If there is a single food that is synonymous with camping, it is the smore. A nearly perfect blend of sweetness, yumminess and decadence, the smore is the perfect campground food. So popular are these delicious treats that the smore has been given it’s own holiday, “National Smores Day” which falls on August 10th. Who knew!
The Smores Cookbook estimates that half of the 90 million marshmallows sold annually are used to make smores.
No one knows for sure, where smores originated. Graham Crackers were invented in the 1800’s by a minister named Graham who was convinced they were part of a diet that would inhibit sex drive (no lie!) Maybe that has something more to do with the hoard of children that appears as soon as someone says “Smores!”
Nothing like a crowd of over-sugared kids to make you swear off procreation for a while…
Credit for the first published recipe for the campfire staple is widely given to a woman named Loretta Scott Crew who printed the recipe under the name “Some Mores” in a Girl Scout manual in 1927. She also called them s’mores in that recipe.
However, we do not give up so easily and we dug up evidence of an even earlier printing in a publication of marshmallow recipes by the Campfire Marshmallow Company back in 1920. They called them “Campfire Graham Cracker Sandwiches” though so we will have to concede first publishing of the name “S’mores” to Loretta and leave it at that- the first name really sucked.
A controversy brews…
For us, smores are the pinnacle of any campfire adventure. Any time the weather looks good the kiddos start hinting about how nice it would be to have a fire tonight. Pretty soon we are all gathered around the flames, laughing at whoever just lost their marshmallow to the fire. Sticky fingers and faces follow soon after, but we always have a ball. So far our kiddos have not yet realized that we could just as easily make smores inside, so we let that little tidbit stay out of the conversation!
But on those days when the evening calls for a nice fire, out come the graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate (AND a whole host of other variants to experiment with) and we enjoy this most camperific of treats. Did you ever hear anyone tell a story where smores were had, and everyone had a terrible time. No? Me either. Wonderful times always seem to happen when smores are a part of the evening.
Making s’mores dessert is pretty simple, which makes them even more popular. Outside the 3 ingredients, all you need is heat and a stick for roasting marshmallows. Any old thin stick will do, and some purists prefer to go out and find their own in nature, but for many of us, we prefer to buy a proper set of marshmallow roasting sticks. These are safer for the kids to use too, which makes us moms happy.
For a heat source, there is the traditional campfire, but any source hot enough to melt a marshmallow will do – wood fire, gas grill, charcoal, or in a pinch a good hot engine block.
The concept is basic – break a graham cracker in half, lay a slab of chocolate on top of one half. Roast a marshmallow until bubbly and molten, and use the other half of the graham cracker to squash it down on top of the chocolate sandwich style. The hot marshmallow will soften the chocolate and you have a yummy, gooey treat bound to make you ask for S”MORE!
Even if you start off saying ‘No’ to a s’more, you always end up having one because everyone is having so much fun, and they just look that GOOD!
For those of you who prefer a proper recipe:
1 Package of Graham Crackers
1 Bag of marshmallows
Several bars of Chocolate
Even though we keep it from OUR kids, you CAN make smores any time, inside or out. This allows you to enjoy the fabulous treats any time of year, and even work on your own winter or holiday variations.
This technique involves covering a baking sheet with foil or parchment and laying out the graham cracker halves. Then lay on the chocolate and marshmallow layer. It helps to cut the marshmallows lengthwise to avoid rolling when they puff up.
You can either bake at 400 or broil to get them melty, but either way – keep an eye on things. They go fast. Once out, cover with the other half of the graham cracker and distribute.
Same basic technique, but on a microwave safe plate. Marshmallows will puff up but not brown as they do in the stove. It takes about 15 seconds- watch closely to avoid a BOOM mess. Yes ‘boom’ is a technical word!
With a treat this popular, variations are bound to arise. The nice thing of course is that with a recipe this simple, you can try any variations you want. Some of the most popular substitutions are:
There are many ways to accomplish a Smore Cake. Most recipes involve some combination of graham cracker crumb cake, chocolate ganache, and a marshmallow fluff. Here are 3 of the most popular recipes that we love:
Smore Dip is a very simple way to enjoy the yumminess of smores at a party, or gathering without the need for a fire, or the mess of eating normal smores. While there are a number of variations out there, the basic smore dip is made by pouring chocolate chips into the bottom of an oven safe dish (or cast iron skillet-depending on your gathering) and then covering them with a layer of marshmallows.
Then bake the dish until the chocolate melts and the marshmallows brown on the top. You serve the dip with graham crackers or your favorite cookie, pretzels, etc for dipping into the gooey sauce.
Feel free to try any kind of variations with this dish, like a berries layer, caramel, or anything else that sounds yummy.
This would classify as the O.M.G of the smores world. An awesome, one-bite variation of the smore without graham crackers. Simply push a Rolo into the center of a marshmallow. Put your marshmallow roasting stick through the middle, and cook over an open fire until the marshmallow, (and Rolo) are melted goo. Marshmallows…Rolos…Melted…O.M.G!
Even as we continue to try out new treats, smores remain the absolute favorite of the Roving Foleys. We love trying some of the variations and have not found one we didn’t like yet. So have fun and wow your family with the old campfire staple- SMORES!