It’s the time of year to gather around fire pits, under heat lamps, and in front of hearths. Whenever we find ourselves warming ourselves by those flickering flames, we inevitably start dreaming about s’mores. There’s just something about that undeniably awesome combination of crunchy graham crackers, gooey marshmallows, and partially melted squares of chocolate. But we’ve come a long way from the traditional triumvirate from Nabisco, Hershey’s, and Kraft. The ingredients have gone gourmet while the presentations are seriously reconsidered. Treat yourself to a dozen s’mores desserts – no fire required.
Havana Beach, Rosemary Beach, Florida
Just looking at this photo makes us salivate. Arriving in a mini swing-top bale jar, the Beachside S’mores feature flame-kissed vanilla marshmallows, spiced chocolate, and fluff. Housemade graham crackers are served on the side, so you can construct your own sweet sandwiches. Make a reservation at Havana Beach.
Bourbon Steak, Washington, D.C.
You know this s’more is super fancy schmancy because it arrives hidden under a smoke-filled cloche. The server pulls it away to release a hazy cloud, which clears to reveal marshmallow, toasted marshmallow ice cream, hazelnut graham streusel, and caramel and milk chocolate shards from Valrhona. Make sure you take a picture before you take a bite — this dessert is worthy of your Instagram feed. Make a reservation at Bourbon Steak.
Figs, Jackson, Wyoming
Finally, there’s a s’more in cocktail form. The Wyoming Campfire features a tasty triple threat – Bailey’s Irish Crème, Kahlua, and Wyoming Whiskey – as well as coffee, hot chocolate, and a blazed marshmallow. You can’t warm your hands over it, but it will definitely light a fire in your belly. Make a reservation at Figs.
MK, Chicago, Illinois
Taking its name from the film Sandlot, the “You’re Killin’ Me S’mores” are an elevated expression of the simplistic sweet. Pastry chef Lisa Bonjour artfully plates cubes and spheres of dark chocolate ganache, a quenelle of graham cracker ice cream, charred bubbly clouds of marshmallow, and a scattering of peanuts. Like they say in the movie, “Remember kid, there’s heroes and there’s legends. Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.” This s’more is definitely legendary. Make a reservation at MK.
Graze, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Chef Richard Miller modernizes the long-loved camping trip treat. A crumbly mound of Marcona almond graham cracker streusel is paired with a bar of rich chocolate ganache and plenty of brûléed marshmallow. Worthy of both your inner child and your adult self. Make a reservation at Graze.
Presidio Social Club, San Francisco
One thinks of s’mores as warm, sticky sweets, but this rendition offers a cooler perspective. Salted caramel ice cream is bookended by chocolate brownie cookies and speckled with singed squares of marshmallow and candied peanuts. Warning: a brain freeze may ensue if you devour it too quickly. Make a reservation at Presidio Social Club.