If you follow me on social media, you may have noticed that I've been stuffing my face with a bunch of s'mores. Truth be told, there's been a lot of s'mores innovation at my place. I'll never forget the day I invented the Turtle s'more.
It was a real game changer.
I was walking through Target, picking up something boring like soap, when a little three-pack of Turtles caught my eye. I've always been a fan of the candy, so I threw it in by basket and went on about my soap-shopping business.
Later, putting things away, I eyed my s'mores supply — I always keep s'mores ingredients on hand, for the s'more knows no season — and was struck with inspiration. WHY was I limiting myself to traditional s'mores ingredients, and WHY wasn't I making Turtle s'mores right this very second, and WHY hasn't there been a build-your-own smore's bar at every party I've ever attended?
I didn't have a good answer to any of these questions, and my mind begin to whir with visions of a s'mores bar, where guests are free to customize ooey-gooey creations until their hearts were contented.
It almost goes without saying that for the best and most authentic s'mores experience, you should roast your marshmallows over an open flame, preferably a bonfire. However, we are not all blessed with space to put a fire pit, a fireplace, or even a calm, cool demeanor in the face of flames.
But pretty much everyone has a broiler. (If you do not, I am sorry. I did not mean to basic-kitchen-equipment shame you.) I pretty much always use a broiler when making s'mores for chocolate-melting purposes — as there is simply no way a toasted marshmallow is ever going to give off enough heat to properly melt a Hershey bar — but if I'm feeling lazy or we're out of firewood, I'll just throw the whole thing in there and let the broiler do all the work. It's a little less fun, but just as delicious. It also let's you make a lot of s'mores all at once, which is perfect for a party.
To set up your s'mores bar, stock a table with various cookies, chocolates, and (of course) marshmallows. Place a few baking sheets around the table (lined with Silpat for easy cleaning) and let your guests be their own s'mores architect. Pop them in the broiler for a few minutes (watch carefully, this goes quickly), eat and repeat.
When broiling, it is best to leave the s'more open-faced, otherwise the marshmallow won't brown. Personally, I am mostly here for the marshmallow and chocolate, so I usually leave the top part of the sandwich off anyway. The graham cracker is really just a vehicle in my opinion.
On marshmallows: I always buy the biggest ones I can find. That way I can cut them into the proper shape, depending on my cookie choice, for maximum marshmallow enjoyment. (Be sure to provide your guests with scissors if you go this route.)
But enough about technique, let's talk execution. When building a s'mores bar, there are three variables you can play around with: cookie, chocolate, and marshmallow. I don't like flavored marshmallows, so I mostly mess with the first two. Here, a few of my creations thus far:
The Cookie Butter S'more
You read that right. The No. 1 spread sensation that's sweeping the nation is about to get a lot hotter. Not only does this s'more incorporate the Speculoos spread, but the Speculoos COOKIE ITSELF. It goes like this: Grab a Speculoos cookie (Trader Joe's and Delta Airlines should have what you need), spread on some cookie butter, top with dark chocolate, place your mallow on top, and pop it in the broiler until it's browned to your liking.
If you want to get extra fancy, use a cookie butter cup instead of plain dark chocolate.
You had to have known this was coming. The procedure is the same as the above, but the Oreo (maybe a Red Velvet Oreo?) is your platform and you should probably use a Hershey's Cookies & Cream bar. Also, I couldn't bear to leave this one open-faced for obvious reasons.
Potato Chip S'more
Do you need some salty with your sweet? Top a thick, kettle-cooked chip (plain salted), with your favorite chocolate and a bit-o-mallow.
Peanut Butter Cup S'more
OBVIOUSLY this had to be done. This one takes a little extra doing, as you have to hollow out a little space in the marshmallow for the cup to sit in. If you skip this step, you'll have to balance the marshmallow on top of the cup, and it will most likely fall off. But if you DON'T skip this step, everyone will hang out and get to know each other and there will be a brilliant blending of chocolate and peanut butter.
(It just occurred to me that if you are using the original Reese's, you don't need to dig out a little hole, but I was using the smaller, but taller cups.)
Use s'more-flavored Pop Tarts as graham crackers. I don't really know what else you want me to do here.
Maple Leaf S'more
You know those Maple Leaf Cookies at Trader Joe's? They're basically the best cookies in the world? Well crack one of those bad boys open — LEAVE THE MAPLE CREAM — and top with your favorite chocolate and — this is getting repetitive — a damn marshmallow. Broil while singing "O Canada."
This is pretty straightforward: Just swap out boring, plain chocolate for your favorite bark. Any bark will do. Peppermint, cowboy, tree — the choice is yours, though maybe don't really use tree.
This one is a little advanced. Like the peanut butter cup, you'll have to make a little recess for your chocolate-covered caramel to fit into. It is absolutely necessary that you use the Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Covered Caramels. Accept no substitutes. While you're at TJ's, pick up some stroopwafels on which to build your s'more. You have to be a little cautious taking these out of the oven, as the caramel in the stroopwafel will seep out a bit and it is very hot. As a result, these require a little caution when transferring to your plate/mouth; don't burn yourself.
Coco Loco S'more
Just shove a Mounds or Almond Joy in there. Really any candy bar will work. (Except toffee, it will remain hard and break your teeth which is very anti-s'more.)
I could literally go one forever, but I'm going to stop because I have a lot of s'mores to eat and I want to hear your creative s'more ideas. What would you guys stock your s'mores bar with? Are there any good arguments in favor of flavored marshmallows? Let's hash it out in the comments.