If anyone loves s’mores, it’s THIS GIRL. Any time there’s a s’mores-themed recipe on the Baked Sunday Mornings schedule, I’m gonna be pretty stoked about it, particularly our recent S’more-Style Chocolate Whiskey Pudding— I continue to dream about that incredible mess of chocolate, graham crumbles, and toasted meringue at least twice a week. I also made Salted S’mores Cookies last winter (coincidentally with the word ‘campfire’ in the title), which I’m still pretty in love with. That trifecta of graham/chocolate/marshmallow has by now far transcended the simple treat enjoyed on summer camping trips. Although it’s hard to improve upon a fresh, fire-toasted marshmallow, the iconic flavor trio has been elevated in delicious ways, and I had high hopes for these Campfire Cookies, our second recipe from Baked Occasions. I bought one when I visited the bakery last month in Brooklyn and didn’t love it; there was nothing wrong with it per se, but I couldn’t discern what the ingredients were, other than the chocolate chips, and it had an interesting chewy texture (which I now know to be marshmallows, though they weren’t visible). However, I have frequently found that I prefer the homemade version of bakery cookies, and I hoped that would be the case here too… BECAUSE S’MORES.
The brown sugar dough is not unlike that of a chocolate chip cookie, but with the addition of graham crackers and marshmallows (either homemade or store-bought). You’ll first crush the graham crackers into crumbs and stir them into the flour and other dry ingredients. I chose to leave some larger cracker chunks for texture. The one modification that I made to the recipe is the omission of cinnamon. I did that with the s’mores pudding and again here, as cinnamon is not one of the traditional s’mores ingredients– just wasn’t feelin’ it. Maybe that’s what I didn’t like about the bakery version of the cookie?
Anyway, you’ll then cream the butter with the brown and white sugars, followed by the addition of an egg, plus the honey and vanilla. Since I held back the cinnamon, I subbed vanilla bean paste for the vanilla extract to intensify the vanilla flavor. Now add in the flour/graham mixture all at once and beat just until there are no more flour streaks. Finally, you’ll toss in the marshmallows and chocolate chips and mix for a few seconds to evenly distribute them. I used jumbo milk chocolate chips, which I’d suggest folding in by hand.
As you can see, the dough is super easy to bring together, so this is a great recipe if you need to whip up some quick dough. However, you do need to chill it for at least 4 hours, so patience is required. (SO HARD.) The recipe instructs us to chill the bowl of dough, then scoop it onto a cookie sheet. I prefer doing the reverse, which is to say portioning out the dough first, then chilling the whole tray of domed scoops. I got a total of 25, rather than the estimated 36. The cookie dough tasted great, but had a gritty texture; I hypothesized that the overnight “curing” in the fridge would hydrate the graham crumbs…
… which it did! The dough was definitely smoother when I came back to it the following evening. I had a great feeling about these! 🙂 I baked the cookies for 17 minutes, during which the marshmallows melted and started oozing onto the cookie sheet and caramelizing. I anticipated a bit of this because of past marshmallow baking adventures, but really, a caramelized marshmallow never hurt anyone…
The key to minimizing the caramelized mess on your cookie sheet is not having too many marshmallows in each cookie. Therefore, do not use a small cookie scoop, as the marshmallows will spill out all over the place. If there’s a higher dough-to-marshmallow ratio, the dough will mostly contain the gooey marshmallows.
Watch your cookies carefully after about 13 minutes; pull them out when they start taking on a golden color all over and the edges appear crisp. (I went with 15 minutes.) I suppose you can bake them a little longer if you prefer a crisper cookie, but I like mine fat and chewy– I was so happy to see that they didn’t flatten out!
Needless to say, I couldn’t wait to taste these– they possess all the characteristics of my favorite kind of cookie. Sure enough, they were chewy on the inside/crisp on the outside, thick, chunky, and loaded with s’mores flavors! The marshmallows were gooey and sticky, and I loved the big punches of milk chocolate from the large chips. I would make two small changes next time though: 1) Despite what I just said, I wouldn’t use the jumbo chips again because the chocolate distribution is sparse, so there were many bites without any chocolate (so disturbing, I know). I’d switch to mini chips for equal opportunity chocolate access. 2) I might add Graham Crumbles to the dough in addition to the cracker crumbs to bump up the graham flavor and texture even more. But seriously– these are positively LOVELY just the way they are, and I wish I had another dozen!
Check out the recipe for Campfire Cookies at Baked Sunday Mornings, and see how my baking buddies fared with these delicious little s’more treats. They are perfect for your holiday cookie exchange or dessert table (or *cough* breakfast). I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving… with lots of sweets! 🙂
© Dafna Adler & Stellina Sweets, 2014.