Nothing hits the spot on a warm summer night quite like a hot, gooey s'more. Whether you're toasting marshmallows over a fire pit, in the fireplace, or even on top of the stove (hey, we've been there), there's no denying the total magic of graham crackers, chocolate, and 'mallow. But what if we told you there was a way to make s'mores even better? We tapped Matt Lewis, co-founder of popular New York-based bakery Baked, for his favorite ways to elevate the camping classic.
Make Flavored Marshmallows
"We're big fans of the original, but changing the flavor of the marshmallow is an awesome way to switch things up," says Lewis. He suggests trying a citrus version—specifically lemon or lime, which have the most pronounced zest—with dark chocolate. When the weather cools down, Lewis makes peppermint marshmallows, adding crushed candy cane to the mixture before letting it set.
Add Nut Butter
Slather the graham crackers with peanut butter or almond butter for a richer bite with an incredibly creamy texture. Lewis suggests using high-quality white chocolate (he prefers Valrhona), as the sweetness of the chocolate pairs well with the saltiness of the nut butter.
Use Ice Cream
Instead of using traditional marshmallows, Lewis advises turning your s'more into a frozen treat by subbing in marshmallow-flavored ice cream (Ample Hills makes an excellent version called Snap Mallow Pop, $45 for a 5-pack; amplehills.com). Replace the chocolate bar with hot fudge, and you have the perfect s'more-sundae hybrid.
Try It as a Bar
Baked is known for its delicious bars, including the S'more Nut: a graham base with a chocolate, marshmallow, and peanut top. It's perfect for when you need a s'more on the go, or don't have access to a campfire. Try making it this weekend using the recipe below, which originally appeared in the cookbook Baked: New Frontiers in Baking ($25; amazon.com).
S’more Nut Bar
Makes 24 bars
A note from Baked: Chocolate will absorb any and all refrigerator odors. Make sure your bars, or any refrigerated chocolate desserts, are wrapped airtight. Obviously, you do not want these bars to taste like your leftover Chinese takeout.
2 1/4 cup graham crumbs
1 tbsp dark brown sugar, packed tightly
2/3 cup butter, melted
7 1/2 oz milk chocolate, chopped coarsely
7 1/2 oz dark chocolate (approx 60%-72%), chopped coarsely
1 1/2 tsp corn syrup
1 cup heavy cream
10 average size marshmallows, cut into quarters
1/2 cup whole peanuts, lightly salted
1/2 cup chopped peanuts, lightly salted
1. Preheat oven to 300ºF.
2. Prepare your 9 x 13 pan. Grease the sides and bottom of the pan with butter or a non-stick spray like Pam.
3. In a large bowl, stir together the graham crumbs and sugar. Add the melted butter. Use your hands to combine the mixture, then turn it out into the prepared pan. Using your hands, press the crust into an even layer along the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Use the bottom of a metal measuring cup to create a perfectly even crust.
4. In another large bowl, toss the milk chocolate and dark chocolate. Drizzle the corn syrup over the chocolate and set aside.
5. In a medium saucepan, bring the cream just to a boil. Remove from heat and pour over the chocolates. Let stand for 2 to 3 minutes. Starting from the center of the bowl, whisk chocolate mixture until completely smooth. Fold in the marshmallows and the whole peanuts. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and use an offset spatula to spread as evenly as possible. Sprinkle the top with a 1/2 cup of chopped peanuts.
5. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or until bars are set.
6. Cut and serve.