The kids, on the other hand, fell for the Chips Ahoy!.
Not Your Traditional S’mores
- 1 box graham crackers
- 1 bag large marshmallows
- 1 bag Shareable York Peppermint Patties
- 1 13 oz Chips Ahoy! cookies
- 1 package Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
- 1 6 ct Hershey's Chocolate Bar
- S'more #1: Sandwich a roasted marshmallow between two graham crackers and 2 Shareable York Peppermint Patties.
- S'more #2: Sandwich a roasted marshmallow between two Chips Ahoy! cookies and a 1/4 of a Hershey's Chocolate Bar.
- S'more #3: Sandwich a roasted marshmallow between two graham crackers and a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.
Nutrition values are estimates, for exact values consult a nutritionist.
Try them, and let us know which ones you like best!