S’mores, Every Which Way

August 9, 2019 Updated: August 9, 2019

Here are the basics: crisp, crumbly graham cracker; gooey, toasted marshmallow; warm, half-melted chocolate. Combine for sticky-sweet bliss.

S’mores are an enduring campfire classic; after all, that combination is hard to beat. But Dan Whalen, the food blogger behind popular site The Food in My Beard, has some ideas.

In his new cookbook, “S’mores! Gooey, Melty, Crunchy Riffs on the Campfire Classic,” Whalen offers more than 50 sweet and savory twists on the basic sandwich, adding fun fillings (salted caramel, anyone?) or swapping out the crackers (how about baklava or bacon?) for playful, sometimes surprising results.

The recipes use an oven broiler to easily cook the marshmallows in batches at home, but the best method, Whalen maintains, is still over an open fire.

Here are a few ideas for your next summer campout or at-home s’mores fest.

Bacon S’mores

Chocolate-covered bacon was all the rage on the internet a few years back. As I do with any trend, I stepped back to think: “After all the hype is over, what else can this become?” The answer? The crunchy cracker of a s’more! You can add graham crackers to this recipe if you want, but I like the pure simplicity of the bacon, chocolate, and marshmallow.

Total Time: 30 minutes

Makes 12 s’mores

  • 24 bacon slices
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup heavy (whipping) cream
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 12 regular marshmallows

To magically transform your bacon into a cracker shape, cut each strip in half and press the fatty parts together to form a square. Place the squares in a skillet over medium heat (you may need to work in batches) and use a spatula or a steak weight to press the bacon down as it cooks and fuses into a glassy pane, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Combine the chocolate chips, cream, and salt in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium power for 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until the chocolate is just melted and the mixture is combined. Be careful not to overheat the ganache, as it can become grainy.

Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and turn the broiler to its highest setting. Preheat for 5 to 10 minutes. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Place the marshmallows on the prepared baking sheet. Broil them until they’re golden brown on top, about 3 minutes. Keep a close eye on them.

Transfer 12 bacon squares to a serving dish. Top each square with 2 teaspoons of ganache, 1 toasted marshmallow, and another square of bacon. Serve immediately.

Banoffee SMores
Banoffee s’mores. (Kate Sears)

Banoffee S’mores

Banoffee pie is a British dessert of banana and toffee that has been taking the internet—and the world—by storm. The pie crust is made of crushed digestive cookies, which, when whole, just happen to be the perfect size to replace the graham cracker in a s’more.

Total Time: 15 minutes

Makes 12 s’mores

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 24 digestive cookies, such as McVitie’s
  • 4 bars (1.55 ounces each) milk chocolate, broken into individual pips
  • 2 very ripe bananas, each cut into 12 slices
  • 1/2 cup toffee bits
  • 12 regular marshmallows

Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and turn the broiler to its highest setting. Preheat for 5 to 10 minutes. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Place 12 digestive cookies on a large serving dish. Top each cookie with 4 chocolate pips, 2 banana slices, and about 2 teaspoons of toffee pieces.

Place the marshmallows on the prepared baking sheet. Broil them until they’re golden brown on top, about 3 minutes. Keep a close eye on them.

Place 1 toasted marshmallow on each s’more. Top the s’mores with the remaining digestive cookies. Serve immediately.

Lemon Meringue Smores
Lemon meringue s’mores. (Kate Sears)

Lemon Meringue S’mores

Lemon meringue pie is such a classic dessert, and I love any dessert that is just as tart as it is sweet. Meringue is practically a marshmallow, so this pie is easy to adapt into a s’more. Any leftover curd will keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days. Seal it well and line it with plastic wrap touching the surface of the curd.

Total Time: 4 hours

Makes 12 s’mores 

For the lemon curd:

  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • Pinch of kosher salt

For the s’mores:

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 12 regular marshmallows
  • 12 whole graham crackers, broken in half to form 24 squares
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)

Place the lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, and eggs in a saucepan over medium heat and whisk together. Add the butter and salt and continue to whisk the mixture until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.

Pour the lemon curd into a medium bowl and place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd. Refrigerate until the curd has firmed up, at least 4 hours.

Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and turn the broiler to its highest setting. Preheat for 5 to 10 minutes. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Place the marshmallows on the prepared baking sheet. Broil them until they’re golden brown on top, about 3 minutes. Keep a close eye on them.

Place 12 graham cracker squares on a serving dish. Top each square with 1 tablespoon of lemon curd, 1 toasted marshmallow, and another graham cracker square. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, if using, and serve immediately.

All recipes reprinted with permission from “S’mores! Gooey, Melty, Crunchy Riffs on the Campfire Classic” by Dan Whalen. Published by Workman.

Smores- flat cover
“S’mores! Gooey, Melty, Crunchy Riffs on the Campfire Classic” by Dan Whalen ($14.95, Workman).
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