Healthy eating: Scratch Made S’mores a delightful summer treat

There is something about picnics and barbecues that says summertime. We’re lucky to be able to eat outside throughout the year. Our family loves packing a picnic and heading to the beach for supper on a warm evening. I also love to go camping and hiking which means that I enjoy planning meals cooked on an open fire or on a camping stove. I have had a love affair with s’mores from an early age and have memories of this treat from an early age. Camping without s’mores just isn’t camping for me.

I recently assisted Shawna Belmont-Treen at a PCC Cooks Class for kids that was all about s’mores. The class was for 8- to 12-year-olds and they did a magnificent job of making their own marshmallows and graham crackers for Scratch Made S’mores. So if you want to elevate your outdoor dining, here are a few recipes that are not difficult. They do take some time but in a two-hour class the kids were able to make all of the recipes as well as enjoy the fruits of their labor. The recipes make a large batch that you can share with friends and neighbors, or invite the folks camping next to you over for this fun summer delight. Trust me — once you taste homemade graham crackers and homemade marshmallows, it will be very difficult to go back to the store-bought versions.

Vanilla Bean Marshmallows

Makes 25


3/4-ounce gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup organic light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped (can sub 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract)
Neutral oil (or spray) for utensils, hands and wrapping
Powdered sugar for dusting


In the bowl of a stand mixer, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water. Allow to “bloom” for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Boil hard for a full minute.

Pour the boiling syrup into the gelatin. Add the salt.

With the whisk attachment, whip on high speed for 10 minutes until thick, white, and glossy.

Add the vanilla bean seeds. Whip to incorporate.

Line a 9-inch by 9-inch pan with plastic wrap, then spray with cooking spray.

Using an oiled spatula, scrape the marshmallow mixture into the pan.

Oil your hands and smooth out the top. Cover with oiled plastic wrap.

Let marshmallows sit at room temperature for at least 1 1/2 hours to firm up.

Remove from the pan and place on a cutting board dusted with powdered sugar.

Put more powdered sugar on top of the marshmallows.

With an oiled knife, cut the marshmallow square into 25 equal pieces (5-inch by 5-inch).

Dust each one in powdered sugar to prevent sticking.

Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

If roasting, wait at least 24 hours to allow them to dry slightly.

Honey Graham Crackers (Adapted from Breadfarm Bakery in Edison, WA)

Makes 4 dozen


1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons wheat bran
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons honey


Whisk together all three flours, wheat bran, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Add the butter, sugar, and honey to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.

Cream on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl.

Add the dry ingredients in 3 batches, mixing on low until just combined.

Dump the dough out onto a work surface and form into a ball.

Cut the ball in half and place each half on a 12-inch x 16-inch piece of parchment.

Pat the dough into a 1-inch-thick disc. Then cover with another piece of parchment.

Use a rolling pin to roll each dough half into a 1/8inch rectangle.

Transfer each rectangle to a sheet pan and freeze for 20 minutes.

Remove from the freezer. Slide the parchment paper and dough onto a cutting board.

Remove the top sheet of paper. Prick the dough in 1-inch intervals using a fork.

Then score each dough in 2-inch squares using a pizza cutter or knife. Save any scraps to re-roll.

Place the scored dough back onto the sheet pan and freeze for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.

Remove from the freezer. Peel away and discard the parchment paper.

Working quickly, separate the crackers along the score lines and place squares onto the prepared sheet pans about 1/2 inch apart.

Chill one more time for about 10 minutes.

Bake graham crackers for 12 to 15 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through, until the edges are golden.

Transfer to a cooling rack. Once cooled, store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Pipeable Chocolate Ganache

Makes 1 1/2 cups


8 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate

6 ounces heavy cream


Finely chop chocolate and place into a heatproof bowl.

Heat cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. Do not let it boil.

Pour hot cream over the chopped chocolate and let it sit undisturbed for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, use a spatula to stir the chocolate into the cream until smooth and glossy.

Allow to cool and then scoop it into a piping bag without a tip. (Optional)


Take two graham crackers and spread (or pipe) the chocolate ganache onto one of the graham crackers

Place a marshmallow onto the chocolate-covered graham cracker

Toast the marshmallow with a small bakers torch. You can try toasting over the open fire but homemade marshmallows are very tender, so be careful so that you don’t lose it to the fire gods.

Add the second graham cracker

Eat joyfully and embrace the mess. This is a summertime treat enjoyed by people of all ages!

— By Deborah Binder

Deborah Binder lives in Edmonds with her family. She loves to cook from scratch using produce from the gardens she created and maintains with her husband. She attended culinary school on the East Coast and focused on desserts, pastries and bread. She’s worked for restaurants and caterers in the front and back of the house (kitchen) on both coasts. Her current interest in food is learning to eat for health and wellness, while at the same time enjoying the pleasures of the table. Deborah loves experimenting and developing new recipes. As Julia Child once said, “Everything in moderation including butter.” Deborah can be contacted at


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