I can't take credit for coming up with this great idea myself. A local friend hosted a girls' night cocktail party at her house a couple months ago and made bite-sized s'mores as dessert (you can read more about all the wonderful food she made here). It was like a dessert lightbulb going on in my head...everyone loves s'mores, they're so easy to make, and the mini-size is perfect for just popping one or two in your mouth if you're not looking to sink your teeth into a giant graham cracker, half a chocolate bar, and several marshmallows sandwich post-dinner. Though, truth be told, I probably ate the equivalent of a whole s'mores sandwich that night. They were just so good.
I've made these little nuggets a few times since, and at first I thought homemade marshmallows would elevate them straight to s'mores heaven. Have you ever made (or eaten) homemade marshmallows? Vanilla clouds of wonderfulness. However...I made the marshmallows this time around a day or two before bringing them to a 4th of July party at my brother-in-law's and sister-in-law's house and it was very hot and very humid. The marshmallows still gelled but they were a sticky mess. They tasted delightful, but were a nightmare to handle. I managed to cut a few squares, though, and set about assembling the mini s'mores. Don't they look pretty all piled high?
I popped them in the oven for a quick broil and took them out to find a whole bunch of unfortunate marshmallow puddles.
We still gobbled them up at the 4th of July party but, really, a fork would have been the best way to eat them. And who wants to eat s'mores, mini or not, with a fork??
I'm not sure if the melting was a function of the weather when I was making the marshmallows or just that homemade marshmallows aren't the best choice for this particular recipe, but either way, next time I made them, for a cookout we hosted last weekend, I decided to use nice, firm, store-bought marshmallows.
You should use whatever kind of chocolate you like best. For me, that is almost always dark chocolate. I grabbed a few bars from Trader Joe's.
I cut the graham crackers into little squares using a serrated knife. It works beautifully as long as you saw back and forth gently and don't press down hard on the crackers. After I had a bunch of squares I placed them on a baking sheet.
Next, I cut the chocolate into little squares and put one square on top of each graham cracker.
For the marshmallows, I used a non-serrated large knife to cut each one into thirds - just chopped right down through them, no sawing motion this time. I topped each graham cracker and chocolate tower with a marshmallow hat and preheated the broiler.
I placed the baking sheet toward the bottom of the oven - I found this toasted the marshmallows much more evenly than placing the sheet directly under the broiler. I set a timer for 30 seconds and repeated until the marshmallows were browned on top, about 1 minute total. Beware, it happens very quickly!
I served them warm right off the baking sheet and, no surprise, the kids at the cookout went nuts and asked for seconds and thirds and fourths. I can't say they were exactly mess-free for the little ones - there was a lot of chocolate to be wiped off mouths and faces and hands and clothes - but they were reasonably neat to eat for the adults, as s'mores go at least, and were just as popular as they were with the kiddos.
Hope you enjoy a sweet weekend!
Linking this post to Southern Lovely and Lil' Luna!