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Make S'mores like a Boss

Make S'mores like a Boss

When it comes to classic summertime treats, s’mores have everything beat. Dessert, a bonfire, and good company? They’re a classic for a reason, not to mention that they’re a thrilling mashup of flavors and textures with the crunchy graham crackers, rich chocolate, and ooey, gooey marshmallow—all wrapped up in a convenient, albeit sometimes sticky, sandwich-like package.

No matter whether you’re the outdoorsy type or you prefer to do all of your cooking in the microwave, nothing has to stand between you and satisfying your craving for s’mores.  We. So light the campfire or fire up the gas stove, and use the following tips to make s’mores like a boss.

How to Make S’mores Over the Campfire

Before you enjoy s’mores straight outta the campfire, you first have to gather your ingredients. The classic trifecta is graham crackers, chocolate bars (milk or dark—your choice), and large marshmallows. You’ll also need wooden sticks or metal skewers and (obvs!) an active campfire. (Also! It’s worth mentioning to both the skilled pyros and flame-averse out there, we highly encourage smart fire-safety practices. S’mores are great and all, but so are intact eyebrows.)

Once the campfire is burning, start prepping the “bread” of your dessert sandwich by breaking a graham cracker in half.

Next, open up the chocolate bar and place as much chocolate as you’d like on one of the graham cracker halves.

Now we’re getting to the good stuff... Spear a marshmallow onto a stick or skewer and hold it over the fire, turning the marshmallow so it cooks on all sides for a nice golden brown toast.  Or if you’re the other kind of s’mores fiend, light your mashmallow on fire, blow it out, and enjoy it charred bits and all!

Once the marshmallow is toastedto your liking, place it on top of the chocolate-and-graham-cracker combo. (At this point, the marshmallow is still on the stick.) Use the other half of the graham cracker to smush down on top of the marshmallow, and then slide out the stick.  Voila!

Wait as long as you can for the marshmallow to cool to avoid burning the inside of your mouth, and then chow down on that gooey sandwich and ask for s’more!

How to Make S’mores Indoors

Don’t have access to a campfire? Fear not! You can still enjoy the sweet, sweet taste of s’mores using your indoor cooking method of choice.

Making S’mores in the Microwave

Start with the usual ingredients: graham crackers, chocolate bars, and large marshmallows. Next, break a graham cracker in half and place one of the marshmallows on one half. Put that half in the microwave and cook it on high for approximately 10 to 12 seconds. Remove the graham cracker and marshmallow from the microwave and top with chocolate and the other half of the graham cracker, pressing down to deflate the marshmallow. Once the chocolate has melted a bit, nosh away!

Making S’mores in the Oven

Gather your graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows—only this time, use mini marshmallows instead of the large variety. Next, set the oven to broil. Then split a graham cracker in half, and load up one half with mini marshmallows. Place that half on a sheet pan and slide it onto a rack a few inches beneath the broiler. Broil the marshmallows for approximately 20-30 seconds, until they’re charred to your liking. Remove the graham cracker and marshmallows from the oven and top them with chocolate and the other graham cracker half, pressing down lightly. Allow the chocolate to melt a bit and then enjoy!

Making S’mores on the (Gas) Stove

You know the drill by now: Make sure you have all the ingredients in the form of graham crackers, a milk or dark chocolate bar, and large marshmallows. Split a graham cracker in half and place as much chocolate as you’d like on one side of it. Next, turn on a burner to high heat, skewer a marshmallow, and hold the marshmallow over or in the flame (depending on whether you enjoy your marshmallows to catch on fire before eating them. Again,you’re indoors now; Fire. Safety.). When the marshmallow is heated to your liking, place it on top of the chocolate-and-graham-cracker combo and sandwich the whole thing with the other graham cracker half. Allow it to cool for a bit, then eat!

From sticks and a campfire to the broiler feature on your oven, there are several ways to satisfy your s’mores craving. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how you make them; what matters is that you don’t deprive yourself of this classic and delectable summer treat.

Homemade Chocolate Hard Shell

Homemade Chocolate Hard Shell

If you’ve never tried ice cream covered in chocolate hard shell, then stop what you’re doing and get on it ASAP!.

Chocolate hard shell (AKA “Magic Shell”) is a chocolate dipping sauce that, with a little abracadabra!, hardens when it comes in contact with ice cream, surrounding the ice cream in a crisp, chocolatey shell.

Okay, so it’s not magic. But! It is science; it’s all about fat and temperature. The coconut oil contained in most chocolate hard shell recipes has high amounts of saturated fat. When saturated fat is exposed to cooler temperatures, it hardens, which is why chocolate hard shell solidifies when it’s drizzled/dipped/smothered to cold ice cream.

If that sounds complicated, not to worry! Making this delectable goo is (shockingly) easy. Here’s how to level-up your next ice cream social by making chocolate hard shell at home. 

How To Make Homemade Chocolate Hard Shell 

Like we said, it’s pretty simple . All it takes is about five minutes and two relatively healthy ingredients—no headaches or preservatives required.

First, obtain your ingredients.

According to the New York Times, here are the ingredients you’ll need to whip up a fudgy take on homemade ice cream topping:

These ingredients will yield about ¾ cup of chocolate hard shell, which should be enough to cover roughlyly four to six scoops of ice cream. If you’re planning to serve or nosh on more ice cream than that, (hat’s off to you) just increase the ingredients keeping the same ratio in mind.

It’s also worth noting that different sources call for slightly different ratios of chocolate to coconut oil, so you may want to experiment with the ratios that work best for you. Additionally, some recipes call for the use of cocoa powder in lieu of regular chocolate.

Next, prepare the hard shell.

Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, it’s time to prepare the hard shell. Here’s how to make it happen:

  • Start by chopping the chocolate into small, relatively even pieces.
  • Next, combine the chocolate and coconut oil in a small cauldron (a small bowl will also do just fine). You’ll be melting these ingredients; you may choose to utilize a double boiler or the microwave. (Check out this post for chocolate-melting tips.) Whichever melting method you choose, make sure the chocolate is melted and the coconut oil has fully dissolved. This may take a few minutes.
  • Allow the chocolatey liquid to cool just a bit until it’s lukewarm. Now, on to the good stuff!

Finally, put the hard shell to good use.

Here comes the delicious part! Spoon the chocolate hard shell mixture over your ice cream of choice and give it about 30 seconds to fully harden. You’ll know the hard shell is ready to eat when it makes a hollow, cracking sound when you tap it and when it transitions from having a glossier sheen to a more matte appearance.

If you’re the rare bird who finds themselves with leftover hard shell, make sure to store it in an airtight container. Stir it up well before reusing it as a topping for yet another delectable ice cream dish.

Chocolate Treats to Cool Down this Summer

Chocolate Treats to Cool Down this Summer

Summer may be technically coming to an end, but the raging heat across the country doesn’t seem to have gotten the memo. And we’re guessing that you’ve probably found yourself throwing open the windows, cranking up the AC, and/or wearing as little clothing as possible in an effort to escape the heat.  

Well, we feel you and have a tasty solution:  Cool your jets with a chilled, chocolatey, and refreshing treat!

If you find yourself baking-averse when it’s hot AF outside, let the record show, you don’t have to ditch homemade treats until it’s cool enough to bake again. Instead, whip up any of these chilled sweets to beat the heat while satisfying your inner chef and your taste buds.

Chocolate-Drizzled Frozen Fruit Skewers

Not only is this cool treat tasty and refreshing, it’s also pretty healthy. Loads of fresh fruit in the form of watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple, grapes, blueberries, and ripe bananas get skewered onto kabobs. Then they’re topped with a homemade drizzle of antioxidant-rich semisweet chocolate. Freeze the kabobs and enjoy them anytime you need a summer pick-me-up. For an even healthier take, we recommend subbing coconut oil for the shortening.

Chocolate Martini

To whip up this decadent martini, you’ll need to ditch the olive juice and reach for chocolate ganache instead. The ganache consists of heavy cream and semisweet chocolate; this combo gets shaken up with vodka and Bailey’s Irish Cream to create an adult summertime beverage. If you’re whipping up drinks for a younger crowd, swap in milk in place of the alcohol.

Frozen Hot Chocolate

You don’t have to wait until winter to enjoy your next hot chocolate fix—provided you’re willing to sip it cold. This homemade recipe calls for melted chocolate, milk, sugar, cocoa mix, and plenty of ice cubes to blend into the hot chocolate so it turns icy-cool. Delight your inner child by topping the whole shebang with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles. We love this recipe with our 39% Classic Milk Chocolate.

Greek Yogurt Fudgesicles

Fudgesicles are one of our favorite classic summer treats, but the store-bought varieties are often loaded with preservatives. Now you can enjoy fudgy pops with a healthier twist thanks to this recipe for Greek Yogurt Fudgesicles. The ingredients consist of Greek yogurt, milk, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and a natural sweetener. Blend ‘em up, freeze ‘em in popsicle molds, and then enjoy a trip down memory lane!

Healthy Homemade Banana Chocolate Ice Cream

“Healthy” and “ice cream” are two terms that rarely go together. But for this ice cream recipe, the “healthy” moniker actually fits. That’s because the only ingredients are frozen bananas and cocoa powder. (The recipe also works great with other types of fruit and seasonings. Try adding a dash of cinnamon or  a couple drops of vanilla!) Mix those ingredients in a blender and serve immediately for a truly refreshing treat.

Luscious Chocolate-Dipped Raspberry Smoothies on a Stick

Frozen smoothie + chocolate dip = delicious (...and cool) summer snack, just like the no-nonsense recipe title implies. One of our favorite things about summer is the plethora of fresh fruit and finding new ways to get our daily servings. These popsicles pack in lots of fresh raspberries and bananas, along with almond milk, vanilla yogurt, and a natural sweetener. The smoothie mixture gets poured into popsicle molds and is shipped off to the freezer to set up before being dipped in a homemade chocolate coating for a little extra panache.

Need to cool down? Then help yourself to one of these icy chocolate treats, which are guaranteed to take the edge off even the most oppressive summer heat.