No one is questioning the special place that the traditional smushy, gooey chocolate and marshmallow s’mores recipe occupies in the hearts and stomachs of campers everywhere. But for those times when you just feel like trying something new, there are some tasty alternatives that build on the s’mores legacy.
Change one ingredient and you’ll discover flavor combinations you didn’t know you could bring to camp. Treat your palate to new textures by switching from roasting over an open flame to baking and using a pie iron or cast iron skillet. Swap chocolate and marshmallow for savory ingredients like cheese, meat, and fruit, and you can take your s’mores party to breakfast, lunch, and dinner without a trace of guilt. Reboot your s’mores game by using new ingredients and creative cooking techniques on your next camping adventure.
It’s hard to beat the camaraderie that comes with roasting marshmallows over the campfire, but consider these alternative cooking methods when you need dessert for a crowd, or your campers are too young to cook over an open flame.
This is a fun way to get the s’mores flavor in a dessert sauce that’s perfect for dipping fruit, graham crackers, pretzels, or bread. Add chocolate chips, marshmallow creme, and a bit of heavy cream to a pan. Carefully heat the mixture over the camp stove or fire to melt it all together (chocolate burns easily, so keep your eyes on pot—it will melt fast). Top the hot liquid with mini marshmallows and crumbled graham crackers. Let it cool a bit before you start dipping.
Lightly grease a pie iron, then line each side with a slice of cinnamon raisin bread. Fill the inside with chocolate chips, graham cracker crumbs, and mini-marshmallows. Close the pie iron, trim the excess bread, and roast over the campfire, flipping to brown and melt the filling without burning.
Slice a banana halfway through lengthwise along the inside curve. Fill with chocolate chips, mini-marshmallows, and graham cracker crumbs. Wrap in foil, set in low-temperature coals, and cook for five to seven minutes.
Preheat broiler and line a cookie sheet with foil. Place graham cracker squares on the foil, then top half with chocolate bars and half with marshmallows. Broil for about 30 seconds or just until the chocolate begins to melt, and marshmallows start to brown. Remove from the oven, top each chocolate half with your favorite flavor of ice cream, and top that with a marshmallow half. Serve immediately.
Crush graham crackers in a bowl and melt chocolate chips, either in a cast-iron skillet over the campfire or in a separate bowl in the microwave. Insert a kebab skewer in each marshmallow, then dip marshmallows in the melted chocolate and roll in graham cracker crumbs. Serve on a plate or let campers assemble and eat on the go.
With a recipe as simple as s’mores, changing just one ingredient can have a significant impact. Play with flavor combinations and offer your campers a variety of options to please every sweet tooth.
Instead of using a graham cracker to sandwich your s’mores fillings, try putting your roasted marshmallow between two Oreo cookies, chocolate chip cookies, snickerdoodles, or peanut butter cookies. For an even more exotic combination, use Pizelle cookies, waffles, or your favorite doughnut sliced in half. Use pretzels and add a caramel candy for a chocolate-salted caramel treat.
Add some flair to your chocolate layer by replacing milk chocolate with a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, Heath Bar, or Rolo. Smear Nutella or Seculoos Cookie Butter on your graham cracker for instant gooeyness, and replace chocolate with lemon curd for a lighter version that tastes like lemon chiffon pie.
If you want to experiment with new ingredient combinations, your only boundary is your taste buds. Go bold by crumbling bacon over your toasty marshmallow. Add freshness with fruit like sliced bananas, cut strawberries, or raspberries. Scoop a dollop of edible cookie dough for an added layer of sweetness. Your youngest campers will love mini s’mores made with Teddy Grahams, mini-marshmallows, and a Hershey’s Kiss, while you can offer dippers like Bailey’s, and Kahlua to your adult campers.
Put a whole new spin on s’mores that takes the dessert staple into mealtime with savory combinations served between Ritz crackers, sourdough bread slices, baguettes, or another of your favorite breads or crackers. Toast the bread over coals for extra crunch before adding your fillings.
Layer brie, honey, and fig for a sweet and healthy snack. Gouda, prosciutto, and sun-dried tomato or cheddar and chutney add a touch of sophistication to your campfire meal. The kids will go wild for bologna, American cheese, and a dill pickle or meatball, mozzarella, and a slice of tomato. Surprise your campers with unexpected combinations like Italian sausage slices and provolone, Monterrey jack, bacon, and jalapeno slices, or a slice of Canadian bacon, mozzarella, and a pineapple wedge.
Who knows, you may develop a new treat that becomes your next campfire favorite? The only way you’ll find out is to try something new.
Written by Ann Gibson for Matcha in partnership with Kampgrounds of America.