Cooking Tips

Why You Shouldn't Waste Fancy Chocolate on S'mores 

While you may be tempted to swap out the generic chocolate in your s’mores bars for something "nicer," we stick to the basics for a reason. 
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Published July 21, 2023.

As Cook’s Country Senior Editor Jessica Rudolph said, “There is no more iconic summertime treat than a s’more—toasty marshmallow and snappy-soft milk chocolate sandwiched between graham cracker squares—enjoyed around a campfire.” 

This mass appeal is exactly why she translated the iconic treat into a make-ahead bar recipe, making them shareable and portable anytime, regardless of your campfire access. And to say she perfected them would be an understatement.

Her secret? Cheaper chocolate makes better s’mores.

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In fact, the recipe specifically calls for Hershey's milk chocolate.

Chocolate purists may scoff and insist, “Milk chocolate isn’t even good chocolate!” No one is saying you can’t think this, but when it’s time to build the perfect s’mores bar, there is no contest. Other chocolates are too bitter and simply not soft enough.

It's not our opinion. It's science.

Melting Point Matters

Though it varies by formulation, dark chocolate generally has the highest melting point. This is because it has a higher concentration of cacao solids aka pure chocolate.

Milk chocolate has a lower melting point, so it turns soft and tender without as much concentrated heat. This depends on several factors, but generally the faster the chocolate melts, the higher the amount of milk fat and other additives such as sugar and dairy that it contains.

Recipe

S'mores Bars

Summer's sweetest taste. Made portable.
Get the Recipe

Why Hershey's?

When it comes to milk chocolate, Hershey’s bars are the classic choice for good reason. 

They are noticeably softer than even other milk chocolate bars and are fairly thin. This means the bars will melt when sandwiched between a graham cracker crust and a marshmallow layer, essentially adhering the bar together like glue during baking. This softness and meltability is also what makes Hershey's the optimal chocolate for classic s'mores.

After baking, Jessica lets her bars cool for about 4 hours to resolidify the chocolate. You might think, "Why does the chocolate matter if you resolidify it?" Hershey’s chocolate (and cheaper milk chocolate in general) is softer than other bars even when solid, so the chocolate won't ooze out when eating. It remains tender and bitable. 

Hershey’s bars melt so easily in fact, that just sprinkling some additional chopped pieces onto the bars while still warm from the oven softens them.

So next time you're making s'mores, whether they're the fireside version or a portable bar, save that fancy bar of chocolate and use the cheap(er) stuff.

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