Summer smells of campfire, honeysuckle, sunscreen, lemonade, watermelon, burgers and hotdogs on the BBQ.
When you 1) live in the city 2) aren’t on vacation yet, sometimes you might crave some of these sensory, delicious memories and want to bring them to life – in your own space at home.
I first came up with this idea when we were in Seattle this spring, on a whirlwind trip for our friend’s wedding and it was rather chilly and rainy. Our friends had recently moved to a new place and had a fireplace they hadn’t yet used. We made it our mission to get them all set up and christened their new fireplace with smores on the fire. While at the store picking up the classic Hersheys and marshmallows, I took one look at the giant box of graham crackers and decided I would try something different: I had spotted earlier in the day that our friends had Trader Joe’s Speculoos cookies at home. The delightful cinnamon crunch of those biscuits were already one of my favorite treats, and I saw wonderful flavors colliding. Truly, it was amazing.
Think outside the s’mores box!
While we don’t have a fireplace in our place, we DO have an amazing cast iron Lodge pan. For all that they do, and how long they last, it is surprising that they’re only $30. They’re amazing for a reason and it seems it comes highly recommended by everyone’s grandmas. (Am I right?)
Here I bring you a refined, beautiful Speculoos S’mores recipe, made in a cast iron pan. I refined my original prototype and elevated it to highlight spices in the speculoos (Belgian spiced cookies) and then paired it with cool, natural, organic and locally made Nectar & Green pure pressed almond milk, in the Sea Salt & Honey flavor to complement the sweetness of the s’mores. Nectar & Green just started delivering to my town for pick up at Tatte (another favorite spot of mine in Boston) and it is perfect to wash down this chocolatey, marshmallow goodness with hints of spice and depth.
A lot of people like almond milk as a dairy alternative, but, as has come to light in the past year or so, many almond beverages don’t have a whole lot of the nutritious almonds in them and are actually thickened with not-so-good fillers. As someone who enjoys the taste of almond milk, I could taste the difference between pure pressed almond milk and almond beverages. Something to think about.
My simple ingredients list :
- Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookies (these exist at other stores, these were just convenient to access for me)
- one bar of your favorite high-quality European chocolate
- One pound of semi sweet chocolate chips
- One bag of large marshmallows (TJs just started carrying marshmallows this spring!)
- ground sweet saigon cinnamon (other ground cinnamon is fine too! I got this from Cost Plus World Market and keep it on hand because of the yummy flavor)
- optional: cinnamon stick and milk of your choice – I use almond milk from local organic business, Nectar & Green.
I used a beautiful bar of 70% dark chocolate my sister-in-law brought back from her adventures in Switzerland and used it to top a bag of semi sweet chocolate chips. Tip: Take a bar of your favorite, high-quality select chocolate – something fancy that you like – and include that! Flavored chocolates like sea salt caramel…masala chai…be creative!
Difficulty: Easy, Serves 4-6
- Preheat the oven to 450F.
- Layer chocolate chips, then chocolate bar (broken into squares), marshmallows, and dust with cinnamon.
- Bake for 10-14 minutes. Every oven differs, so I recommend checking for the golden brown color of the toasted marshmallow exterior and to see that the marshmallows expanded.
4. While baking, pour yourself a glass of the milk of your choosing to wash down the delicious treat!
What does it taste like?
Good question! The same delicious s’mores you know and love – but much, much better. Marshmallows are perfect and easy to control in the oven this way. (It is just simply a different experience than toasting it over an open campfire flame but the taste is not at all compromised. Perhaps, less burning is possible this way 🙂 ) The speculoos lends a delightful crunch – not as dry as graham crackers usually are. These are perfect for dipping and scooping compared to a graham cracker. The speculoos flavor with the subtle spices adds depth to the dark chocolate and I prefer it to the overtly sweet Hersheys milk bars that I was accustomed to. I could usually only have a max of 2 s’mores with the sweet milk chocolate, because I don’t like really sweet desserts, but I did not reach a sweet threshold here.
If you’re local to Boston and haven’t tried Nectar & Green, you can read about them and give them a try. They’re a delivery and subscription service, and for August you can try mini bottles of their different flavors: lavender, matcha, vanilla bean, cacao, and pure. The salt is from local saltworks, lavender from growers in Cape Cod, honey from a local bee farm – it is something unique. If you like almond milk, see if you can taste a difference between your usual brands and pure pressed nut milk.
The sea salt + honey is subtle and you can taste honey in the aftertaste. The pinch of salt cuts the sweetness of the s’mores and complements it, and I added a cinnamon stick to the milk to add just a hint of extra cinnamon flavor.
Aren’t these plates just precious? The warm reds and soft edges bring a soft, cozy feel to the moment that I wanted to share with my guests. When people come over, one of the first things they exclaim is, “your home is so COZY!” I don’t know what it exactly is that they experience, but I sure like being at home, so I’m glad they like being here too :-). These sweet plates are from the Alicia pattern and designed and made by 222Fifth – (I linked the set here) and I love them – I have the matching mugs too for tea and cookies.
I hope that you enjoyed this recipe! It is super easy to make, satisfying, and most importantly – great fun!!
Did you love this? Check out what I’m pinning to my dessert inspiration board here, pin, and share!