Making (and shortly thereafter, devouring) s'mores next to a roaring fire is practically a rite of passage for many people. It's almost like summer just can't end until a bag of mallows has been toasted to a golden hue and chocolate is oozing through the crevices of your fingers. When I was growing up, my dad always made sure that the coals on the grill stayed nice and hot until after dinner so that we could head out to the back yard and get our sugar high on!
These days, Daddy has moved on to Heaven, my kids are grown and they both live out of state, and I don't grill out too often, so I've had to tweak the s'mores ritual a bit. No, I'm not talking about nuking them in the microwave. Although, watching a marshmallow blow up like a Puffer Fish and then stopping the microwave nanoseconds before a mallow meltdown occurs IS kinda fun. Or so I've been told. No personal experience here... nuh uh. Where was I? Oh yes... oven baked s'mores! It's really simple to toast 'em up under a broiler, but it's SUPER easy to catch them on fire that way, too. Again... no personal experience attached to this example. None whatsoever.
So how's a girl supposed to get a SAFE indoor s'mores fix? Easily peasily, thanks to Joy the Baker's Cookbook! Just use her recipe to sink the ingredients into a thick, delicious brownie batter and then bake them up to yummilicious levels!
The recipe was everything I had hoped it would be, and more, but if you've been hanging with me for a while, you know how trouble in the kitchen always seems to find me. In this particular case, my obsession with carbohydrates came back to haunt me. I was completely out of graham crackers on the day I decided to bake up this recipe. Aaack! What's a S'more without graham crackers? Against the junk food law, that's what it is! I wasn't about to let something so simple stop me from sinking my teeth into the fudgy brownie goodness, so I inventoried my pantry and found a bag of graham flour that I had purchased from Bob's Red Mill a while back. My solution was a simple one...I would make HOMEMADE graham crackers! I LOVE new kitchen challenges and I figured that this would be one with a really happy ending. Crispy, crunchy graham crackers with a minimal amount of sugar and no preservatives. That could only enhance the flavor of the s'mores right?! Well, sort of...
See how dark in color they are? That's because Alton Brown's recipe calls for just over 2 ounces of molasses. I didn't realize just how much that was until I measured it out. It seemed like a lot, but I trusted that Alton knew what he was doing when he wrote the recipe, so I followed it to the letter. Let me say this. They were VERY tasty...just NOT a graham cracker. They ended up the color of gingerbread and the tasted very similar to a molasses cookie. I baked two pans full of them. I rolled the first batch out to 1/8-inch in thickness, just like Alton told me to do. Those turned out wonderfully crispy and were very easy to make crumbs with. The second pan full I rolled out a little bit thicker...to about 1/4-inch. BIG mistake. They never got hard and crispy. That batch REALLY tasted like soft molasses cookies. The takeaway is, use half the amount of molasses called for in the recipe and make sure that you're rolling them thin enough. Oh, and they definitely need space between them on the pan. The photo above was taken after baking. Prior to baking, there was about 1/4-inch of space between the cookies.
So if you're excited to try Joy's brownie recipe (and let's be honest, why WOULDN'T you be excited?), be sure to get yourself a copy of her book. Or just throw caution to the wind and toss some graham crackers and chocolate chips into your favorite brownie mix. Top 'em with some marshmallows and take a ride to yummilicious town!