Pan-Banging S’mores Cookies

December 7, 2020 Updated: December 7, 2020

Marshmallows baked on chocolate chip cookies, then toasted to perfection? This might be another recipe my kids requested. It’s a bit more time consuming, but also a lot of fun. Homemade marshmallows will really make these cookies stand out.

Makes about 12 cookies

For the Graham Cracker Crumbs

  • 3/4 cup (75 grams) graham cracker crumbs (or 6 whole graham crackers pulsed in a food processor)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

For the Cookies

  • 2 cups (284 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (2 sticks or 227 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces (113 grams) milk or semisweet chocolate, chopped into bite-size pieces (averaging 1/2 inch, with some smaller and some larger)
  • Marshmallows (recipe follows), cut into thin squares, somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2 inch (if your marshmallows are very thick, you will want to cut them in half or thirds horizontally)

For the Graham Cracker Crumbs

In a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter, and mix until combined. The mixture should be coated in butter but not wet (you want the crumbs to cling evenly to the cookies).

For the Cookies

Adjust an oven rack to the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line three sheet pans with aluminum foil, dull-side up.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the granulated and brown sugars and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg, water, and vanilla, and mix on low speed to combine. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined. Add the chocolate and mix into the batter on low speed.

Form the dough into 3-ounce balls (1/4 cup). Roll each ball into the graham cracker crumbs until fully coated. Place 4 cookies an equal distance apart on the sheet pans.

Bake the cookies one pan at a time. Bake until the dough balls have spread flat but are puffed slightly in the center, 9 minutes. Lift one side of the sheet pan up about 4 inches and gently let it drop down against the oven rack, so the edges of the cookies set and the center falls back. After the cookies puff up again in 2 minutes, repeat lifting and dropping the pan. Repeat a few more times to create ridges around the edge of the cookie. Bake for 15 to 16 minutes total, until the cookies have spread out and the edges are golden brown but the centers are much lighter and not fully cooked.

Remove the pan from the oven and place 2 or 3 thin square pieces of marshmallow on top of each cookie. Place the pan back in the oven for 45 seconds to 1 minute, just until the marshmallows start to melt. Remove the pan. Use a kitchen torch or broiler to gently toast the top of each marshmallow until golden. You can use a knife to very gently slide the marshmallow slightly across the cookie if you want more of the cookie covered, or leave as is.

Let the cookies cool for 10 minutes on the sheet pan, then transfer them to a wire rack to finish cooling. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days (or refrigerate for up to 3 days).

Marshmallows

I didn’t realize how superior homemade marshmallows were until I tried them; they are heads and tails above the supermarket versions. They also toast much better, with a deep amber char.

Makes 24 large or 48 small marshmallows

  • 3/4 cup (90 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup (28 grams) cornstarch
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 5 teaspoons gelatin
  • 1/2 cup (120 grams) cold water, plus 1/2 cup (120 grams) room temperature water
  • 2 cups (400 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (85 grams) corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Lightly grease a 9- by 13-inch baking pan.

In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and the cornstarch. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine the gelatin and the cold water.

In a medium, heavy-bottom saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer, combine the granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and the room-temperature water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, until the temperature reaches 240 degrees F; this will take a few minutes. Immediately remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the gelatin.

Turn the stand mixer on low speed, and carefully pour the hot sugar syrup along the side of the mixing bowl, being careful not to hit the whisk attachment as you pour. When all the syrup is in the bowl, increase the speed to medium-high and continue whisking until the mixture has doubled in volume, is quite thick and glossy, and the sides of the bowl have cooled, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix on low speed until combined.

Scrape the marshmallow into the prepared pan. Use an offset spatula to smooth the top of the mixture. Sift 2 to 3 tablespoons of the confectioners’ sugar mixture over the tops of the marshmallow. Let the marshmallow sit overnight at room temperature, uncovered, until firm.

Remove the marshmallow from the pan and cut with a knife, scissors, or pizza wheel dusted with some of the confectioners’ sugar mixture. Toss the cut marshmallows into the remaining confectioners’ sugar mixture (a few at a time) and coat completely. Move the coated marshmallows to a fine-mesh sieve and shake off any excess coating. Transfer the marshmallows to an airtight container, and store at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Recipe reprinted from “100 Cookies” by Sarah Kieffer, with permission by Chronicle Books, 2020.