As a French-American who grew up in France, I didn’t discover s’mores, that quintessential summer staple, until my family moved to the United States when I was 10. My American cousin showed me over a campfire how to assemble the treat, charring marshmallows and sandwiching them between graham crackers with a few rapidly melting squares of Hershey’s chocolate. Though this traditional way of making s’mores is tried and true, there’s no need to limit your imagination when it comes to this summer favorite. Here are 10 unexpected ways to make s’mores this summer. It’s a dessert that deserves s’more innovation.
Spread some Nutella on your s’mores
Move over, Hershey bars. Those can wait while Nutella has its turn on this delectable summer sweet. Though Hershey’s might dominate the s’mores sphere, Nutella brings a nutty flavor and a silky texture to the final product. The cocoa hazelnut spread won’t slip around on the graham cracker as chocolate squares do; instead, it forms a sticky base to help the marshmallow stay put. To avoid sending spreaders tumbling into the dirt outside, do some quick prep work in advance: Spread Nutella on a bunch of graham crackers, top with a second graham cracker, and line them up in a lidded plastic container to bring outside with you. When it comes time to assemble the s’mores, everyone can grab a pair of pre-dressed crackers and nestle their toasted marshmallows inside.
Use Petit Ecolier cookies as the base
S’mores are great and all, but graham crackers can admittedly get a little boring. If you’re looking to give your next batch of s’mores a little oomph, opt for cookies that already have a chocolate coating on them. Petit Ecolier (you know the ones!) and Choco Leibniz (very similar) are both stellar contenders, and you won’t have to worry about buying any Hershey’s to supplement. Another perk? Since the chocolate is already attached to the cookie, there’s less slippery action when taking a bite. The light and crispy vanilla biscuit base will lend your s’mores a new dimension.
Swap in chocolate chip cookies
Need we remind you of the joy a gooey chocolate chip cookie can bring? Not only will a cookie base give your s’mores a new look, but the chocolate chips in the cookie melt a bit from the heat of the marshmallow. If you’re down to take it a step further, try other cookies like white chocolate and macadamia nut, or even a double chocolate chip cookie.
Add cookie butter to your s’mores
Maybe you like the idea of incorporating a cookie flavor in your s’mores, but you’ve already got a box of graham crackers to go around. Consider this your invitation to spread a decent helping of smooth cookie butter on each graham cracker, then stick the Hershey’s squares to it. Once you addthat star ingredient, the marshmallow, you’ve got a godly experience awaiting your taste buds. Not only does this give s’more a little more flavor, but it’s also useful if the graham cracker breaks. A spread like cookie butter helps keep the structure of the desert intact by giving the stray bits of cracker something to cling to.
Deploy Oreo cookies
It’s simply common sense to use Oreos whenever possible, and we must remind you that they’re a perfect partner to s’mores. By opening up an Oreo, you’ve got both the top layer and base of your s’more. The best part: You can either consider the vanilla creme a substitute for the chocolate (it’s a lovely companion to the marshmallow), or you can slip some chocolate in alongside the creme. That destiny is yours to choose. Note that it will be a smaller s’more than usual, but that just means you should indulge in more than one.
Experiment with peanut butter cups
Since it’s nearly impossible to get tired of chocolate, things can only get better from there. Why not bring chocolate’s partner in crime, peanut butter, into the mix? Though a little thicker than the standard Hershey’s square, a peanut butter cup, Reese’s or otherwise, adds pizzazz to an already flawless concept. (To fix its thickness, you can always slice it in half sideways.) To add even more drama to the campfire (the good kind, of course), take it up a notch and try other types of candy bars, like a Snickers or Milky Way sliced thinly. For best results, refrigerate first so the slicing doesn’t get too gooey.
Chef up a s’mores dip
The problem with making s’mores—yes, problem—is that sometimes you don’t have access to a campfire. In the case of a sweet tooth emergency, make a s’mores dip instead. How does this work? Simply layer some marshmallows on top of melted chocolate in an oven-safe dish and bake. The graham crackers or other dipping agents can be dunked in like chips into salsa, or you can eat the concoction open-faced atop the cracker like a fancy hors d’oeuvre. Yes, the marshmallow-y mess will be worth it. To take things even further, consider variations like flavored marshmallows, high-quality chocolate bars, or a drizzle of raspberry syrup or caramel sauce.
Give brownies a go
Though graham crackers are here to stay, using brownies takes s’mores to the next level. Using a thin layer of brownie on each side is sufficient. Whether you’re making them yourself or buying them from the grocery store, simply refrigerate the brownies until firm (to prevent excess crumbling) and then slice them into 2 layers. Brownie crisps like this will also work, of course, if you’re not in it for the cakey texture. Too much of a chocolate overload? (Nonsense, but okay.) No worries—use blondies for a fun twist.
Add nut butter for a savory touch
Try incorporating a tasty nut butter spread like almond butter into your next round of s’mores. By adding a savory element like almond, peanut, or cashew butter, not only are you concocting a giant peanut-butter-cup-inspired dessert (only better, thanks to the marshmallow), but you can also enjoy the benefits of added protein.
If your entire mouth just gained 12 cavities by just reading the earlier options, consider fresh fruit as a lighter alternative. A nice sliver of strawberry will cut through the richer, fattier flavors. A slice of apple works great, too, because it isn’t overly juicy and holds its shape. If you’re down for some light work, consider mashing some raspberries and spreading it onto the graham cracker, which creates a jam-like layer and pairs deliciously with dark chocolate. Even something like a date spread works wonderfully.