There is a reason that, despite their eternal and ever-growing popularity, s'mores are not on the menu at hardly any restaurants. S'mores feed a particular type of hunger, one that is greater than the hankering for something sweet at the end of a meal and is satisfied only by the act of their making.
Beth and Rebekka, the second half began with a sigh of relief. Our guests with full bellies, the dishes in the sink, the last shutter of our cameras clicked, we all sat down, (that glorious feeling, sitting) around the campfire and made s'mores.
The art of campfire cooking is in its layout; rather than the unilateral nature of the grill, the campfire is a panorama, ripe for camaraderie. Camaraderie and anticipation- those are the secret ingredients, the two things that make or break a s'more. Settled down around the crackling fire, we took pause to relish in that delicious type of yearning before indulging in the final course of our meal. We laughed. We told stories. We were fixed in one place at one time, with the worries of bills and emails and deadlines restrained at a safe distance beyond Rebekka's fence. We started as a group of strangers and acquaintances, but ended the evening- sticky and smudged with chocolate- as good friends, or "new old friends," as one rather insightful guest named it.
|photo by Beth Kirby|
|photo by Beth Kirby|
Southern Graham Crackers
yields about 20 crackers
adapted from Alton Brown
2 ounces all purpose flour
6 1/2 ounces whole wheat flour
1 1/4 ounces wheat bran
1/2 ounce wheat germ
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
3 ounces unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 ounces sorghum
1 1/4 ounces buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. In a blender or food processor, pulse all dry ingredients together. Add sorghum, buttermilk, butter and vanilla and pulse until a ball forms.
3. Chill dough if desired. I found it easier to work with straight out of the blender. Roll out under parchment paper (that's very important!) until it's 1/8" thick.
4. Cut dough into rectangles that fit the chocolate you are using (I recommend Olive and Sinclair 67% dark). Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and make perforations with a fork. A pastry scraper comes in handy here.
5. Bake on the center rack for 20-25 minutes or until the edges just barely start to brown. Serve with earl gray marshmallows.
*Note: these are very old-fashioned graham crackers. If you find that they are too earthy or not sweet enough for you, brush them with melted butter and dust with cinnamon sugar. If you don't have a kitchen scale, here is a conversion chart that should help with the math.