Summer Campfires, Traditional S'mores and Jazzed-up S'mores
Posted by Mt Hood Vacation Rentals | Sunday, July 3, 2016

We have been enjoying outside fires in our firepit many evenings this summer. About a week ago, I mentioned that we should make s’mores; the popular summertime dessert made from graham crackers, chocolate and roasted marshmallows. My husband told me he has never had a s’more and it sounds weird. Game on! We are making s’mores.

I decided that if we are going to make s’mores, we needed to make them with the traditional ingredients of Honey Maid graham crackers, Hershey’s milk chocolate bars and Jet Puff marshmallows, at least for the first go-around. I didn’t want the generic knock-offs of these products that might not taste as good. Our first night of ‘s’more making went well; the marshmallows were perfectly toasted to a golden auburn on the outside and a goopy, caramel-like runniness on the inside that melted the outside of the chocolate pieces, leaving the interior slightly crunchy. The marshmallows stuck to our fingers and our faces. Mission accomplished.

How to Make a S’more

If you, like my husband, have never eaten or made a s’more, it is pretty easy. You will need a stick, opened up wire coat hanger (no coating) or a campfire skewer (sold in many stores this time of year). Put 2 marshmallows on your skewer and hold over the fire, turning slowly to toast all sides and heat the inside. (There are many techniques and rules to roasting marshmallows and some people like them slightly burnt, so go for it and do it your way.) Break the graham cracker in half, so you will have the top and bottom to your filled cookie. Place a couple of squares of chocolate on one half of the cracker, scoot the gooey marshmallow onto the chocolate, then cover with the 2nd half of the cracker and press down lightly allowing the toasty marshmallow to ooze all over the graham cracker and chocolate. Enjoy!

However, if you are like me, making the “traditional” s’mores isn’t enough; I started wondering who created the first s’more and how did the idea come about which led me to wondering whoever came up with the first recipe for the odd little puffy marshmallow confection.

The History of Marshmallows

It turns out that marshmallows have been around for centuries. The first marshmallow was actually used for medicinal purposes to ease sore throats. The sap from the roots of the marsh mallow plant, Althaea officinalis, was extracted and combined with egg whites and sugar, then allowed to harden creating lozenges during the early 19th century. The root sap of the marsh mallow plant was likely used by the Egyptians over 2000 years ago to thicken a honey candy that was made for royalty. Marshmallows were made by hand until the late 1800’s when a manufacturing process was developed that greatly increased the production numbers. Around that time, marshmallows were being enjoyed more as a candy or confection than for medicinal purposes as well. During the early 1950’s an extrusion process was invented which creates the cylindrical, uniformly shaped marshmallows we are familiar with today.

Homemade Marshmallow Recipe

After all of this research, I had to make my own marshmallows. I found several recipes online and discovered that pastry chefs are creating variations of marshmallows that include different flavorings, nuts and other ingredients. I stuck to a basic marshmallow recipe from Alton Brown posted at because he uses science in his cooking which resonates with me. However, most recipes I found were very similar.

Variations of the Traditional S’more

After making our first round of s’mores using the store-bought ingredients, I made homemade marshmallow which we used in our second night of s’mores. We used Moonstruck Milk Chocolate with Sea Salt Toffee and graham crackers. However, people are getting creative and using all kinds of fillings like fruit jams and preserves, peanut butter, other nut butters, Nutella, caramel and lemon curd. In place of the graham crackers you can use chocolate chip cookies or any other cookie you like. We think any chocolate candy bar would be delicious.

The Origins of the S’more

The history of s’mores and who first created the recipe is unclear. Most people believe that either the Girl Scouts or Campfire Girls made the first s’more sitting around a fire at summer camp around 1925 or so. Some think the campfire dessert was inspired by the Mallomar treat which was 2 graham crackers with a marshmallow filling, and then the entire sandwich cookie was coated with chocolate. Regardless of who made the first s’more, they have become an American tradition. If you are curious to know “s’more” about s’mores, check out this article from National Geographic.

Do you have a fun s’mores memory? We would love to hear it.


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