I’ve tried to make it clear that I am a teacher documenting her summer break, and what is summer without s’mores? All you need for traditional s’mores are three ingredients and a fire. But I have a confession to make. While my last blog post featured a super simple recipe, I can sometimes be a little “extra” in the kitchen. I could use graham crackers from a box, marshmallows from a bag, and good ole chocolate bars… OR I could make everything from scratch.
Homemade marshmallows are a thing that have fascinated me for years, since I first saw a recipe online and found out that homemade marshmallows are, in fact, a thing. This Christmas, I decided I was finally going to try out Martha Stewart’s Peppermint Marshmallow recipe. This one.
Unfortunately for me, I had a horrible, cheap stand mixer and all of that marshmallow fluffiness fried that bad boy right up. The good news is that it turned the goop into marshmallows before it burned out. And they were wonderful.
I told my parents about my unfortunate mishap, and guess what I got for Christmas? A cherry red KitchenAid mixer. Be still, my soul. That was the moment I really truly started to consider starting a blog. At some point I convinced myself that KitchenAid=successful blogger.
With my now dependable mixer, I tried out these magical Chocolate Covered Caramel Marshmallows from Ashlee Marie and WHOA. You need to try them for yourself. She even has a video tutorial!
But it’s summer now and I want my marshmallows with graham crackers and chocolate. So I found a Food Network recipe for graham crackers and utilized the marshmallow part of the marshmallow caramel recipe. I did have to make some tweaks and changes to the graham cracker recipe, and the result is soft, but still crunchy, graham cracker perfection.
For the graham crackers
1 cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup+3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons butter, cold and sliced
¼ cup honey
¼ cup milk (I used almond milk because it’s what I had)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
For the marshmallows
butter for greasing (not pictured)
2 tablespoons (or 2 small packets) unflavored gelatin
¼ cup cold water
2 C granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
Powdered sugar (not pictured)
For the coating
1 package chocolate flavored almond bark
Start by preparing the graham cracker dough. Place all of the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon into a food processor and pulse it a few times to combine the ingredients.
Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles cornmeal. My butter probably could have been colder to achieve a better texture.
Add the honey, milk, and vanilla extract and pulse until the dough forms a ball.
Press the ball into a ½ inch- thick disk on a piece of wax paper and refrigerate for about 30 minutes
While the dough is chilling, make the marshmallows
Prep a baking sheet with raised edges or jelly-roll pan with waxed paper. Butter the bottom and sides. Set aside.
Pour the ¼ cup cold water into a bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin on top of the water evenly to let it “bloom.” Some recipes have you stir the gelatin, but most recipes I have used tell you to just let it sit for 10 minutes, so that is what I did. Whether you stir or not, let the gelatin sit for about 10 minutes.
Over low heat, dissolve the sugar in the 1-cup of water. A pan that is too big is way better than a pan that is too small.
Add the bloomed gelatin and stir until it is dissolved. It will stink a little. That is totally normal for gelatin. Bring the mixture to a low boil for about 15 minutes without stirring. Not being able to stir is why I recommend using a bigger pan. Because of my high altitude, I have to be careful with this part. I use a candy thermometer, and if it gets to the “soft ball stage” before the 15 minutes is up, I take the mixture off.
Most marshmallow recipes tell you to let the mixture cool to lukewarm at this stage. That doesn’t ever work for me. It just becomes a giant, sticky mess that won’t mix. So I put the mixture directly into the mixing bowl. Add the vanilla.
Using the whisk attachment, beat on high until it becomes white, fluffy marshmallow goo. Time will vary depending on climate and temperature.
Pour mixture into prepared pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle top with powdered sugar. Set in the refrigerator to cool.
Back to the graham crackers
By now, your graham cracker dough is ready to work with. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Powder your rolling pin with flour and roll the dough to about 1/8 inch thick. Sprinkle granulated sugar on top to add some sweetness (trust me, they need some sweetening). Use a butter knife to cut dough into small rectangles, then place them on a greased cookie sheet. Re-roll any excess dough and keep cutting until you have used all the dough.
Bake the crackers for about 10 minutes. I started with 6, then added 4 minutes. Again, I am at a high altitude, so adjust your times as needed and keep a close eye. They puffed up more than I was expecting, but deflated as they cooled. You should probably cool these on a rack, but I just left them on the cookie sheets.
Now we assemble the s’mores
Prepare another cookie sheet or two with wax paper. When marshmallows are set up enough to cut, run a sharp knife through powdered sugar to keep the marshmallows from sticking to the knife. Cut the marshmallows into the same size rectangles as your graham crackers, putting them on the graham crackers as you cut. Place each stack on the prepared cookie sheet. Tip: If you try to cut the marshmallows all at once, they will re-stick together. Cut one row at a time. Re-powder your knife frequently as needed.
Once all of the grahams have been mallowed (totally a word), put half of the almond bark into a microwaveable bowl that is deeper than it is wide. Microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until it is fully melted. Be careful not to over-microwave the chocolate.
Dip one side of the stack in the melted chocolate, coating evenly. Allow excess to drip off, then place back on the prepared sheet.
When you run out of almond bark, melt the other half. I only do half at a time because I get really cranky if it starts to harden before I’m ready. They sort of look like little s’mores dominoes, don’t they?
Chill the dipped s’mores. The almond bark will harden and create a hard shell over the soft marshmallow.
When you eat them, be sure to squish the mallow a few times to admire the fluffiness.
If you make these, let me know and send me a picture! I’d love to see them! If you don’t have time to make the homemade graham crackers, buy store-bought crackers and just make the marshmallows. You won’t get the same chewy/crunchy combination that the homemade grahams provide, but I’m sure they’ll be good anyway!