I mentioned my version of gluten-free S’mores when I announced the Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free! theme for this month—Make Me A Happy Camper! Have you ever bemoaned current movies that “show all” and “tell all” and muttered that you liked the old movies better because more was left to the imagination? Have you ever been heard to say that the book was much better than the movie because you imagined the characters differently, and far better? In that spirit, I am offering you ideas for gluten-free S’mores without photos—just words and your imagination to create these wonders.
Frankly, when I am relaxing around the campfire at our mountain property, the last thing I want to worry about doing is taking a photo and usually it is way too dark to get a good one. Add enough lighting to get a good photo and somehow the mood would be spoiled. I promise to make and photograph S’mores in daylight hours the next time we get to our property and add the pictures here later. (But, FYI: That will be several weeks. We have other commitments and a vacation coming up—yippee!!—that will keep us away from the mountains until the beginning of August.) For now, we’ll call this a Pictureless Wednesday post (as opposed to the Wordless Wednesday posts that bloggers often share).
I am sharing my “how-to’s” on gluten-free S’mores as my lead-off contribution to this month’s Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free! blog carnival. No, I’m not making graham crackers or buying gluten-free graham crackers. You’re welcome to do that if you like, but that approach goes against my gluten free easily (gfe) approach. I’d rather come up with an easy way to make S’mores with readily available ingredients. So that means ingredients and items that are naturally gluten free or can easily be made gluten free. Marshmallows are gluten free. (Caveat: I don’t know of any that are not gluten free. Read labels.) Hershey’s plain chocolate bars are gluten free per the ingredients. However, it’s my understanding that Hershey’s is not forthcoming when it comes to saying anything they make is gluten free. As a result, many who are gluten free avoid their products. So, you can certainly use another chocolate bar that you enjoy and feel comfortable with. Now what about the cracker/cookie part. Well, to me the marshmallow and the chocolate are usually the most important part of S’mores, so one can go basic S’mores here or ultra S’mores.
The first time I made gluten-free S’mores was last year when camping. The “recipe” was kind of an accident really. I had gotten some marshmallows for roasting. We had a friend and her young daughter coming so I picked up a bag of marshmallows when I was grocery shopping for the weekend. Then on the way up to our property, Mr. GFE had surprised me with a Hershey’s bar with almonds when we stopped to get ice. As it turned out my friend and her daughter brought their own S’mores fixings. As I watched them making their traditional S’mores, a light bulb went off. I had some Blue Diamond Nut Thin crackers with me. (These crackers are one of the few gf specialty products that I use on a somewhat regular basis.) I roasted my marshmallow until it was that lovely golden brown color and then I smooshed it down (after it had cooled slightly) using my finger over a piece of the Hershey’s bar placed on the cracker. The result, a basic S’more, was surprisingly good. In that case, the cracker was mainly serving as a somewhat neutral base structure for the chocolate and marshmallow. The concept worked and a top cracker was not needed.
However, this weekend, I took innovative S’mores to a more refined level—the ultra S’more, if you will. I made a batch of my brown sugar chocolate chip cookies for the weekend. When it was time for S’mores Saturday night, I took one of the cookies broke it in half. I used each half just like you would the graham cracker for the top and bottom of the S’more. Now this made for a very fine S’more. One was absolutely satisfying to me. Son and his buddies had built their own campfire by the river. As we headed to bed, they headed off with the tin of cookies (at least half remained at that time), the Hershey’s bars, and the bag of marshmallows. When morning came, the tin was found with one cookie left, the Hershey wrappers were empty, and there were only six marshmallows remaining. I asked Son for his assessment of the ultra S’mores. At first, he offered one word: “Awesome!” Then he proceeded to tell us with great enthusiasm how he used two marshmallows (“cooked to perfection,” in his words), a couple of squares of chocolate, and two cookies (top and bottom). LOL His buddies had enjoyed the ultra S’mores also.
Now take these concepts and use them however you like. Have another favorite gf cracker? Try that … as just a bottom or for the bottom and top. Looking for a peanut butter and chocolate fix? Then make S’mores using my flourless peanut butter cookies. Remember the decadent variation of those? peanut butter Nutella sandwich cookies? Just add a hot golden brown marshmallow in the middle. Imagine that S’more! Oh, yeah. I’m definitely making those the next time we go camping! Still looking for more alternative taste treats? Try using gf ginger snaps or gf oatmeal cookies. If you’re like me, you make a batch of cookies for camping outings with friends anyway. At the risk of sounding like a TV chef, just “multi-purpose” those cookies! Now think of all the gf S’more possibilities there are! I can’t wait to hear what you guys come up with on your own. I actually think one of the hidden blessings of being gluten free is that we get to look at recipes and food in a different light than we have before. WE get to invent recipes and dishes … we don’t have to listen to what other folks think we should be eating and enjoying!!
Reminder: If you want to participate in the Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free! carnival for this month, you can read more here. Just get your submission in by July 28. Please join in … can’t wait! 🙂
Not just gf, but gfe!