It is Monday, and I am sure we could all use a little chocolate. Let's get into this!
These s’mores were supposed to come to you last Friday, in time for your weekend… I'm sorry.
I would like to tell you that I always have my recipes tested on time, photographed perfectly on the first try, and my posts scheduled, but that is just not the case some weeks.
I staged and restaged these s’mores until I finally gave up for the day and set them aside until morning. Usually such a failure would have ended in tears of defeat and discouragement, but last Thursday, I exchanged the tears for some deep breaths and reminded myself that nothing good could come out of my striving against the Sun.
Thankfully, Friday morning's light was much more congenial, and s'mores happen to make a mighty fine breakfast.
It is a challenge to let go of my minutely-organized schedule. To release the fears of losing your gracious-given attention and interest, and to accept the fact that sometimes, no amount of preparation can save me from the occasional blunder.
Though they are late, these s'mores are absolutely superb. I may not make tacos, or enchiladas, but I do make a pretty fine Mexican s’more.
Let’s break this down. Homemade cinnamon vanilla marshmallows, chocolate spiked with a pinch of cayenne and a hearty dose of ground cinnamon, smooth dulce de leche, and of course, graham crackers. I really wish I had thought of using cinnamon sugar graham crackers for these s'mores. Sadly, that little dose of genius just occurred to me two minutes ago, but it's not too late for you. Go for the cinnamon, spice it up!
Can a s’more be a s’more if you use a cookie in place of the graham crackers? I don’t think so, but part of me really wants to make a s’more with a gooey, slightly underdone chocolate chip cookie… Let’s come back to that soon, okay?
These s’mores can have as much or as little heat as you like. I like mine on the hotter side, but if you are making them for little ones you could forgo the cayenne altogether.
These s'mores are not exactly mess-free, but I have never known a good s'more that was. Happy Monday!
makes 12, but can easily be divided or multiplied
for the s’mores
- 6 ounces milk or dark chocolate, either is delicious
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 12 full graham crackers, broken in half
- 3/4 cup dulce de leche (you could make your own, but I took some help from my trusty friend Trader Joe)
- 12 cinnamon vanilla marshmallows (recipe below)
In a small, microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate by microwaving at thirty second increments, stirring after each. Stir in ground spices. Refrigerate the chocolate for 15-25 minutes, until the chocolate has thickened to a spreadable consistency, but has not hardened.
To assemble: Spread one tablespoon of dulce de leche on one half of your graham cracker. Set a marshmallow on top and toast with a kitchen torch.* Spread about one tablespoon of chocolate on the remaining graham cracker half and place on top of the marshmallow, with the chocolate facing down. Yeah, you know how to do this. ;) Serve immediately. Enjoy!
*Cook’s note: You can certainly go the traditional route and toast your marshmallows over a campfire, however, I have found that homemade marshmallows tend to melt quicker and more easily over an open flame. While I would normally suggest popping these under the broiler if you are making them for a group, the high heat does not blend well with the dulce de leche, so I would highly recommend investing in a torch. I found mine at the hardware store for about fifteen dollars. You’ll thank yourself. (It’s way fun to torch things.)
cinnamon vanilla marshmallows
- 3 packages unflavored gelatin
- 1 cup ice cold water, divided use
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
Prepare a 9x13 pan by greasing with nonstick spray and dusting liberally with powdered sugar.
In the work bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, add 1/2 cup ice water and sprinkle with gelatin; allow to bloom while you prepare the syrup.
In a small saucepan, combine remaining 1/2 cup ice water, granulated sugar, kosher salt, and corn syrup. Place over medium high heat and cover. Cook for 4 minutes, then uncover and attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F; about 8 minutes. When syrup has come to temperature remove from the heat immediately. With the stand mixer on low speed, slowly stream in the syrup.
When all the syrup has been added, increase the speed to high. Whip for 13 minutes. During the last minute of beating, add ground cinnamon and vanilla extract. Fold the marshmallow into the prepared pan and dust the top liberally with powdered sugar. Cover the pan and let it set for 4-8 hours, until firm.
Flip the marshmallow out of the pan and unto a surface dusted with confectioner's sugar. Use a greased pizza cutter to cut into squares. Toss the cut squares in your remaining powdered sugar and store in an airtight container until ready to use, or up to a week. Enjoy!
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