It all started with a bag of popcorn.Read More
Up until several year ago I had always hated peanut butter and jelly.
Like, I vehemently refused to sit next to my friends while they were eating their sandwiches because I couldn't stand the combined smell of pureed peanuts and thick, sugary fruit.
I loved peanut butter and would frequently eat it by the spoonful. I loved jelly smothered onto biscuits. But the combination of the two was in my mind, deplorable.
That is, until about four years ago when some comatose part of me finally awoke and I realized the true wonder of the celebrated pairing.
As I recall, it began with an almond butter and cherry jam sandwich made by a kind friend. Since then, I have ventured deep into the realm of peanut butter and raspberry, or even strawberry jams. I cannot do the grape thing yet...
This week needed some childlike comfort in the way of a s'more. A no-fuss, oven-baked s'more that we can enjoy on the rainiest and hardest of summer afternoons.
Remember that chocolate peanut butter spread we made last week for our cookie s'mores?
A layer of that peanut buttery chocolate is spread thickly onto one graham cracker, while the jam and marshmallows are stacked atop the other.
Rather than toasting these marshmallows with my kitchen torch, I wrapped these individual s'mores up in tin foil and place them under my oven broiler for several minutes to get warm and melty.
Just like the classic sandwich, these s'mores have a wonderful balance of salty peanuts and sweet jam, with an added bonus of rich, milk chocolate and gooey marshmallows.
It's gearing up to be another hot, August Saturday, let's try to find a balance between chores and treats.
Peanut Butter & Jam Baked S’mores
makes one s’more, can easily be multiplied
for the chocolate peanut butter spread
makes about one cup
- 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped
In a small glass bowl, combine peanut butter and chocolate. Microwave for thirty second increments, stirring after each, until the mixture is smooth. Allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes, until it has thickened slightly.
for the s'mores
- 2 marshmallows
- 2 teaspoons strawberry jam
- 2 teaspoons peanut butter
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chocolate peanut butter spread
- 1 full graham cracker, halved
Spread about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the chocolate peanut butter mixture unto one graham cracker half.
Spread jam atop the second half of the graham cracker and stack the marshmallows on top. Cover with peanut butter. Press the two halves against each other and wrap the s’more in foil.
Set your oven to the broiler setting and bake the s’more for five minutes, until the marshmallows are soft and partially melted.
I like series. You may have noticed. Series are one of my favorite things because they stimulate both constancy and anticipation, both of which make my brain very happy.
Last Summer, I did a series on this blog called "Thirsty Friday" where I blended, and juiced, and used enough paper straws to last a lifetime, and it is still one of my favorite things I have done on this site.
Since we are now officially, in the depths of Summer, I felt that it was time for a new series.
I knew that this Summer needed something beyond drinks, it needed something gooey, toasted, and chocolate-filled. In the end, the choice was obvious - my very favorite and simplest Summer dessert.
While I can easily pass up their cookies, I have to give the girl scouts my undying gratitude for the creation of the s'more. It is a true masterpiece, and the perfect balance of textures, flavors, and sweetness.
While the classic trio is the height of perfection, last week, in my little kitchen, I met with a twist on perfection that nearly outdid its inspiration.
Before an angry mob forms, all the fundamental elements of s'mores are present.
Graham Crackers - No improvisation needed.
Chocolate - White. I know, technically, it's not chocolate, but most of the reasonable world believes it is so let's call it chocolate. Buy the good stuff though, you will thank yourself.
Marshmallows - Homemade and lemon; be fancy.
Bonus ingredient for and extra dose of heavenly flavor magic - Lemon curd. You get bonus points if you make it yourself.
I like to do this operation in two sections. Section one being the graham cracker, lemon curd, and marshmallow, and section two comprising of the second half of graham cracker and the white chocolate.
The best part about homemade marshmallows might just be cutting them to perfectly fit your graham crackers. Oh symmetrical bliss...
I toasted the top of my marshmallows with my kitchen torch and then went over the white chocolate ever-so-lightly to get it just a little melty.
Toasted, smashed and ready to eat.
I should probably mention that this is probably the messiest s'more you will ever bite into, but it is worth every bit of stickiness.
This might just be the best s'more yet...and the Summer is just beginning.
Be sure to check back each week this Summer for a new, creative twist on one of my favorite classics!
Lemon Meringue S’mores
makes one (can easily be multiplied)
- 1 full graham cracker, broken in half
- 2 teaspoons lemon curd (you can estimate this)
- 1-2 lemon marshmallows (depending on how large or small you cut them)
- several squares good quality white chocolate
Spread the lemon curd in an even layer over one of your graham cracker halves. Place the marshmallow on top and use a kitchen torch to toast the top of the marshmallow.
Place the chocolate squares on the second half of the graham cracker and lightly run the flame of the torch over the chocolate, just until it begins to melt. Be sure to hold the flame high enough above the chocolate so it does not scorch.
Place the chocolate half atop the toasted marshmallow and take the biggest bite you can! Enjoy!
Cook’s note: You can certainly go the traditional route and toast your marshmallows over a campfire, however, I have just found that homemade marshmallows tend to melt quicker and more easily over an open flame. If you are making these for a group, try placing the graham cracker halves on a lined sheet pan with the marshmallows and chocolate facing up. Place the open s’mores in your oven (set to the broiler setting) and broil for 2-3 minutes, or until the marshmallows are toasted and the chocolate is just barely melted.
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