A plump, toasted marshmallow and a few squares of Hershey chocolate sandwiched between two graham crackers is a little slice of childhood. Whether you sampled your first one on a Girl Scout trip or at a family campfire in the backyard, nothing says summer like a s'more.
But what can you do when the hankering hits and you're unable to toast your marshmallow over an open flame? A few local spots offer their own twists on the summer treat. And the best part? They do all the work.
York Township baker Theresa Starceski adapted a family tradition to create a s'mores cupcake she sells through her baking business, Rainboots Bakery.
"On rainy days, as kids, my brothers and I would toast marshmallows over the stove for s'mores," Starceski said. "One rainy evening, my brothers were out of the house doing their own thing and I adapted the s'mores cupcake."
Although Rainboots Bakery began only recently and operates mostly through catering and personal orders, Starceski said she's been baking for years. In her version of the s'more, a chocolate cupcake with chocolate chips sits atop a ground graham-cracker crust and is topped with marshmallow frosting and rolled in more graham-cracker crumbs. Mini marshmallows browned with a pastry torch add the finishing touch.
"Campfires are always such a fun event," she said. "The s'mores cupcake was made to bring a little bit of campfires to everyday life."
Rainboots Bakery isn't the only local shop that marries marshmallow and chocolate: Just Cupcakes in York has its own version, as well.
"Our family has always loved the delicious treat of s'mores, whether it be around a campfire or in our kitchen," said Sarah Koveleski, who owns the cafe with her mom, Christine Martin. "It is so simple, yet so good, and always takes you back to a special place."
Koveleski dips a rich chocolate cake into ganache and then graham-cracker crumbles before finishing it with meringue topping "torched to perfection."
Built around beer
Farther north, Troegs Brewing Company infuses its seasonal dessert with an espresso kick. Executive chef Christian DeLutis, who has been with Troegs since it opened its tasting room 2½ years ago, developed a s'mores bar that includes the brewery's JavaHead Stout.
A basic graham-cracker-and-ground-pretzel crust provides the base for a brown butter chocolate ganache made with a touch of heavy cream and the JavaHead Stout. Once the ganache sets, the bars are topped with marshmallows that are toasted in a smoker and then torched.
"Hershey's chocolate is normally what you use for a s'more, so it made sense," DeLutis said, adding that dessert lovers adapting the idea at home could toast their marshmallows over an open grill instead of in a smoker.
The stout originally inspired the dessert, similar to many of the other dishes Troegs offers in its tasting room.
"We find ways to make our food fit the beer," DeLutis said.
History of the s'more
The origin of the s'more is something of a debate, although girlscouts.org says the first recipe dates back to 1927 in a printed Girl Scouts manual called "Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts." The guide explains the name, meaning "some more," arose from the constant demand for more. The campfire dessert has become so widely popular in the past century that Aug. 10 is now recognized as National S'mores Day in the United States. As if we needed an excuse to indulge.