S'more please!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

I have been DYING to blog one of my recent baking adventures...it's the perfect fall treat and worth every single calorie! It also fits in with one of my favorite things about being an somewhat good baker - making something that most people will just buy at the store. Going for the homemade version not only is a fun challenge, but always tastes a million times better.

I've been wanting to make marshmallows for the longest time, so I figured I may as well make up some graham crackers and fix up some homemade s'mores. Mmmm. I searched the holy grail of recipes - Baking Bites - and found two perfect recipes (see the bottom of the post).

Making marshmallows honestly was like a science experiment. You soak plain gelatin and cold water in the bottom of your mixer, while heating granulated sugar, water and corn syrup on the stove top. Once boiling, you add the mixture to the gelatin and beat away for 12 minutes. In that time it transforms to white fluff. You add in some salt and flavoring (I opted for vanilla, but you could do peppermint or any other flavor you want).

Once you've beaten in the flavoring, line a pan with saran wrap, lightly oil it and pour in your fluff. Cover up the fluff with an oiled piece of saran wrap and let it sit for a few hours.

Once the fluff has set (I left mine for about 4 hours), you can just flip it out of the pan. This is where it got really ooey so I have no pictures. You can either take clean kitchen scissors or a knife to cut up your loaf-o-mallow. I used a big kitchen knife, cut the marshmallow into strips and then cut the strips into cubes. Take the cubes and dredge them in a bowl that has equal parts powdered sugar and cornstarch and voila! You have marshmallows.

While my marshmallow was setting, I'd made my graham crackers. The dough is a bit odd tasting and I really questioned how they were going to turn out, but I plugged along. The dough was supposed to be rolled out to 1/8" thick (I think mine was a lot thicker than that) between two pieces of parchment paper, chilled in the fridge, and then cut out.

I opted to just cut out circles instead of the traditional rectangles as I figured these would be perfect for s'mores. Mine turned out really dark, which I assume might have something to do with the molasses I used, but the overall result was just right.

Once these babies came out of the oven, it was all I could do to not devour the graham crackers! They were more of a cakey cookie than a cracker, but 100% delicious. Mmm.

I made up my plate of goodies - homemade graham crackers and marshmallows alongside some Green & Black's mint chocolate.

All we had were bamboo skewers on hand, so I was on fire patrol while I toasted the marshmallows. These definitely are as substantial as the store bought variety, so it took me a few tries before I learned that if I held the marshmallow pretty far back from the flame I could brown it up without having it melt off the skewer.

See the ooey gooey marshmallow?

I quickly smooshed the marshmallow between two crackers with some chocolate, and it was time to devour! Honestly, it was by far the best s'more I've ever had. I think the homemade graham cracker really sealed the sealed the deal - it was soft and flavorful and didn't crumble apart at first bite.

Of course, what's better than sharing with friends? We packed up a little s'more to go container for our downstairs neighbors and shared the s'more love.

I highly suggest making up some homemade s'mores no matter what your level of baking skills may be. Both recipes were super easy and I only invested a few hours from start to finish to make everything. And of course, the end result was so worth it!

Homemade Marshmallows
{recipe from Baking Bites}

.75-oz unflavored gelatin (3 envelopes of Knox gelatin)
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cups light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  1. Line 9 x 9-inch pan with plastic wrap and lightly oil it. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water. Soak for about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine sugar, corn syrup and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a rapid boil and boil hard for 1 minute.
  4. Pour the boiling syrup into soaked gelatin and turn on the mixer, using the whisk attachment, to high speed. Add the salt and beat for 12 minutes. After 12 minutes, add in the vanilla extract beat to incorporate.
  5. Scrape marshmallow into the prepared pan and spread evenly (Lightly greasing your hands and the spatula helps a lot here). Take another piece of lightly oiled plastic wrap and press lightly on top of the marshmallow, creating a seal. Let mixture sit for a few hours, or overnight, until cooled and firmly set.
  6. In a shallow dish, combine equal parts cornstarch and confectioners’ sugar. Remove marshmallow from pan and cut into equal pieces with scissors (the best tool for the job) or a chef’s knife. Dredge each piece of marshmallow in confectioners’ sugar mixture.
  7. Store in an airtight container.

Homemade Graham Crackers
{recipe from Baking Bites}

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoon molasses
1/4 cup cold water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. In a food processor, mix together the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add the cold butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 30 seconds or so. Add the honey, molasses, water, and vanilla. Mix until the dough startes to come together in a ball, another 30 seconds. Scrape dough out of the mixer.
  2. Between 2 sheets of waxed or parchment paper, roll the dough 1/8-inch thick. Chill for at least 1 hour, until firm (I chilled for several hours).
  3. Preheat oven to 350F. Retrieve dough and roll it a bit more if it is not yet 1/8-inch thick. With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut into 2-inch squares. Arrange the crackers on parchment lined baking sheets. With a toothpick, prick several holes in each cracker.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes, until lightly browned at the edges. Remove from the oven and let cool on the pan.

Yield: 48 crackers

Note: If you cut the dough through but leave the squares together, you can break them up after they’re baked, just like a store-bought graham!


Mrs. Hot Cocoa said...

Wow, I'm seriously impressed. And hungry.

BigAppleNosh said...

So cool! I've always wanted to make homemade marshmallows; you've inspired me to go for it!

MayLove said...

Oh that sounds so yummy! I've always wanted to try home made marshmallows, but thought it was too complicated! I guess not! Can't wait to try it! And homemade graham crackers- YUM! I normally don't have s'mores b/c hubby can't eat chocolate, but this looks too delish not to try! I guess I can just put some peanut butter chips on his...

M and C said...

Wow! I've never liked marshmellows that much but I might be tempted to try them this way.

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