Sunday, July 1, 2012

homemade s'mores

Going outside right now is not really an option. Yesterday it was 104 degrees... really. It was so humid you could see the moisture in the air. The haze made everything look like a photograph from the 1960's. To those people who saw my frazzled hair which had decided to triple in volume- I am truly sorry.

Heat waves makes me want to hunker, to lounge in my air conditioned apartment. I want to do summery/outdoorsy things but I want to do be able to do them without sweating or frightening small children with my frizzy hair.

Bring summer inside for a day.

Summer means camping and fires and s'mores and cold beer.

Camping is obviously out, and an indoor fire would be miserable. But s'mores and beer can be done.

I made s'mores. You are probably rolling your eyes because even a three year old child knows how to do that. But no, I really made them! I made the graham crackers and I made the marshmallows. I didn't make the chocolate.

It was... messy.

This mixture of gelatin and boiling sugar water will stick to anything and everything. You'll be finding little bits of marshmallow all over your kitchen for days.

Use your broiler to toast the marshmallows. S'mores... assemble!

Red velvet chocolate bars make your s'mores feel fancy.

The beer-portion of this summer day was less messy but just as delicious. I have a thing for beer samplers and make-your-own six packs. Jeff and I finally got some sampler glasses and put them to use.

There is no recipe- just pick beers you want to sample and try to drink them before they get warm.


Homemade S'mores
Graham Crackers
adapted from
 1 1/4 c AP flour
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 Tablespoons butter, cubed and chilled
1/3 cup honey
2 1/2 Tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
granulated sugar, for topping cookies
- - -
*pre-heat oven to 350
1. Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of a mixer with the paddle attachment; mix to incorporate
2. Add butter and mix until coarse/sandy
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the honey, milk, and vanilla; add to the flour mixture and mix until dough just comes together (it will be very soft)
4. Lay out a large piece of plastic wrap and dust it lightly with flour, then turn the dough out onto it and shape into a rectangle; Wrap it, then chill it until firm, about 2 hours
5. Once chilled, roll out dough to 1/8" thick and cut into 2" squares (or whatever shape you want)
6. Carefully transfer to a prepared baking sheet (now is when you can use a toothpick or chopstick to dock the top of the crackers to look like store-bought grahams); sprinkle with granulated sugar
7. Chill crackers on baking sheet for 15 minutes (while oven pre-heats)
8. Bake at  350 for 12-15 minutes; until edges are beginning to darken

1 1/2 Tablespoon gelatin ( 1 1/2 packets)
1/4 c water & 1/8 c water (for different steps)
1 c sugar
1/3 c corn syrup
dash salt
1/2 Tablespoon vanilla and contents of 1/2 vanilla bean
confectioner's sugar (for coating)
- - -
1. In the bowl of a standing mixer, bloom gelatin by combining it with 1/4 c cold water; let sit for ten minutes
2. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine sugar, remaining 1/8 c water and corn syrup; bring to a boil
3. Boil for 2 minutes
4. Remove from heat
5. With mixer on low, stream hot sugar mixture into mixing bowl
6. Once all the sugar mixture is in the mixing bowl, add salt and mix on medium-high, then high until contents of bowl look light and fluffy (you will notice the volume will stop increasing- then it is done)
7. Add vanilla extract and bean once volume has stopped increasing and mix just to incorporate
8. Grease an 8x8 pan and coat well with confectioner's sugar; pour marshmallow mixture into pan
9. Sprinkle confectioner's sugar over the marshmallow; cover and allow to set overnight at room temp.
10. Invert marshmallow on pan, slice as desired and coat individual marshmallows in confectioner's sugar

Oven S'mores
2 homemade graham crackers
1 homemade marshmallow
1 oz piece chocolate
- - -
1. Position the oven rack on the very highest rung
2. Turn on broiler
3. On a cookie sheet, place 1 graham cracker and top with marshmallow
4. Place cookie sheet in oven directly under broiler and cook for 1-2 minutes (keep a close eye on it... it may take more or less time for the mallow to brown depending on your oven's temperature
5. Top with chocolate and the remaining graham cracker

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