S’mores might just be the quintessential summer treat. Who hasn’t sat around a campfire, firepit, or grill toasting a marshmallow to just the right point of meltiness to smush between graham crackers and melt chocolate?
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But here’s an unpopular opinion: I don’t love s’mores. Don’t get me wrong; I like them. They’re fine. But I guess my tastes are a little more refined. I want more than a store-bought graham cracker topped with a toasted marshmallow and a few squares broken off a Hershey’s bar. I want all those flavors, but I want them amplified and transformed into something much more decadent. That is why I love s’mores-inspired desserts. (I even had s’mores tartlets served at my wedding!)
Each of the desserts below takes the elements of a s’more (graham cracker, marshmallow, and chocolate) and combines them into something better.
Let’s start with the showstopper, the dessert you’re going to want to serve at every summer gathering: S’mores Pie.
My colleague Morgan Bolling developed this party-worthy pie, layer by layer. She started by making a simple graham cracker crust to keep the graham cracker flavor front and center. Then she tested through the middle layer, finally landing on a combination of gooey brownie and milk chocolate ganache to mimic the texture and flavor of the melted chocolate in a s’more. And finally, to enhance the marshmallow layer, she bypassed marshmallows altogether and whipped up a quick meringue. Once she swirled it over the pie, she burnished it with a torch to re-create the toasty marshmallow experience. (If you don’t have a torch, a broiler works well too.)
Stick a few sparklers in the pie, and it will be festive enough for all your summer celebrations.
S'Mores PieThe familiar campfire treat reimagined as a party-worthy pie.
Jessica Rudolph’s S’mores Bars have been my go-to since she developed them back in the summer of 2020. I’ve made them to serve out on my patio and even packed them into the car and driven them to Vermont for a weekend getaway. You don’t need a campfire to make these s’mores-flavored treats, and best of all, you can make them ahead.
They start similarly to our S’mores Pie, with a graham cracker crust. But Jess enhanced the crust with a little flour to ensure that the bars would be sturdy enough to pick up and eat. She then calls for parbaking the crust and letting it cool. (You can do this part ahead if you like.) Once the crust is cool, you simply line it with Hershey’s bars (she opted for Hershey’s bars for their iconic flavor), spread marshmallow crème (such as Fluff) over the chocolate, and sprinkle mini marshmallows on top.
Next, you’ll bake the bars until the marshmallows are browned and puffy. When the bars come out of the oven, sprinkle some chopped Hershey’s bars on top, and you’re done. After the s’mores bars set for 4 hours, they’re ready to be cut into squares and devoured by your guests (but you can also store them for up to two days before serving). I have served these to several friend groups, and I’ve been asked for the recipe every single time.
S'mores BarsSummer's sweetest taste.
Loaded S’mores Cookies
Like the desserts above, these cookies begin with the elements of a s’more. These elements get mixed into our very simple, very delicious cookie dough base. The end result is a cookie that’s jam-packed with bittersweet chocolate (a little upgrade to the milk chocolate), mini marshmallows, and crushed graham crackers.
I suggest eating them warm, while the chocolate is still melted, the marshmallows are gooey, and the graham crackers punctuate the soft cookies with their crunch.
Loaded S'mores CookiesA great cookie base loaded with chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers.
I highly recommend baking your way through all these s’mores-inspired treats this summer. Of course, if you just want to sit around a campfire with your box of graham crackers, bag of marshmallows, and stack of Hershey’s bars, who am I to stop you?