S’mores have long been an essential part of summer. The name of this tasty treat is a contraction of the phrase “some more” for obvious reasons: it’s very hard to have just one!
Most commonly made by a campfire (but a microwave, oven or grill work in a pinch), s’mores are simply a roasted marshmallow and piece of chocolate sandwiched between two graham crackers. The warmth of the marshmallow melts the chocolate, making the whole thing gooey, messy and delicious.
A recipe for s’mores first appeared in a 1927 book, Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts, by Loretta Scott Crew. The s’more is so beloved that it even has its own day: Aug. 10 is officially National S’mores Day.
It is always a treat to indulge in a traditional s’more, but there are also plenty of local variations on this time-honored summer tradition. From cookies to cupcakes to pizza and beyond, the basic s’mores concept can be enjoyed in a number of delicious formats.
1. Creative takes on the original
Katherine Anne Confections in Logan Square (katherine-anne.com) plays with the basic elements of a s’more to create new flavor combinations. They feature a Salted Caramel S’more with homemade graham cracker, salted caramel ganache and a toasted vanilla black pepper marshmallow. The whole thing is dipped in bittersweet chocolate and finished with smoked sea salt.
2. Cookies and cupcakes
Flirty Cupcakes (flirtycupcakes.com), with locations in University Village and Lincoln Square—and a van that travels around—offers two fun twists on the traditional s’more. The S’moreWich Cookie contains two handmade shortbread graham cracker cookies dipped in chocolate, with marshmallow Italian buttercream in between the cookies. Toasted mini mallows coat the sides. The S’more Me Over Cupcake pairs a graham cracker crust with a marshmallow cream center layered with dark chocolate and topped with a toasted marshmallow meringue with dark chocolate drizzled over the top.
During the summer months, Logan Square hot spot Bang Bang Pie (bangbangpie.com) features an ooey gooey s’more pie. Their concoction combines a graham cracker crust, a layer of dark chocolate and marshmallow cream torched to perfection.
You can even enjoy a “slice” of a s’more at Dimo’s (dimospizza.com), which has locations in Wrigleyville and Six Corners. This very unique pie starts with a light base of shredded mozzarella cheese, topped off with Teddy Grahams, mini roasted marshmallows, chocolate chips and a drizzle of chocolate syrup.
Chicago-area blogger Michelle Price created a recipe for s’mores bark as a creative use for leftover melted chocolate from another dessert recipe. (honestandtruly.com/2015/03/smores-bark-chocolate-recipe/)
6 oz. dark chocolate, melted
4 large marshmallows
1 graham cracker
Melt chocolate, but ensure it has a chance to cool down before you add marshmallows. While you’re waiting for the chocolate to cool, rip the marshmallows into five pieces each. Crumble your graham cracker into pieces about the same size as the marshmallow chunks or a little larger. Add three-quarters of the marshmallows to the melted chocolate and stir to coat them. Pour the chocolate onto a Silpat or sheet of waxed paper and use a spatula to smooth it to an even thickness of about a quarter inch.
Decoratively add the remaining marshmallows and graham cracker to the top of the chocolate, gently patting into the chocolate to ensure they stay. Let your chocolate harden on the counter or place in the freezer. Once the bark is completely solid, break it apart into chunks. Store in a sealed container on the counter and enjoy within two or three days.