We didn't exactly vacation a whole lot growing up. We rarely went on big trips but we did do a lot of small ones.
One thing that was a constant was our Summer camping trips, usually in a different park every year. It was only a 3-day deal but we packed like we were planning for the apocalypse. There was so much food! I remember the 4am wake up call to start loading our diabolical blue van. We must've carried more coolers than we had days to spend. There were some of the usuals like breakfast sausages, eggs, bacon, plenty of crunchy fried snacks and loads of beer. BUT we also brought bagels, strawberry cream cheese (which I never really liked), butter tarts, gummy bears and worms, corn on the cob, loads of fresh veggies, my Godfather's signature marinated shish kabob, way too many condiments, and about 7 varieties of salad dressing.
Of course we had a power campsite, which meant Dad had to bring the terribly embarrassing and humongous electric fan to keep us well conditioned in our tent through the night. That thing could propel an airplane... Maybe we were not the most rustic campers...
There are so many things I miss about these Summertimes... endless days at the beach, 24-hour BBQing, definitely the gummy worms... But the Sa-mores! I love S'mores. My godparents are from the USA and they were always sure to bring Hershey's milk chocolate - one of the only times I eat Hershey's chocolate.
There's obviously a reason why I'm telling you all of this and it's because I had a taste of Summer this winter this week, spending time with family in Florida. Summer makes me crave campfire and campfire makes me see s'mores.
This is how we can all enjoy a taste of summer despite the freezing rain and frostbite. We can dream right?
Let's do this.
I love these cookies! They are crisp on the outside and chewy in the middle just like a great chocolate chip cookie, and that is exactly what the dough is based on. BUT we add a few twists to make it taste like a graham cracker.
1) 100% brown sugar. This lends an earthy taste from the molasses. I use light brown because dark brown would overpower the other flavours.
2) Honey. This is one of the most distinct flavours in graham crackers, and it also contributes to the moist chewy texture.
3) Whole Wheat flour. Original graham crackers are made with graham flour (too obvious), but it is basically a more coarse-textured whole grain flour. Whole wheat works perfectly here and provides the same flavour - just make sure it's fresh because whole wheat flour turns rancid faster than white flour thanks to the oil content of the germ portion of the wheat kernel.
4) Cinnamon. This is optional but I think it enhances the honey flavour.
Ok so I forgo'd the Hershey's milk chocolate because a) I am all about dark chocolate, and b) it is not readily available in Canada.
Today I use a mix of dark chocolate chips and mini milk chocolate chips. I think all milk chocolate would be overwhelmingly sweet, but go for your taste.
If you're after thicker EXTRA chewy cookies, harness your patience and let the dough rest in the fridge for 1 hour before baking. This lets the flour thoroughly absorb all of the moisture in the dough so that the edges dry up crisp and the center stays moist and chewy. Right on.
Finally, to make it really feel like a classic s'more, I squish more chunks of chocolate right on top of each portion of cookie dough just before they go in the oven. I love bittersweet for this part and when you bite into a warm pool of melted chocolate with a gooey toasty marshmallow then you might as well be a scrawny 10-year-old in a purple one-piece sitting way too close to the campfire. Chocolate, ALL OVER your face. Just enjoy!
Makes 18-20 cookies
113g unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup (165g) light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp honey
1 ¼ cups (180g) all-purpose flour
½ cup (70g) whole wheat flour
¾ tsp baking soda
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
½ cup mini milk chocolate chips
½ cup dark chocolate chips
½ cup mini marshmallows
Chunks of bittersweet chocolate
Cream the butter and brown sugar on medium speed in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Scrape down the side of the bowl. Beat in the egg and vanilla until well incorporated. Beat in the honey. Scrape down the bowl with a spatula.
In a separate bowl, combine both flours, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Whisk to combine. With the machine on low, slowly add the flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Then add the chocolate chips and marshmallows and mix for a few seconds to blend. Refrigerate dough for 1 hour.
Use a cookie scoop to drop cookies onto a parchment lined baking sheet, or roll dough into balls and flatten slightly. Squish 2 or 3 chunks of bitter chocolate on top of each dough ball.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden on the outside but still a bit gooey in the center. Let cookies cool on tray for 2 minutes before transferring individually to the rack to finish cooling. The best thing - eat them warm!