I once wrote that cupcakes are the puppies of the baking world. People come undone and practically fall to their knees when confronted with the cuteness of a cupcake. I would like to add another sweet to the list: the s’more. While the s’more was once only an a-la-minute-do-it-yourself gooey treat served campfire side, it now serves as muse to confectioners and cookbook authors alike.
I realize that spring just began a few weeks ago but aren’t we all thinking about what we are going to do for our summer vacation? I thought it would be a great idea to give the reader a few ideas for summer entertaining and gift giving, especially since all of these ideas involve ordering ahead.
S’Mores Cookbook: Before I tell you how charming this cookbook is I must disclaim that I was involved in the early stages of its planning. (Really, all I did was read the first draft and provide a couple chocolate suggestions).
GIMME S'MORES is a self-published cookbook by John Felts. On vacation in Maui one summer, John was inspired by his family’s tradition of having s’mores for dessert after dinner. While reaching for his glass of port and his second s’more he was heard to say ‘what the world really needs is a S’MORE COOKBOOK!’ And who are we to argue? I think of this photo packed cookbook less as a collection of recipes and more as an indispensable handbook of assembly ideas. There are recipes ranging from the classic to the experimental. Loaded with photographs and diagrams the reader will learn how to roast the perfect marshmallow and how to create a s’more when there is no campfire in sight. How about a Range Top S’more or a Microwave S’more? Wondering what other uses you might have for that blowtorch? Never built a campfire before? No problem. The Technique chapter offers how-tos on building a classic campfire.
There is no reason to confine the enjoyment of a s’more to summertime only. Why not start your own Christmas tradition by leaving Santa a special peppermint Christmas S’more - much more interesting than a chocolate chip cookie! And just in case you thought that s’mores are all about child’s play, there is a section on wine pairing. Very adult, indeed! A copy of this book ($21.00 soft cover) will make an amusing summer hostess gift, along with a box of graham crackers, a bag of marshmallows, some great chocolate and lots of imagination.
S’More Gear: August 10 is unofficially National S’Mores Day. The Girl Scouts may have invented this graham-cracker-roasted-marshmallow-chocolate treat but my earliest s’more memory is from a Camp Fire Girl’s overnight camping trip. The camping trip took place in a regional park not too far from our home but it still felt like we were all braving the wild. We were each responsible for finding our own marshmallow roasting stick that we had to strip the bark off of using our pocketknives. Why whittle when you can just go to PIE IRON and purchase one of their marshmallow roasting forks? You thought that it would be easy to decide what fork to use? There is the ‘#RT-12 Roaster Toaster Fork, the #2200 Picnic Forks in four fashion colors, the #3000 Marshmallow and Weenie Roaster with vinyl dipped handle, or, my favorite, #4900 Marshmallow Tree fork made from steel that is bent and turned to look like the branches of a tree. Each end holds a marshmallow allowing the user to roast ten marshmallows at a time. I am trying hard to think of an occasion where I might want ten marshmallows ready all at one time. I have always viewed the roasting of marshmallows as a kind of do-it-yourself activity. I roast mine, you roast yours. Clearly there are gaps in my marshmallow education
On the Go S’Mores: I received an email last week from RECCHIUTI CONFECTIONS announcing the return of their ‘S’Mores Bites’. I am a big fan of these easy, on-the-go treats. No assembly required and they fit nicely in a handbag or lunch box. The description reads: Fresh Recchiuti marshmallows lay atop tiny handmade graham crackers that are blanketed in pure bittersweet chocolate. 4 pieces, $8.00. If you plan to ship these be sure to read the important note that will bring a smile to your face:
S’Mores Bites are made with fluffy marshmallows filled with air. They are very yummy, but they pop their tops in high altitudes. Shipping = Airplane = High Altitude. When your Bites arrive after shipping they will be slightly cracked on top.
S’Mores Kits: For those who want to kick up the s’more experience a notch or two or three, Recchiuti San Francisco also offers a S’Mores Kit. The kit contains eight handmade Vanilla Bean Marshmallows, 8 Recchiuti Graham crackers and a Bittersweet 85% Chocolate Bar. Makes 4 to 8 servings. $22.00.