Who doesn’t love the campfire favorite, S’mores? For a second, think back to when we were kids. Those vivid memories of roasting marshmallows to our own version of perfection. Then, sliding the gooey marshmallow off the stick and sandwiching them between a chocolate bar and two graham crackers. They were awesome, weren’t they?
Now decades later, they’re just as good! And though we know we can only have just one of these campfire treats, we just had to have “S’more”!
Making those sweet and sticky marshmallow treats around the campfire is part tradition and part of the ‘Camping Experience’.
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How to Make Perfect Campfire S’mores on Your Camping Trip
How S’mores came about
There’s a bit of controversy regarding who really invented this fun delicious marshmallow and chocolate campfire treat.
One claim is the simple S’mores recipe “Graham Cracker Sandwich” was originally posted in an early 1920’s cookbook.
However, the traditional S’more is said to have been invented by a senior lady Girl Scout, Loretta Scott Crew. Back in 1927, Ms. Crew submitted the easy campfire dessert recipe called “Some More” to a popular Scouting publication, Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts. Hence, it didn’t take long or the the two words, ‘some and more’ to mesh into one; S’more.
But then, according to the Smithsonian Magazine article S’mores: More American Than Apple Pie, “Of the three main components of a s’more, only one is a natural-born American. Marshmallows date back to ancient Egypt (where they were made from the actual marsh mallow plant). Chocolate is of Mesoamerican origin.”
And, as research would lead me further, according to Madison, Wisconsin blog, Isthmus claims that Loretta Scott Crew DID NOT invent the S’more and the feel-good internet story (or theory?) has been a debunked.
So, who really knows how the S’more came to be. However, having been a Girl Scout myself, I’m more inclined to side with the Loretta Scott Crew story. S’mores have been and still are a vital staple of Girl Scout outings and campouts since way before I even joined the Girl Scouts. (Sadly, my Troop doesn’t exist anymore).
But, seriously, while I love history, when it comes to sweet treat desserts, all I want is someone to pass those dang fluffy bunnies, graham crackers and chocolate bars!
Now, a century later…err centuries (plural), who really knows, S’mores have become the most popular campfire food. So much in fact, when campers go shopping, the first thing tossed into the shopping cart are S’mores ingredients along with the stuff to make their camping meals and pie iron campfire desserts,
Did you know? There is actually a National S’mores Museum located in Madison, Wisconsin?
It’s all about the CAMPFIRE!
Dare I say that while the S’more is the star of the show, the campfire is the all-in-one director, producer and backdrop. Before making S’mores, you have to get your campfire right.
But, even before getting your campfire started, it would be a great idea to review the basics and emphasize that everyone practice good campfire safety. And your 2-legged tiny campers with wobbly legs will need for you to assist them so there are no accidents.
Read more: 10 Campfire Safety Tips
Now that you’ve gone over those safety instructions, it’s time to start your campfire using dry leaves and pine needles, fallen dry pinecones and small dry twigs on the ground. If you don’t have natural fire starting materials at your disposal, fire starters are a great alternative.
You do not want to use anything ‘green’ wood, plants or pinecones. And never start chopping trees or cutting off branches or twigs. They will not burn and that’s not good for the trees.
Further, you never want to be putting any plant material on your fire as some may emit toxic allergens (oils from the plants) into the air through smoke. I will refrain from sharing what happened to me when someone put dried poison sumac on the campfire! I’m sure you get the picture.
Anyway, once your fire starts, keep adding small twigs slowly to keep the fire active. The biggest mistake many campers make is adding too much too quickly. You don’t want your fire to smolder or smoke. Smoldering happens when there’s not enough oxygen to accelerate the fire. Also, as mentioned above, wood and kindling not seasoned (dead) will cause smoldering and a smokey mess.
Then, working your way up to adding bigger kindling or fatwood without smothering your fire. Once your smaller pieces of wood have caught fire and have full flames, add one or two small log splits. You don’t want to add full round logs until after your campfire is well established.
But, before breaking out your s’mores ingredients, your campfire should be mature; meaning that your fire should produce a good size bed of hot coals before poking your marshmallows onto your marshmallow stick.
Once your campfire has produced a good size bed of hot, bright orange glowing coals, you may want to push the logs slightly to the side a little to expose more hot coals. And, to not risk torching your fluffy bunnies aka as chubby bunnies.
Ingredients to make S’mores
For food ingredients, it’s really simple to make S’mores. Seriously, all you need is marshmallows, chocolate bars and graham crackers.
Now, for marshmallows, you can get either the regular size round marshmallows or now, there are square marshmallows that may make putting your campfire sandwich dessert easier and less messy. But hey, it ain’t fun unless that sticky marshy-mallowy gooey mess gets all over you.
Your graham crackers are simple grahams that come in sections that you can break in half. Or, you could just get graham stacks. However, this is just me, the Honey Maid graham crackers are the best. In my opinion, generics just ain’t as good.
And, the traditional S’mores contain simple Hershey bars in the dark brown wrapper. You can either buy a couple big Hershey chocolate bars that you can break apart in sections. Or, you can buy a package or two of individual snack size bars. It’s up to you if you want the ones with almonds in it.
If you want to make it super easy, you can just order a complete S’mores kit (below left) enough to make 18 S’mores that’s ready to go in your RV or your next camping trip!
But I recently learned that there is a plant based Vegan S’mores Kit (below right) for those who require gluten free, vegan, dairy free, egg free, nut free, allergy friendly foods. So, now everyone can still enjoy these campfire dessert sandwiches!
How to make campfire S’mores
Now that we know (or maybe not) how S’mores actually came to be and we’ve got our campfire just right, it’s time to know exactly how to make this sweet treat that will keep your campers, big and small, coming back for some more S’mores!
As I mentioned earlier, the secret recipe to making the perfect S’more is easy and fun! First, you need green twig, about 36″ or longer, with the end whittled down to a sharp point. Now, if you’re not wanting to go traipsing in the woods trying to find a comparable stick, you can just order a telescoping marshmallow forks because they collapse down for easier storage! (below left). Or, if you have room for non-extension forks (below middle), those work too. And for those with kids that you don’t want close to the fire, there’s 45″ marshmallow forks as well (below right).
Not saying you can’t toast (if you’d rather torch them) your marshmallows over the hot flames, you won’t get an even toasty brown outer shell. You’ll just risk torching them. Yes, there are lots of peeps who don’t mind black crispy marshmallows because that’s okay too!
But, the absolute best way to roast (or toast) your marshmallows is to rotate your marshmallow stick slowly and often so your fluffy bunnies toast evenly all way around. The idea is to get the outer part of the marshmallow a tiny bit crispy shell. And inside that shell hides the hot sweet goo that’s going to melt your chocolate bar in your campfire sandwich.
Once your marshmallows are done to your liking, it’s time to gently slide your marshmallows onto the chocolate bar which is on top of one of your graham cracker squares. After which, top it with your other graham cracker square.
You’ll want it to sit a minute for the hot marshmallow to melt the chocolate. And also, because marshmallows are nothing but sugar, it’s going to be piping hot. So, waiting a minute before eating will help keep from burning your mouth.
Did you know? National S’mores Day, designated by the National Confectioners Association, is Aug. 10th.
Can’t go camping but still would love to make S’mores at home? You still could make ’em in your home or on rainy nights in your RV or camper! Check out this nostalgia indoor electric, stainless steel S’mores maker complete with roasting forks! You could even take it on a boat!
And lastly, if you don’t have a wood fire pit or a burn ban is in place that disallows wood burning campfires, you still could make your S’mores on a propane fire pit. Just be careful not to drop your marshmallows onto the lava rocks or stones.
Wrapping up our S’mores article
Gosh, don’t those look so delicious to make you run out to score all your ingredients to make your s’mores! As you can see, making s’mores is a huge part of the camping experience. Especially when camping with kids, making them is as fun as eating them!
But also, you’re making great memories by showing them a favorite pastime you enjoyed as a child. But even if you don’t have little campers with you, there’s nothing stopping you from making your own s’mores under the stars and by the glow of your campfire!
Other fun camping recipes and camping gear articles to read:
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