With National S’mores Day occurring on August 10, aficionados may gear up to indulge even more than usual! Topping crisp, sweet graham crackers with gooey marshmallows and smooth chocolate, a beeline for the campfire is clearly in order. But who says s’mores have to be saluted only with traditional ingredients? Using ginger snaps in place of graham crackers, adding peanut butter, or substituting white chocolate or butterscotch chips for chocolate squares, or even sliding slices of banana, strawberries, pears, or apples between the grahams and other ingredients before cooking can make your s’mores deliciously different.
While they started out with the basics, the first official recipe was found in a 1927 publication, “Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts.” Research reveals, however, that the less-than-obvious confection combination (or all-out concoction, depending on the way you view them!) actually rounded the popular curve even a couple of years earlier.
In 1913, the still-coveted Mallomar cookie hit the market (remember the scene at the end of When Harry Met Sally when Billy Crystal pretty much inhaled them on New Year’s Eve?). Made of a graham cracker base, marshmallow filling, and covered with chocolate, and followed by similarly-made Moon Pies in 1917, these products lead some to posit the s’mores that followed were a homemade attempt to replicate them.
Famous for decades for their mouthwatering meltability at campfires and on backyard grills, attempted by card-carrying s’mores supporters in the microwave, and even recreated by candy companies like Hershey’s in the self-contained Hershey’s S’mores bar, and in toaster pastries like Pop Tarts, unlike more trendy snacks and desserts, s’mores don’t appear to be disappearing anytime soon–except maybe from your plate.
While classic s’mores will likely never go out of style and are great for purists, these kicked-up variations on the theme (s’mores for breakfast? — see below) may challenge even the most dyed-in-the-wool s’moresians (take me to your campfire)!
Peanut Butter S’mores Bars
14 graham crackers
3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/4 cup peanut butter, preferably crunchy
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
3 cups marshmallows
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Process graham crackers in food processor or crush into coarse crumbs. Add butter and peanut butter and blend. Spread mixture on bottom of 9 X 13 baking dish to form crust. Sprinkle with chocolate chips; drizzle with milk to cover chips. Bake for 30 minutes or until top is bubbly. Cool completely. Just before serving, sprinkle with marshmallows. Broil 3 to 4 inches from heat until lightly browned. Let stand a few minutes before cutting into 24 bars.