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Top Pick Of The Week

July 26, 2005

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S'mores
Get Michael Recchiuti to be your gustatory Scoutmaster—buy his S’Mores Kit and gather around
your own campfire.

Recchiuti S’mores Kit:
Around the Gourmet Campfire

When one of America’s top chocolatiers makes a do-it-yourself S’Mores kit, it catches our attention. Unless you’re a camp counselor, there are too few opportunities in life to have S’Mores; and even under those circumstances, the S’Mores aren’t put together with handmade graham crackers and vanilla bean marshmallows by Michael Recchiuti. Also included is a bar of his 85% bittersweet Venezuelan chocolate. It is so good, it makes us uneasy to think of what the beloved S’Mores of yesteryear—made with Nabisco grahams, Hershey bars and Campfire marshmallows—would taste like today.

So, now that the kids are at camp (or at least, someone’s kids are at camp) having their summer fun, it’s time for you to have Gourmet Summer Camp. Plan what you wish for the “main” food. Our priority is to get to dessert, and to the retro fun of making Michael Recchiuti’s gourmet S’Mores.

First you need to buy the kit, and then you need to disregard the instructions, which are to stack chocolate and marshmallows atop the graham crackers and place them in a 350°F oven until the marshmallows caramelize.

Toasting marshmallows this way takes too long, and has the effect of softening the very dense, crispy and magnificent graham crackers. This is grahamicide—or at least assault and battery. Broiling has the same softening effect. And microwaving is absolutely “not recommended.”

So, although even a soft S’More is tasty and you can’t beat a great handmade marshmallow and topped with some of the world’s best chocolate, we sought a solution to creating perfection. We returned to the technique of our Girl Scout past.

For those who have never made S’Mores around a campfire: You spear a marshmallow on the end of a twig that you’ve pared back to the green inner portion (so it doesn’t burn). The marshmallow toasts rather immediately in the campfire; if you like it well done, you keep it in the flames a few seconds more so it will catch on fire. You remove your burning marshmallow and watch the blue flames char the skin black. And then, using a small slab of chocolate as a tool, you quickly scoop the soft, roasted marshmallow off of the twig and onto a graham cracker. The heat of the marshmallow melts the chocolate on top of it. And that gleeful concoction—melted chocolate and gooey toasted marshmallow atop a crisp graham cracker—is a S’More. Because they taste so good, you keep asking for S’More (that, and because it’s so much less cumbersome than asking for a “graham cracker chocolate marshmallow melt”).

For Plan B—the Girl Scout technique—we fetched a fondue fork (sorry, no twigs), impaled the marshmallow and held it over the gas flame of our stove. In two seconds it was nicely browned, in four seconds it was on fire, in six seconds we slid it onto a graham cracker and held it in in place with the slab of chocolate. The chocolate proceeded to melt appropriately and the graham cracker was wonderfully crisp and tasty—and preparation was much, much faster than the oven technique. Our only regret was running out of marshmallows, we were having that much fun.

For those who don’t have a gas stove flame, a barbecue or a fireplace, a candle works fine. It turns S’mores into a romantic finish to dinner for two. If your party is larger, give each guest a tea candle. But be prepared: One graham cracker is not enough, and everyone will ask for S’More.

— Karen Hochman
Updated October 2007

FORWARD THIS NIBBLE to your cookie-loving friends, to former scouts, and to anyone looking for a fun and tasty gift.

RECCHIUTI CONFECTIONS

S’Mores Kit

  • 8 Recchiuti Grahams
  • 8 handmade Vanilla Bean Marshmallows
  • 4-ounce 85% Bittersweet Chocolate Bar
  • $22.00

Makes 4 sandwiches as shown in photo at top, or 8 open-faced sandwiches (not as pretty, but recommended for portion size and ease of eating)

Purchase online at RecchiutiConfections.com

Price and product availability are verified at publication but are subject to change. Shipping is additional.

Michael Recchiuti S'Mores
The components, prior to melt-down.

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