Marshmallows: The essence of s'mores
March 28, 2007 - Lisa Adams' new cookbook, “S'Mores,” could have been called Marshmallows, but the word s'mores means so much more to us.
Adams, a camping enthusiast, researched the dessert-sandwich recipe - two graham crackers, a piece of chocolate and a roasted marshmallow - that was first published in a Girl Scout handbook. As she “began to enter uncharted s'more territory, I was left with an unanswered question: What does make a s'more a s'more?” Adams wrote.
What Adams ended up with were many recipes that do not contain graham crackers or chocolate, but every recipe contains a roasted marshmallow, the “essence of s'mores.”
“S'Mores: Gourmet Treats for Every Occasion” (Gibbs Smith, $17) has techniques for roasting the perfect marshmallow and properly melting a piece of chocolate, but Adams pairs and substitutes the three original ingredients to come up with dozens of recipes.
There's the patriot, with fresh blueberries and strawberries, for the Fourth of July barbecue; the candy cane for making around the Christmas fireplace; the smashing pumpkins, with a piece of pumpkin pie, for the fall bonfire, and the saucy cranberry with cranberry sauce for the Thanksgiving table.
Adams said the best cooking fires are big on coals, not giant flames. You'll have more heat and more control when cooking over coals - whether roasting marshmallows or melting chocolate. If your fire does not have soaring flames, you can place your graham cracker (with chocolate and other ingredients on top) directly on the grate, and simply pluck it off quickly when the ingredients have melted.
If the fire has soaring flames, you can use a frying pan to melt your ingredients, Adams said. Put the chocolate-laden graham cracker into the pan, and put the pan on the grate. When the ingredients have melted properly, you can take the pan off the grate and slide the graham onto a plate with a spatula. You also can melt your ingredients by enclosing them in a package of heavy-duty aluminum foil.
The perfect soft, unscalded marshmallow comes from steady rotation near a heat source, ideally a coal bed. For the most even roast, use a metal cooking rod or coat hanger, Adams said.
Here are recipes from S'Mores.
n MILKY WAY MELT
4 Milky Way minis, regular or dark
2 graham crackers, broken in half
Distribute the Milky Way minis evenly on half of the graham cracker, and melt it. Because the chocolate is thinner than a regular chocolate bar, you won't need to heat your s'more as long as usual. Roast the marshmallow.
When candy bar pieces are sufficiently gooey, remove graham cracker from heat, add roasted marshmallow and top with remaining graham cracker.
n CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY CROISSANT
1 plain croissant
Cut croissant in half lengthwise, making the bottom half thinner than the top half. Arrange the chocolate on the bottom half of the croissant and melt. Roast the marshmallow.
Once the chocolate has melted, remove croissant from heat and tap raspberries into chocolate to secure. Top with roasted marshmallow and the top half of the croissant.