While much focus is (rightfully) placed on the grilled meats each Memorial Day, another important consideration are the desserts. This weekend kicks off the peak season for gathering around a campfire and toasting marshmallows for s’mores—a treat that has stubbornly maintained its three central elements for far too long.
There are lots of ways to play around with s’mores, none of which require much additional effort at all. You might even have the ingredients for some of these swaps on hand already, so why not give them a try?
We all love s’mores, so we don’t often speak of their worst quality: the graham cracker. It tastes great, but the rigidity of this cracker is the worst foil for the gooey marshmallow and melty chocolate. Have you ever seen someone eat these things tidily? That’s where Ritz crackers come in.
The delicate, buttery Ritz cracker is much more yielding; it might collapse in crumbles, but it’s easier to eat in a few quick bites than an unwieldy Honey Maid. A Ritz is smaller and circular, cooperating with the shape of a marshmallow and a two-square serving of Hershey’s chocolate, and the cracker’s slight saltiness balances the overall sweetness. Give it a try; it just might be a hit with guests.
Swap out the chocolate
Grocery stores stock their end caps with plain old Hershey bars every summer for s’mores assembly, and we buy them without much thought. Well, it’s time to start thinking, because here’s just a smattering of chocolate swaps you might be missing out on:
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
- Tony’s Chocolonely (whose inventive flavors can be found here)
- Milk chocolate biscuits (like these), which become the cracker and the chocolate
- Caramel-filled chocolate squares (like these)
Wander the candy aisle on your next grocery run to gain further inspiration.
This brilliant idea is so simple, we’re kicking ourselves for never thinking of it before. It comes courtesy of Jimmy Kennedy, a test kitchen chef who developed the recipe for Cabot Creamery. Combining the sweet notes of graham cracker, chocolate, and marshmallow with some sharp cheddar results in a treat akin to cheesecake, and it’s a snack that campfire revelers are often surprised to find they enjoy.
If you don’t want the kids hovering around an open flame, you can dish out their s’mores from a cast iron skillet instead. S’mores Dip features layers of silky chocolate and toasty marshmallow in a volume you simply can’t achieve roasting the marshmallows one by one on skewers above a campfire. Plus, you can customize the blend of chocolate you use, mixing milk and dark for a less cloying treat.
This suggestion is for a rainy day when you can’t make a campfire happen and don’t feel like broiling marshmallows in the oven. S’mores Crepes fold all the elements of s’mores into a thin griddled pancake—even the graham crackers, which are faithfully represented here by crispy bits of Golden Grahams cereal. Slice up each crepe into multiple servings, or serve them as a sleepover breakfast to kids.