When it comes to camping, nothing is more classic than s'mores, cooked over an open fire while surrounded by family and friends. Popularized by the Girl Scouts in the late 1920s, the simple treat hasn't lost public interest and, in fact, is constantly tinkered with, as evident by all the campfire -- and chef-driven restaurant -- variations out there.
National S'mores Day is annually celebrated on August 10, but let's be honest: Every time you camp should be a day to celebrate and munch on these addictive treats -- that's why you always want "some more," right?
Below is a short, (extremely) simple guide to s'mores at the campfire.
The 1927 recipe for s'mores, as written in a Girl Scouts guidebook (see it here), really hasn't changed: toast marshmallows over a fire "to a crisp gooey state" and sandwich between two graham crackers and two pieces of a chocolate bar. The marshmallow will melt the chocolate a little. Voila!
(Note: A lot of people only use one piece of chocolate, preferably placed on the bottom)
The book, however, does not give any tips on how to toast the marshmallows. The most classic way is to find a suitably sized stick to stab it with and roast over flames. Before you do this, make sure to know the local firewood restrictions. Some places, namely national parks and wilderness, do not allow firewood collection, meaning you really shouldn't even be burning a stick to cook your marshmallows. Like they say, leave no trace. (But if you get caught, we're sure the only thing a ranger will do is ask you to cook them one).
As for how to best roast them, the type of fire can make a difference, according to REI. It's easier to thoroughly melt the marshmallow to a hot and creamy state with a mellowed out fire of embers than a young fire with dancing flames, which is best for those who like the coating seared.
The Hybrid Classic
If your fire pit has a grill, you can heat the chocolate covered graham crackers while sticking the marshmallow directly over the fire. This melts the chocolate a little more, but be careful of burning the graham cracker -- unless you like it that way! You can also do this by laying out foil on the grill, which leads us to our next s'mores technique...
If you've camped enough, then you've probably done foil burgers. The same can be done with s'mores, but you won't need 20 or so minutes. Make your s'more sandwich and tightly wrap it in the foil before placing it in the fire's coals for just a couple of minutes, if that. Unlike the classic style, the chocolate melts with the marshmallow, so be prepared to lick your chocolatey fingers off.
All that said, this technique is best used if you have that grill attached to the fire pit.
This take on s'mores is compliments of Bree Hester, who believes "s'mores are great, but campfire cones are better." The concept is simple: Ditch the graham crackers for a sugar ice cream cone, stuff it with chocolate and marshmallows, and tightly wrap it in foil before placing it on the fire pit grill for a couple minutes. Hester takes it even further by encouraging your imagination. In a post at Taste for Adventure, she made a peach sauce at home and brought numerous toppings -- sliced almonds, chocolate chips, crushed chocolate cookies, marshmallows, granola, whipped cream -- to choose from.
Whether you make s'mores traditionally or coned, adding and swapping ingredients is a fun variation worth experimenting with (and the more you experiment, the more you eat!). Instead of a traditional chocolate bar, try a chocolate peanut butter cup, dark chocolate, Nestle Crunch, or any other chocolate bar. Spread nutella or peanut (or almond, sunflower, cashew) butter on the graham crackers, which you can purchase in different flavors like cinnamon or chocolate. Seriously, let your imagination go wild -- because s'mores should never be taken seriously.