s’mores

November 25, 2010 § 2 Comments

i love s’mores. i really do, however, i have a few bones to pick with them.  first, i don’t have a campfire on hand.  second the graham crackers have a tendency to poke the roof of my mouth.  and lastly, the chocolate never really melts all the way and I can’t quite fit the whole in thing in my mouth. needless to say, that doesn’t stop me from eating far too many.  this version of a s’more starts with two tender buttery shortbread and has some decadent caramel, homemade marshmallows and some melted chocolate.  it takes some extra effort to prepare all of the ingredients, the good news is doesn’t require a campfire.

marshmallows

adapted from pastry pal

3 1/2 envelopes (2 tbsp plus 2 1/2 tsp) unflavored gelatin

1 cup cold water, divided

2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1/4 tsp salt

2 large egg whites

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

3 tbsp cornstarch

first, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/2 cup of the cold water.  let it rest for 5 minutes so it can absorb the water.  meanwhile, prepare a jelly roll pan with non-stick spray and parchment paper. spray the pan itself, place parchment paper on top of the sprayed pan and the spray the parchment paper once it’s on the pan.

in a medium sized sauce pan over high heat add the sugar, corn syrup, salt and the last 1/2 cup of water. put a candy thermometer in the pan.  heat the mixture until it reaches 250 degrees F.  this will take about 7 minutes.

while the sugar mixture is cooking place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fixed with the whisk attachment.  when the sugar mixture reaches about 245 degrees F, turn the stand mixer on medium speed. the goal is for the egg whites to be foamy and close to soft peaks by the time the sugar mixture is ready. when the sugar reaches 250, turn the heat off and poor the gelatin mixture into the sugar mixture.  don’t stir, use a swirling motion to dissolve the gelatin.

once the gelatin is dissolved, turn the stand mixer to high and add the sugar to the egg whites in a slow stream. once all the sugar is added, add the vanilla flavoring.  let the mixer do it’s thing for a about 5-7 minutes, until the bowl is lukewarm.  pull out the whisk and use a rubber spatula to pour the mixture into your prepared pan.

let the marshmallow firm up in the refrigerator for 3 hours, preferably overnight. after they have rested, mix the confectioners’ sugar and the cornstarch and sprinkle over the tray (i use a fine strainer).  now they are yours to cut up any which way you please! i used a 1.5″ square cookie cutter.

this recipe makes a bit more than i needed for the s’mores. the extras make my morning coffee a bit more exciting.

caramel

adapted from pictures and pancakes

1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup brown sugar

6 tbsp unsalted butter, diced

2 tbsp dark corn syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

place a piece of parchment paper in a jelly roll pan and spray with non stick spray.

the instructions are pretty simple. put everything together in a medium size saucepan over medium heat and use a whisk to stir until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved.  insert a candy thermometer and wait until the temperature reaches 250 F.  stir constantly to avoid burning.  pour mixture into prepared jelly roll pan (avoid scraping the bottoms and the sides as carmel there tends to get darker and speckelse the caramel). let it cool.

once it’s cooled put it on a clean dry surface and cover it with plastic wrap and roll it out to desired thickness (i roll it out to about a 1/4″).  cut with a knife or a cookie cutter.

shortbread cookies

adapted from smitten kitchen

2 cups flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup graham cracker pieces (a variety of textures welcome, fine to small bits)

superfine sugar for sprinkling

whisk dry ingredients in small bowl. in the bowl of a stand mixer beat the butter until smooth. add the vanilla extract.  then gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter. divide the dough in half and shape into two discs, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or two until firm. depending on where you live and what time of year you are baking, you may need to let the dough rest at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before you roll it out.

preheat over to 325 degrees F.  lightly flour a clean and dry surface and roll the dough to your desired thickness, about 1/4″.  I cover the dough with plastic wrap and roll it out with my rolling pin. this prevents the dough from sticking and i don’t have to keep adding flour. this could be that i just haven’t mastered these skills yet…however the plastic wrap does the trick for now.

place cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet. sprinkle lightly with sugar. bake for about 13-15 minutes. keep an eye on them and take them out of the oven when lightly golden at the edges. they go from beautiful to burned pretty quickly so don’t get too engrossed in dexter… fair warning.

chocolate

1/2 cup chocolate chips (i use nestle, but please feel free to use a better quality chip, these work just fine though)

place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl.  heat on high for 30 seconds, remove from microwave and stir (i use a small offset spatula because that’s what i will use to distribute the chocolate). repeat this process until the chocolate is melted.

assembly

this is the best part!  take two cookies, turn them over so the bottoms are facing up.  take a marshmallow and cover one side with chocolate, place chocolate side on one face up cookie, place caramel square on top of marshmallow and top with another cookie.

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