It’s a s’more, s’more world — Celebrate the iconic dessert in grand style on its big day
By Denise I. O’Neal Staff Reporter August 6, 2013 5:50PM
SMORE CHOCOLATE BARK
Yields 1 pound
1⁄4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon
1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon cocoa nibs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1. Place graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, salt and cocoa nibs in a bowl and stir together. Add melted butter. Press mixture into an 8-inch baking pan, bake at 350 degrees for eight minutes, until golden.
2. Once cool, breakapart into small chunks with a fork. Set aside.
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 1⁄2 cups miniature marshmallows
1⁄4 cup dried sour cherries, finely chopped
1⁄2 teaspoon fleur de sel
1. Set oven to broil. Spray a 9x13-inch baking tray and spread marshmallows in an even layer. Place under the broiler until charred and marshmallows have melted. Set aside to cool. Invert toasted marshmallows onto a cutting board and fold in half (toasted side outside,). Cut or tear into one-inch pieces. Reserve 10-12 pieces.
2. Line the 9x13 baking tray with wax paper.
3. Place chocolate in a metal bowl over simmering water and melt chocolate. Cool for 10 minutes.
4. Once chocolate has cooled, add dried sour cherries, mix, then add a few pieces of marshmallow, mix; repeat until all marshmallow is mixed in. Add graham cracker chunks. Spread the bark onto the baking tray. Tear reserve marshmallows into bite-size pieces and scatter over the bark. Sprinkle with fleur de sel and refrigerate until firm (at least one hour). Break into pieces. Serve.
“SOME MORES” (Excerpted from “Tramps and Trailing With the Girl Scouts,” circa 1927)
8 sticks (wooden or metal, to toast marshmallows)
16 graham crackers
8 bars of plain chocolate (Hershey’s or any of the good plain brands broken in two)
Toast two marshmallows over the coals to a crisp gooey state and then put them inside a graham cracker and chocolate bar sandwich. The heat from the marshmallow between the halves of chocolate bar will melt chocolate a bit. Though it tastes like “some more” one is enough.
Updated: September 8, 2013 6:05AM
Who would have thought that a three-ingredient campfire treat with a funny name would become part of American pop culture —not to mention a classic dessert?
That’s precisely what happened with s’mores, that ooey-gooey chocolate/marshmallow/graham cracker snack, celebrated Aug. 10 via National S’mores Day.
According to Wikipedia, turn-of-the century entrepreneur Alec Barnum is attributed with creating the assembly required warm cookie. However, it’s the Girl Scouts of America with whom s’mores are most closely identified. The earliest connection goes back to a 1925 item published in Connecticut’s The Norwalk Hour’s “Society Event” column, which reported on two new dishes— kabobs and “some mores” — introduced during a scout’s planning meeting.
In 1927, the first-ever written “some more” recipe appeared in the “Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts” handbook.
“Toasting marshmallows has been a Girl Scout tradition since at least 1927 when the first documented [“some more”] recipe appeared,” said Maria Wynne, CEO of the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana. “Generations of girls and women associate ‘some mores’ with their memories of making friends and singing songs around the campfire.”
Some more’s popularity eventually spread beyond campfire circles to kitchens across America, and with it came the contracted name, s’mores.
“Who doesn’t like s’mores?” said pastry chef Malika Ameen, a contestant from Bravo’s 2010 “Top Chef Just Desserts.” “You can’t get more iconic,” she said, “especially given its association with an American company such as Hershey’s.”
A native Chicagoan, Ameen moved back to the Windy City, after spending time in California as apastry chef, starting By M Desserts, an online cookie business specializing in “simple” desserts that include several s’more items.
“I like to say I love making s’mores because of my kids, but honestly it has more to do with me,” said the mother of three. “S’mores are very nostalgic and I think most adults feel that way.”
A former Brownie, Ameen points out the creative aspect of s’mores, considering the ingredients to be a “dream” base to build upon. “S’mores are the perfect trio of textures: creamy, gooey and crunchy. All easy elements to incorporate with other ingredients.”
Ameen has created a Smore Chocolate Bark (see accompanying recipe) for the Chicago Fine Chocolate and Dessert Show at Navy Pier in October .
S’more’s key elements are so versatile they work well beyond the realm of snacks and desserts.
Jason Felsenthal, director of operations at Hubbard Inn, 110 W. Hubbard, salutes the nostalgic treat with a cocktail called the Torched S’more (ice caked Smirnoff, Frangelico liqueur, RumChata, Hershey’s chocolate syrup with graham cracker rim garnished with a torched skewered marshmallow and Hershey’s chocolate, $12). It’s available through August at the restaurant.
Local Girl Scouts will assist during a marshmallow roast and s’mores-making session 5-10 p.m. Aug. 30 (National Marshmallow Day) at Geja’s Cafe, 340 W. Armitage. Guests are invited to make treats during the family event over a fire pit on the restaurant’s patio (weather permitting). A requested donation of $5 (adults) and $2 (children) benefits the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana. Visit gejascafe.com.