Now, don't think I'm knocking regular old s'mores. That staple of campfires everywhere is absolutely delicious, and imbued with nostalgia and sweet memories of summers past.
But s'mores made with homemade graham crackers and homemade marshmallows and high quality chocolate--holy cow, they're something else entirely!
The foundation of the homemade s'more is the graham cracker.
I used this recipe from Martha Stewart, and found it easy, and absolutely delicious. there's a nuttiness and a richness to homemade graham crackers that the store bought version can't touch.
I didn't have a fancy fluted pastry wheel like martha recommends, and I was rather more haphazzard docking the crackers with my fork, but I liked the rustic effect!
The next element is the all-important marshmallow.
Making homemade marshmallows does involve using a candy thermometer, but they're really not difficult at all. I used this great basic marshmallow recipe from Chow.
I'll mention that I always use a silicone baking pan for projects like this. Basically anything where they tell you to line the pan with foil and spray it down with oil to have any hope of removing your confections. I don't bake in my baking silicone baking pans usually, but they're absolutely brilliant for things like making marshmallows and caramels! No foil or nonstick spray required.
Added bonus of using homemade marshmallows in s'mores: They toast up evenly and beautifully, with more golden surface area than the standard shape!
The final element in making the most remarkable s'mores you will ever taste is a seriously good quality chocolate. I used a selection of chocolates I found at Trader Joe's, but there are many high quality options out there. One easy choice is Ghiradelli squares. They are easy to find at your local grocer, are already in thin square shapes, and come in a wide variety of yummy flavors. Pick whatever strikes your fancy--but do yourself a favor and upgrade from the Hershey's just this once! Go back to that old standby when you're using store bought graham crackers and marshmallows.
All that's left is to start the fire and enjoy! What a perfect ending to a summer cookout.