Perfect s'mores

Boy with burnt marshmallow.

A camp fire with s'mores is one of the experiences every child should have. If the recipe for s'mores was not enough, find a more detalied description to get perfect s'mores.

How to make perfect camp fire s'mores every time

The origin of this amazing treat is not known for sure, but the earliest recorded s'more recipe is found in the 1927 edition of the Girl Scouts handbook. So, it is safe to say that generations of folks have bitten into this gooey concoction with great abandon, just like we do today.

The traditional s'more is made with marshmallows, Graham crackers, and chocolate. These three simple ingredients are so delicious when put together properly, that it's easy to see how the s'more got its name – after you eat one, you'll surely want “some more!” Today, anytime we're sitting around the camp fire and hear the words "We want s'mores!" we know exactly what they mean.

But, how do you make the perfect s'mores? Let's take a look at a few suggestions and tips.

The camp fire

You'll want a camp fire that you can divide in half. One half should have very, very slow burning embers and the other half should have a low flame with medium burning embers. The very slow burning embers should almost be burned out, and you should place a grate over the top. This side is used to warm the Graham cracker and chocolate combination. The hotter side is used to toast the marshmallows. Once you have this camp fire set up, it's time to start building your s'mores.

Prepare the foundation

Any structural engineer will tell you that a good foundation is crucial for building. This means no broken, crumbly, or soggy Graham crackers. Choose crispy, fresh, whole Graham crackers as these will form the foundation of your s'more. Break the Graham cracker in half on the seam you see. Now you have two squares. Continue for each s'more you want to make, snapping off two squares for each s'more; one for the bottom and one for the top.

Tear off pieces of heavy duty aluminum foil, one for each s'more you're making. Now, place one square of Graham cracker on top of one piece of aluminum foil, saving an equal amount of Graham cracker squares for the top of the s'mores.

It's time to choose the chocolate. Of course, a flat bar of milk chocolate is classic. Be sure to choose chocolate you like and that isn't too waxy. Snap the bar into a square, the same size as the Graham cracker, and lay on top of the Graham cracker halves that are on the foil. Of course, you can use chocolate chips if you like. Just sprinkle them on evenly over the Graham cracker. Continue for each s'more you are making.

Once you have completed each 'foundation' for your s'mores, set the aluminum foil pieces on a grate over very, very slow burning embers of the camp fire. You don't want the chocolate to melt or the Graham cracker to burn.

Toast the marshmallow

While the Graham crackers and chocolate are warming, it's time to toast the marshmallows. Choose one full-size marshmallow for each s'more. Put them on sticks or long skewers and, without charring them, toast them over slow embers until just light golden brown on the outside. Watch that they don't get so hot they start drooping on the stick. A two pronged stick can help this.

Once you have your marshmallows ready, the final assembly must happen immediately. Get the table prepared and line up everyone to help make their own s'mores.

Smush and enjoy

Remove the aluminum foil squares with Graham cracker and chocolate from the fire and set up on nearby table. The chocolate should be warm but should still have its shape and not be running off of the Graham cracker. Make sure the Graham cracker 'tops' are handy.

Holding on to the marshmallow toasting stick, place your marshmallow down on top of the chocolate. This is important to be able to get the proper smush effect. Grab a Graham cracker top and place it down on top of the marshmallow. With the palm of your hand, gently smush and hold the top down, then slide the stick out from the marshmallow. This works best while the 'foundation' of the s'mores are sitting on the table rather than trying to hold it in your other hand. Set up an assembly line to make your s'mores production a real success, as well as a lot of fun.

Be sure to let your s'mores cool down for about thirty seconds before you devour them. This will allow the chocolate to firm up a little again and prevent you from burning your mouth on a bubbling hot marshmallow.

Getting just the right combination of crispy Graham cracker, warmed chocolate, and toasted marshmallow is a talent, but it's something that can be learned. Enjoy many memories around the camp fire with your family, including many, many perfect s'mores!