Does any dessert represent summer evenings better than a s’more? Friends and family gathering around the campfire, falling into a trance as flames wrap around marshmallows, then challenging one another to make the toastiest marshmallow without setting it on fire (side note: I ALWAYS set mine on fire). This summer experience always reminds me of sun-filled days at my grandparent’s house. We’d fish from the dock, buzz around the lake on their boat, play bocce ball in the back yard, and then I’d walk with my dad to the fire pit so I could pile on leaves and fallen branches in preparation for our dessert activity. Simple childhood bliss.
Although I love s’mores, up until a couple weeks ago I hadn’t eaten one for more than 5 years. While eating yogurt during lunch at my first post-college job, I looked at the ingredients and saw “gelatin” listed, so I did some quick googling. My eyes widened as I learned that something very much NOT vegetarian hides in so many packaged, seemingly simple foods. I started buying only natural and/or organic yogurt, and stopped eating any candy containing the gelling agent. Since I’m not big on chewy candy like Starbursts, gummy bears and the like, the transition didn’t affect me too much, but me-oh-my did I miss the melty marshmallow in my summertime s’mores.
Sometimes I would just hold graham crackers topped with chocolate squares above the fire and wait for the chocolate to melt, but it just wasn’t the same…and I looked pretty dumb.
Fortunately I no longer need to make a fool of myself, at least where s’mores are concerned. I discovered some gelatin-free marshmallows at my co-op, and they are a total game changer. I brought them to our Wisconsin nature weekend a couple weeks ago and finally satisfied my s’more longing that had been ignored for 5 years. At long last, I ate gooey marshmallow and melted chocolate sandwiched between crispy honey graham crackers – mine all mine, with no gelatin involved.
When we returned to city life after our weekend getaway, I had leftover marshmallows, plenty of s’more cravings, and no fire pit to use, so naturally I had to trash up some chocolate chip cookies.
This recipe combines all your favorite s’more flavors in one chewy and soft cookie. Dark brown sugar and honey give the dough a rich molasses and honey flavor that highlights the crispy crushed graham bites that are dispersed throughout the cookies. To give the cookies some variety, and ensure each bite included melted chocolate, I studded the dough with both mini semisweet chips and larger milk chocolate morsels. Finally, I sandwiched a marshmallow right in the middle of two tablespoons of dough so that it would ooze out in all it’s sugary glory after your first bite.
If you can’t eat all of these cookies when they’re fresh out of the oven (and really, try to control yourself), you can just pop the cooled cookies in the microwave. After just 10 seconds the marshmallow will puff up and melt, and you can experience the same stretchy, oozing experience of the fresh-baked cookies.