Pictureless Wednesday–About Those S’mores

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! :-)

Shirley
Not just gf, but gfe!

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Comments

32 Responses to “Pictureless Wednesday–About Those S’mores”

  1. RobinSue on July 8th, 2009 9:39 pm

    Shirley, I like your son’s version best- 2 cookies, 2 marshmallows and more chocolate! Great idea for a fuss free and gluten free s’more!

    • Shirley on July 9th, 2009 7:14 pm

      Hi Robin Sue–Ha ha … yes, s’more of everything. ;-) I’ll tell him! He’s an over-the-top kind of guy. :-)

      Shirley

  2. Ali (Whole Life Nutrition) on July 8th, 2009 11:26 pm

    Shirley – I had never thought to use chocolate chip cookies, what a great idea! We will be heading to my parent’s midwest lake house soon for a 3 week “vacation.” They like to roast marshmallows over a bonfire on the shore — a once a year treat for my girls! I think I will make a batch of my chocolate chip cookies so Lily and Grace can make smores along with the cousins! I am not sure though – the peanut butter cookie idea sounds quite good too!

    Happy Summer! -Ali :)

    • Shirley on July 9th, 2009 9:52 pm

      Hi, Ali–Your upcoming vacation sounds wonderful! Three weeks–wow! That would be great if the girls could enjoy s’mores along with everything else. :-) I bet they will be the envy of the others, too. You may find your cookies being snatched up to make this new version of s’mores. And, whether you use chocolate chip or peanut butter cookies, you can’t go wrong!

      Shirley

  3. glutenfreeforgood on July 9th, 2009 7:23 am

    I never thought of using cookies for S’mores. We do have a wonderful GF bakery here that produces the best graham crackers so I could probably make the original version — I’ve just never done it. Peanut butter cookies? Wow, that has to be good.

    I’m with you on taking photos. I really dislike having food ready and messing with the camera while people (even if it’s just me) are waiting to eat. I actually like taking “before” pictures to avoid the lag time between food that’s ready to eat and actually being able to eat it after you’ve taken a dozen pictures.

    I also loved the way you put it, comparing books and movies, etc. Another good post, Shirley!

    Melissa

    • Shirley on July 9th, 2009 9:58 pm

      Melissa–I have to admit if I had a bakery nearby that made gf graham crackers, I might just have to try them. But, these other versions just take S’mores to a whole new level. ;-)

      Glad you understand about the photos. At home it’s not too bad, but really just the light of a campfire is not ideal and I don’t like what the flash does in most photos.

      Well, I hope everyone is putting their imagination to good use … envisioning all kinds of deletable new S’mores!

      Thanks, Melissa—you’re such a great cheerleader for gfe!
      Shirley

  4. Diane-thewholegang on July 9th, 2009 9:20 pm

    Oh, you are evil. These sound evil too. I’m about to start raiding my kitchen for chocolate and something to go with it. They sound so amazing. So marshmallows are going on the shopping list. Have you found any with out yellow or blue die? I think I have some hazelnuts and chocolate. I could make my own Nutella. I don’t have any type of cracker and to bake a cookie I have to be desperate, but I’m getting there. Of course I have found my finger works just as well to decorate with peanut butter and chocolate. I know it’s 9pm but I wonder if I could convince my husband to go tot he store. I should have read this earlier! OK, taking deep breaths, I’ll put these items on my shopping list and get them tomorrow for after soccer practice. For now a handful of chocolate chips will have to do. Better go find them now.

    • Shirley on July 9th, 2009 10:12 pm

      Diane–Evil!? That reaction I didn’t expect. LOL I didn’t know about the dyes … guess I haven’t checked that label in a while. I will do so before purchasing any more. You can always make your own like Martha! Hers are even square, which works great for the traditional graham cracker shape OR a skinny cookie bar. ;-)

      Elana has a recipe for making your own Nutella. The finger idea sounds like it will definitely work in a pinch. LOL But, come camping some time and I’ll make some S’mores for you …

      Shirley

    • Ali (Whole Life Nutrition) on July 10th, 2009 1:04 am

      Diane – Last summer my mom found some kosher, gf, dye-free marshmallows at Whole Foods. They were made with fish gelatin. Still loaded with tons of sugar, but I felt better about these. It is a tradition to roast marshmallows over a fire at Grandma’s house in the summer! Do you have a Whole Foods near you? -A :)

      • Shirley on July 10th, 2009 2:31 pm

        Ali–Thanks for sharing that info on the marshmallows available at Whole Foods. I didn’t even know that fish gelatin existed. And, I guess the dye issue could be a compelling reason for someone to make their own marshmallows. All still loaded with sugar as you said, so definitely an occasional, special treat.

        Thanks again! Hope you’ll report back on your S’mores making later. :-)
        Shirley

    • Carey Greene on September 5th, 2012 12:06 am

      We use Plush Puffs Gourmet Marshmallows in our S’mores boxes – no dyes!:)

      http://soluckygifts.com/products-page/away-from-home/gluten-free-smores-so-delicious-smores/

      Carey, So Lucky Gifts

  5. Diane-thewholegang on July 9th, 2009 11:06 pm

    Any food that drives me crazy like chocolate that is combined in such a way that it can make me abandon all reason, is evil. I didn’t get any chocolate tonight so I guess it’s to the store tomorrow for some supplies. I’m thinking I can drive just a little further and be on your doorstep with an empty plate. Would you fill it up with smores for me?

    • Shirley on July 10th, 2009 2:10 pm

      Diane–LOL I told you that I only make them for camping. Are you willing to brave the bugs and come camping or come for a mountain day visit? If so, then I’ll make some for you!! I knew you wouldn’t succumb or make your hubby venture out. You are strong! ;-)

      Shirley

  6. Endangered Species Chocolate on July 10th, 2009 12:18 pm

    Might I suggest using Endangered Species Chocolate bars? The panther 88% cocoa dark chocolate bar makes an amazing S’more. This way you will not only be making a delicious and gluten-free snack, you will also be helping save our planet, coca farmers, and endangered species around the world. For more information about ESC’s mission or products visit http://www.chocolatebar.com or email us at community@chocolatebar.com. And, as always, Savor Chocolate. Save Our Planet.

    • Shirley on July 10th, 2009 2:42 pm

      Endangered Species–Welcome to gfe! Thanks for reminding us about your products as an option. I do eat your chocolates from time to time and thoroughly enjoy them when I do. :-) (There are no stores in my immediate area that carry your products.) I very much appreciate your mission and like that you have some dairy-free, vegan options, too. Next time I make S’mores, I will try using your panther bar!

      Thanks so much for commenting,
      Shirley

    • Carey Greene on September 5th, 2012 12:09 am

      Oh yummy – that sounds delicious!

  7. Jennifer on July 10th, 2009 3:50 pm

    They sound absolutely delicious!! Yep, most marshmallows have blue dye in them, but I did find some vegan ricemellow “fluff” that was allowed on my 8 year old’s diet.

    We JUST made “smores” yesterday for his special treat for swimming in his first swim meet. I bought some gluten-free graham crackers at Wegman’s and a wonderful Dagoba dark chocolate bar… spread a little ricemellow cream on the cracker and top with a chunk of the chocolate… MMMMM!! My kids LOVED them! It was nice for a special treat, but not something I would do very often.

    • Shirley on July 12th, 2009 11:22 am

      Hi Jennifer–Happy humid Sunday—summer is back! ;-) LOL What better time to make gf s’mores, huh? Your recipe sounds wonderful. I bet they were an absolute hit. I’ve had to throw away marshmallows before, because I really don’t use them often, even for S’mores. The blue day part befuddles me … like so many ingredients in our processed foods, I think why?

      Thanks for sharing your version … no campfire needed! ;-)

      Shirley

  8. Naomi on July 12th, 2009 4:51 am

    I did a little research myself on Broad Beans and I think you call them Fava Beans. The latin name is Vicia Faba. Here’s their wiki page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vicia_faba.

    x x x

  9. Naomi on July 12th, 2009 4:57 am

    Oh yeah, I forgot to say – I’d definitely go for those peanut cookie smores, if I could eat sugar, peanuts, marshmallows…… Maybe I need to come up with an SCD alternative? We usually roast bananas with some pure cacao and a drizzle of honey and flaked almonds for our sweet campfire treat. Might work on that one.

    x x x

    • Shirley on July 12th, 2009 11:35 am

      Naomi–Thanks for explaining that broad beans and Fava beans are one in the same! (Is there a UK-to-American translation, and vice versa, book out there? LOL) I checked out the link. Your broad bean salad is very appealing that’s for sure. All green and fresh!

      I bet you can come up with a wonderful SCD S’more alternative. Maybe that will be your submission for Make Me A Happy Camper! this month. :-) We have a group member who is on the SCD who would be forever grateful, I know that. :-)

      On our camping trip last weekend, one couple actually took a banana, split it a bit in the middle, filled the split with some chocolate and then wrapped it in foil and sat in the fire for a few minutes. They enjoyed their easy dessert very much! I like your idea of honey and almonds though. Yummmmm.

      Shirley

  10. Lauren B on July 12th, 2009 8:10 am

    That is such a wonderful idea for s’mores! Taking your favorite cookie recipe and putting it to good use, fabulous. Going to try your idea with peanut butter cookies, Shirley. PB s’mores, omg!

    • Shirley on July 12th, 2009 11:39 am

      Hi Lauren–Good to see you here at gfe again! Hope you’ll have fun with all the S’mores possibilities. Cookies are no longer just cookies, right? Now they are wonderful S’mores opportunities! Makes me feel like a happy kid again! :-)

      Shirley

  11. Endangered Species Chocolate on July 24th, 2009 1:02 pm

    Hey, sorry it took me so long to respond to this. But, GREAT!!! I’m so glad to hear you like our product! Keep up this great blog, you’re making a huge difference in the GF community.

    Kyle
    ESC

    • Shirley on July 29th, 2009 7:41 am

      Kyle–Thanks for the awesome feedback on my blog! No worries on not responding until later … we’re all busy people and no response is really necessary, but I do appreciate yours!

      Happy Wednesday!
      Shirley

  12. christina on July 27th, 2010 2:51 am

    We just made smores tonight using 2 chocolate mocha cookies from Elana’s website. Wow they were soo good! No chocolate bar needed. My gluten free daughter loved them and so did we!

    • Shirley on July 27th, 2010 11:04 pm

      Hi christina–Oh, I’m so happy to hear that! That sounds like a fabulous version of S’mores. Will have to look that one up on Elana’s site. :-) I find the cookie S’mores very satisfying … more so than the graham cracker version.

      Thanks so much for sharing! I mentioned your success on my gfe Facebook page! :-)

      Shirley

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