review

S’MORES!: GOOEY, MELTY, CRUNCHY RIFFS ON THE CAMPFIRE CLASSIC – DAN WHALEN

S'mores!: Gooey, Melty, Crunchy Riffs on the Campfire ClassicS’mores!: Gooey, Melty, Crunchy Riffs on the Campfire Classic by Dan Whalen
My rating: 5/5 cats
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WELCOME TO SEPTEMBER PROJECT. MAYBE.

i want to use this book for september project, but i need to make sure my oven’s broiler function is…functional. i can certainly use a blowtorch/microwave combo as a workaround, but i’d also like to have a working broiler. you know, in a perfect-world scenario. first attempt will be this evening, for now, please enjoy the table of contents featuring s’mores “from classic…to crazy.” this book also includes recipes for making your own marshmallows and graham crackers, if you are a golden person. i am not. there are 52 versions of “s’mores.” i will try to make 30.

SEPTEMBER 1: GIMMIE S’MOREOS

to start this project off on the right foot, i am making these s’moreos with…S’MORES-FLAVORED OREOS! so this is like 3 s’mores in one.

it did…not start out well

but then i got the hang of it

i’m not going to use a lot of props n things for this project, but i will try to make the s’mores worth looking at all on their own.

you can’t even see the bottom s’moresy layer, but it is there

these will never replace traditional s’mores, for me, because the proportions are all wrong due to the thickness of the oreo, but if you like messy food with zero nutritional value, these are for you. hell, this whole PROJECT is for you!

SEPTEMBER 2: PB&J S’MORES

this one was an easy sell, for i love fluffernutters and pbjs AND s’mores, so the fact that this combo had never occurred to me is, like JEM, truly outrageous.

although, considering 99.5% of my s’mores have been eaten in the great outdoors around a blazing fire, having limited novelty-ingredients on hand is kind of a given.

i will make up for that now!

SEPTEMBER 3: PEANUT BUTTER CUP S’MORES

i have actually made these before, cozied up to my dad’s backyard firepit, and i thought i was king shit for my culinary inventiveness. i should have known i wasn’t the only person to upgrade the s’more with this pretty common flavor profile. but i’m still patting myself on the back about it and i’m doing it with a mouthful of mooshy marshmallowy peanut butter, so as long as i don’t choke, i’m still gonna consider it a win for ME! however, i am beginning to doubt my decision to “only” photograph the s’mores, because what if they all look same-y after a while? will you be bored, project followers?

SEPTEMBER 3 part 2: CANDY BAR S’MORES

because i felt bad that so many of these are ending up looking like the same kind of ooze-beneath-graham-crackers mess, i did some extras last night, from the sidebar bit that tells you that any kind of candy bar can be yummers in a s’more. i did kit kats, butterfingers, and snickers.

doesn’t look much different, but I TRIED! snickers=best of the three.

SEPTEMBER 4: TOASTED COCONUT S’MORES

this one looks different!

it kinda looks like a fried egg and grilled onions

book assured me this would taste, not like eggs and onions, but like my beloved girl scout cookies. i disagree, but it’s still an excellent dessert!

SEPTEMBER 5: STRAWBERRY BALSAMIC MINT S’MORES

oh, hi. welcome to my restaurant where i make fancy s’mores! recipe instructed me to drizzle some of the balsamic in which the strawberries had been macerating over the top of the s’more, which i must have overdone, because while i was photographing these FOR YOU, the drizzled balsamic was busy turning the lower graham cracker into graham cracker porridge SO I HOPE YOU’RE HAPPY!

i’m happy. these tasted good, even with mooshy bottoms.

SEPTEMBER 6: NUTELLA S’MORES

this one looks kind of like me after i eat these things, monsieur messyface.

and this one looks like a little owl

they both tasted delicious, as did all of their friends.

SEPTEMBER 7: SALTED CARAMEL S’MORES

dramatic and glamorous, these are grown-up s’mores that say, “why don’t you go earn a merit badge somewhere, little boy scouts? this is our firepit now.”

rude, messy, and scrumptious

SEPTEMBER 8: BERRY BANANA S’MORES

brûléed with kosher salt and sugar, these little nummers were much prettier than this terrible photo of ’em. i took so many pictures, but they were all flawed in different ways. i’m still figuring out how to operate this fancy ring light chloë gave me, so bear with me. i am a work in progress.

SEPTEMBER 9: AVOCADO S’MORES

speaking of a work in progress, i’m also still learning the intricacies of my broiler. sometimes it gets away from me. the marshmallows i didn’t turn into charcoal were perfectly browned sugarpillows, and the crazytown combination of chocolate, avocado, and marshmallow was terrific.

SEPTEMBER 10: ROCKY ROAD S’MORES

this is another one that looks very ‘basic bitch,’ and if anyone has suggestions about how to zazz this project up to my usual project-standards, let me know. i wanted to try to do this month all classic and shit while i figured out how to use this light-thingie, but they’re looking a little dull and same-y in execution. they taste great, but i’m concerned about your enjoyment, friends. help me to help you. now if you will excuse me, i have melted marshmallow to clean off of…everything.

SEPTEMBER 11: ICE CREAM S’MOREWICHES

i assembled these wrong by putting the ice cream on TOP of the marshmallows instead of underneath, but it tastes the same and looks more like boobies this way

it is >90 degrees again. that’s all i can manage today; to mumble the word “boobies” around a mouthful of sugary sugar with sugar on top.

SEPTEMBER 12: STRAWBERRY SCHMORTCAKES

fun fact: strawberry shortcake was my favorite childhood dessert. this newcomer will not replace it in my heart, but sometimes it’s fun to pretend to be grown.

sometimes it’s not.

SEPTEMBER 13: HOT SNICKERS S’MORES

what makes these so hot? is it because they are covered in salted caramel and sriracha?

is it because toasted marshmallows are molten like the earth’s core?

is it because it is such a sexy concoction, it’ll make you leave your spouse?

yes.

sorry, i had a hard couple of days and stopped posting. i will catch you up to yesterday NOW and post one later tonight for today. lemme just drop the pictures for now and try to add wordstuff later; i’m already behind in my day. ): i have become a very disappointing person. but these s’mores are the opposite of me:

SEPTEMBER 14: CARAMEL APPLE S’MORES





SEPTEMBER 15: PEAR AND CANDIED GINGER S’MORES





SEPTEMBER 16: CARAMEL CORN S’MORES

SEPTEMBER 17: CRISPY TREAT S’MORES

these are officially my favorite. here’s a confession: for some of these recipes, you’re not meant to melt the chocolate, but i have been very cavalier about it, thinking, “why wouldn’t you melt the freaking chocolate in a s’more?” this is why. these are amazing, and melting the chocolate might have changed the pleasure i derived from it, blending in with the melted marshmallow texture too much. the combination of mooshymallow and softish treat and bite-resisting chocolate was outstanding and it made me forget my woes for like 4 whole minutes. i recommend it.

SEPTEMBER 18: GRILLED PEACH AND BASIL S’MORES

this is another triumph: sweet and herbaceous and extremely messy. plus, i got to use my grill pan, which always makes me feel manly. shake your groove thing, indeed!

GR reduced the review-space, so i am already running out. i may need to start doing some blog-exclusive content for these or something. sigh.

SEPTEMBER 19: SWEET POTATO PIE S’MORES

i didn’t grow up with the thanksgiving version of this dish, which is one of my deepest childhood regrets. i am recherching my temps perdu with this classy mass o’ tubers n’ sugars, all chocolatey-melty and sandwiched betwixt two piecrust-crackers HAND-CARVED by me. and i am giving thanks.

SEPTEMBER 20: SCH’MURROS

here, richard!

to make these, you brush melted butter all over your graham crackers and grind ’em down into a dune of cinnamon sugar. OR, you could just buy cinnamon graham crackers, but these taste better, i promise. he also includes a recipe for homemade churros as an option, which i might make in the future because they look dope.

SEPTEMBER 21: ELVIS S’MORES

bacon

and marshmallow

and peanut butter and banana

MY WORK HERE IS DONE!!

SEPTEMBER 22: FIG AND BRIE S’MORES

this one has neither chocolate nor marshmallow, but it has the essence of a s’more. and it enchanted me. in my bellyheart. anyway, i’m pretty much out of room here with nine days to go, so i’m going to have to finish this in another review space. i will post the link to it tomorrow. and if you’re feeling like you’ve already had quite enough of this project, let me remind you–there are S’MORESBURGERS to come. yeah. thought so.

SEPTEMBER 23: BACON S’MORES

bacon and ganache: a thing of beauty

sorry, vegans; today is not your day. these are mine, ALL MINE, and they are delicious and salty and smooshy.

SEPTEMBER 24: PRETZEL S’MORES

this may look like backsliding into ‘ordinary’ territory after all the glamour of bacon-crackers, but while the ingredients may be common, the taste is a wonderful surprise; all of the salty sweety mooshy gooshy flavors are made for each other and melt into a mouthful of pure joy.

SEPTEMBER 25: POTATO CHIP S’MORES

i took a lot of pictures of this one, so pace yourself. it was a really attractive one, you see…

more ganache!

and then ohhhhh

so goopy and crunchy and salty. this should be the default s’more. it is much better than boring old graham. what even IS graham? GRAHAM. it is an ugly word. po-tay-to, however. IT IS LIKE MUSIC! THE MUSIC OF TUBERS!

I HAVE MARRIED THIS S’MORE GOOD EVENING

SEPTEMBER 26: PROSCIUTTO AND CANTALOUPE S’MORES

these look pretty gross before you put the lid on them

and then they become a complexly-textured mass of shapes and flavors that could have been gross, considering it’s froot and salty meats and marshmallow and chocolate and the return of that GRAHAM character, but i swear it all WORKS!

however, i do think this one would have benefitted from the melting of the chocolate, as the stringy-tearing of the prosciutto against the toothsomeness of the chocolate confuses the mouth. maybe next time i will use a thinner chocolate.

and check out those mallow-bubbles! bursting with flavor!

SEPTEMBER 27: LEMON MERINGUE S’MORES

another boobie/googly-eyed one!

this one was pretty gloopy, but i really like the lemon curd part of the recipe and i have already repurposed the leftover curd in a few different ways: on a croissant, cheesecake, on top of leftover ganache, and greg put some on cookie dough ice cream because he’s a weirdo. i will absolutely make the curd again because it is so very bright and sour. i want to eat it on top of a warm brownie. this s’more had no chocolate in it, which is an even weirder culinary decision than greg’s. i still approve it, though.

SEPTEMBER 28: OLIVE OIL AND BALSAMIC S’MORES

sour and sweet and briny with sea salt, these are like having appetizers for dessert, and isn’t that what we’re all searching for, deep in our hearts?

they look a little unappetizing when they get all smeared like this, but taste buds don’t care about pretty. much.

SEPTEMBER 29: CHEESECAKE S’MORES

first you make a cheesecakelike substance and toss on some raw chocolate chips

add some mooshmallows

and then smoooosh it all up

until the marshmallows make the ‘cheesecake’ all melty n’ good and it’s a sticky sugary goo that gets everywhere and pleases everyone.

SEPTEMBER 30: CAPRESE S’MORES

i am so tired my eyes are like little mole eyes, so i am going to post this and go right to bed. this “s’more” has neither chocolate nor marshmallow nor graham cracker, but it has the esprit of a s’more and it is delicious and now i am asleep sorry so sorry work is hard.


tomorrow: THE S’MORESBURGER. the excitement is palpable. even through my zzzzzzzzzz

OCTOBER 1: THE INFAMOUS S’MORESBURGERS

let’s just take a moment of silence to marvel at this…marvel

that is a wad of ground beef stuffed with chocolate, covered in toasted marshmallow and served on a graham cracker. it is a madman’s conception, but so was the friggin’ aeroplane. i do not think the s’moresburger will have as great a cultural impact as the power of flight has had, but i’d rather eat one of these than hang out in an airport any day. if we can applaud a burger served on a krispy kreme donut, we can get behind this sweety meaty monster, too.

there are still a few recipes in here i want to make, so i might bleed this project into october a little bit, if there are no objections. please do not object, i really want to make tiny s’mores.

OCTOBER 2: TINY S’MORES

tiny s’mores are tiny!

so tiny!

he suggests using golden grahams or cinnamon toast crunch, but when s’mores cereal already exists, i’m gonna use s’mores cereal!

these are a little tricky to manage, because you have to balance a chocolate chip on a leetle cereal square and ‘slightly’ melt the chocolate before putting it back under the broiler with marshmallows on top, but the cereal tends to scorch before the chocolate decides to soften, and the cereal can be slightly curved and wobbly and there were some casualties and toppling and maybe some screeching.

also, note that mini-marshmallows don’t stay in that nice goopy state for very long, so they will get cold and hard if you have to take a minute to photograph them. they do taste good cold, though, even out of the fridge the next day. and you can shove hundreds in your mouth at once. LGM.

OCTOBER 3: COOKIE DOUGH S’MORES

i loved these. the book provides a specific recipe for making the cookie dough, where you have to toast the flour and use a mixer and there are no eggs for you people who still fear salmonella, but i’m sure it would be just as good with any store-bought refrigerated dough if you are pressed for time or wicked high. such is the power of cookie dough; it is always good. i think they are so pretty i’m just gonna hush now and let the pictures speak their thousand words.

OCTOBER 4: BLACK FOREST S’MORES

first, can we take a minute to admire how excellent i have become at toasting marshmallows in my broiler?

and now that i’m done patting myself on the back, getting marshmallow EVERYWHERE, here are some s’mores (is that redundant? like saying ‘ISBN number?’)

a wonderful blend of melty chocolate and MASTERFULLY TOASTED marshmallow and a tangy-sweet cherry sauce. this makes me very glad i’ve chosen to elbow my way into october with this project. i would have been very sad to have missed out on this one. only two more to go!

OCTOBER 5: PANCAKE S’MORES

oh, these are good. pancakes, chocolate, marshmallow and bacony bacon. again, you can shortcut this by using frozen premade pancakes. i made these myself, but there’s no need to be a hero.

make it even healthier by adding some maple syrup. might as well go balls-out, the world’s about to end, after all…

OCTOBER 6: SCALLOP, ZUCCHINI, AND PESTO S’MORES

look at these marshmallows!

haha jk these are SCALLOPS

in hindsight, i should have skewered them through their tummies, not through their up-and-downs, but i’ve learned to live with regret.

i’m not sure the grill pan was the right move here. it worked fine for the zucchini and the naan, but the scallops were impervious to the heat, and although they eventually cooked, they still look raw and a little bit gross in these pictures. maybe i need to learn how to use my grill pan better. or buy a grill. or give up cooking forever.

anyway, they tasted delicious, even if they were ugly. i will do ONE MORE RECIPE before calling it a month.

OCTOBER 7: MEXICAN CHOCOLATE S’MORES

nadine convinced me to do one more recipe, because it would be silly to not make something i already had all the ingredients for right here in my little home. and so, authentic mexican s’mores!

it’s like we are at the mexico pavilion at epcot! this one sneaks up on you; at first i was concerned i hadn’t put enough red pepper in it, but then HERE I AM said the heat, and it was a great combo with the chocolate and cinnamon and marshmallow. i am glad i decided to squeeze one more in and now SEPTEMBER/PART OF OCTOBER PROJECT IS OVER!

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