Summer has arrived and s’mores season is officially in full swing! When you make s’mores around a campfire or firepit with family and friends, you’ll create memories and fun along with a time-honored dessert. In that spirit, I’m offering seven super tips to create the best s’mores.
Gather your ingredients and tools in one place. Take the time to put everything together in an easy-to-carry basket or tray for your family and friends. Here’s what you need for the basics:
Graham crackers (2 pieces per s’more)
Marshmallows (1-2 roasted marshmallows per s’more)
Milk chocolate bars (1-2 pieces of chocolate per s’more)
Roasting forks or roasting tongs
For the bottom of the s’more, take one graham cracker and put a piece of milk chocolate on it. Roast a marshmallow and place it on top of the chocolate; use a second graham cracker as the top layer and gently press down on the marshmallow to release your roasting fork and create your s’more.
Level up your s’mores ingredients. Want to give everyone something to talk about? Think beyond the milk chocolate bar as a s’mores ingredient. Try these ingredients:
Rolo® creamy caramels
Reese’s® peanut butter cups
Milky Way® bars
Replace graham crackers with chocolate chip cookies or Oreos®
Roast the chocolate while you roast the marshmallow. An easy trick to making amazing s’mores is to melt the chocolate at the same time you roast the marshmallow. Place the chocolate (or whatever you choose to use) on the graham cracker and simply set it near the fire. Be careful – chocolate doesn’t need a lot of heat to melt – so just make sure it’s a warm area and let the fire do the work. When your marshmallow is ready, you can create your s’more sandwich. You might get a little extra chocolate dripping down your face, but I promise it’s worth it.
Roast marshmallows slowly over the coals or fire. Some people like burnt marshmallows, but often burning them can leave them cool on the inside. The key to successfully roasting a marshmallow is to rotate it slowly over the coals of the fire until it turns golden brown and warm through the center. Your patience will pay off!
Use an actual fire. The internet is filled with suggestions that don’t involve fire, such as using the oven, microwave, candles, and toasters. I am a purist, so cooking a s’more over anything but an actual fire defeats the purpose. Making s’mores isn’t just about creating a yummy treat (although that is clearly a benefit). You also make s’mores for the shared experience, for the time together around a campfire, and the memories it can create.
For many kids, cooking a s’more over a fire might be their first time cooking anything. Teaching others how to properly cook a s’more, roast a marshmallow, or warm the chocolate is a great way to connect.
Take the necessary safety steps. Anytime you build a fire, it’s important to follow necessary safety steps. Since making s’mores requires you (and often younger children) to be closer than normal to the fire, safety is even more important.
Smokey Bear provides a complete list of campfire safety rules, but here are a few that relate specifically to making the best s’mores:
Only create a fire for s’mores in a safe fire pit or fireplace.
Never get too close to the fire or touch the flames.
Keep s’more ingredients far away from the fire – not only could they melt, but an entire bag or box could fall into the fire and cause problems.
Always supervise children around fires and while making s’mores.
Have water nearby so the fire can be put out completely when necessary.
Never wave roasting forks around, especially if there is a flaming marshmallow on it.
Be careful not to touch the flame side of the roasting fork with your fingers – it’s hot!
Give children a helping hand and provide them with a s’more experience they’ll remember for years. Chances are they’ll remember the person who taught them how to make s’mores for much longer than they remember what their first s’more tasted like.
Use the best firewood for the best s’mores. As a kid, we would build fires using wood that had just fallen from trees and was still wet. This unseasoned wood would create a lot of smoke, and it was only a matter of time before the wind changed and we all got a mouthful of smoke. When you cook s’mores over kiln-dried firewood, you’ll get the best-tasting s’mores and the brightest, cleanest wood for your fire.
Enjoy the simple joys of the summer this year and you’ll have memories for years to come. Start with gathering friends and family around the campfire or firepit and making delicious s’mores.
All articles are copyrighted and remain the property of the author.
By Delilah Onofrey, Suntory Flowers
Photographs courtesy of Suntory Flowers
Fall is a great time to refresh our plantings. Chrysanthemums continue to be the mainstay, but more annuals, perennials and grasses are becoming available.
Click here to learn more about one that our friend Delilah particularly likes.
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