Friday, September 2, 2011

Great Substitution Ideas for S’more Ingredients

A happy Friday to all. The weather is still steamy hot in Chicago with a change of cooler temperatures anticipated for the rest of the Labor Day weekend. I am gearing up for three days of outdoor flames which include use of my grill and the fire pit. I am looking forward to preparing a meal of barbecue ribs, chicken and if all goes well……setting the fire pit ablaze and making a batch of s’mores with the kids. S’more time is quality family time and allows everyone a role in preparing his or her own dessert courtesy of a good fire. Making s’mores together will create long lasting memories for all that participate in the fun.

The s’more process is simple enough as the heated marshmallow is placed between two graham crackers and the small block of Hershey bar. S’more ingredients are typically those three items, though there are times when those items are scarce or the campfire group wants to change things up for something different. Here are several alterations to consider when deciding to substitute marshmallow, graham cracker, or chocolate bars when preparing s’mores.

Substitution Marshmallows in S’mores

Check the pantry for leftover Christmas or Easter candy that might involve a marshmallow product such as Peeps or marshmallow eggs. The outdoor s’more is a great way to use up this candy that has been in storage for months. After sitting on a skewer for a few minutes, that colorful peep will melt nicely and taste fantastic when added with the cracker and chocolate. Be aware the peeps will burn much faster than a typical marshmallow as they are coated in sugar.

If marshmallow or marshmallow themed candy is not on hand, one can substitute a banana in its place. The banana can be cut in large pieces and placed on skewer and roasted over flame. Another heating method involved splitting banana lengthwise and wrapping in foil and place in hot coals for a few minutes on each side.

Substituting the Graham Crackers in S’mores

Some of the more popular sandwich ends to use in place of graham crackers are Nilla wafers or the fudge stripe cookie. The fudge stripe cookie is ideal as it will eliminate the need for the chocolate bars, though there are many of us that still prefer that extra jolt of chocolate in our s’more. Other outside s’more layers that can be considered include chocolate chip cookies and cinnamon crackers.

Substituting the Hershey bar in S ‘mores

No available chocolate candy bars on hand for the campfire? No problem. There are a variety of other great fillings to go with your melted marshmallow and cracker crust. Consider such fillings as Nutella, peanut butter, crushed Oreos, Andes mints, miniature M&Ms, Reese’s peanut butter cups, and just about any other chocolate confection that will adhere to the toasted marshmallow.

Marshmallow Coatings

Once that charred marshmallow comes off the stick, peel off the black skin and the remainder of the marshmallow will become very sticky and allow you to sprinkle all sorts of fun toppings such as chopped peanuts or almonds, chocolate jimmies, and Cocoa Krispies.

I hope these pointers are helpful for those itching to get out and make s’mores though lacking a basic ingredient or two. During the autumn season, stores can be hit or miss with availability of some of these basic ingredients. Hopefully these ideas will convince you to consider these tasty alternatives!

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