May 21, 2015

Chocolate Dipped Caramel S'mores

Last week, in between helping Brent with our bathroom extension/remodel, rearranging the furniture once again, and trying to figure out how to navigate my new iphone, I managed to squeeze in some time to work on a recipe that for a few weeks now, I've been trying to create/perfect/not screw up in a major way. I've made a list of recipes that I want to make before the baby gets here (because when he arrives, it's going to be nothing but takeout pad thai and pizza for weeks), and this one tops the list.

Theo Chocolate's, here in Seattle, is one of my favorite places to buy chocolate, caramels, hot chocolate, etc. I'm sure you've heard me talk about them many many times. They are amazingly thoughtful in their chocolate making process, they are a sustainable company, all around good people. They make these chocolates called the Big Daddy, where they smoosh together homemade graham crackers, caramel, marshmallows, and the coat them in melted chocolate - pure heaven amiright?. Brent brought me home a pack of three a few weeks ago, and of course, I ate them all before I even had a chance to say thank you.

A small part of me is thankful that Theo's is located way over in Fremont, because it would take me at least an hour and a half to walk there, and I don't have that kind of dedication or commitment to my cravings, despite being pregnant. Occasionally, Brent will bring me home a pack of Big Daddy's, and if I'm over in that area, I'll pick up a few and stash them away, so basically they are relatively rare in our house. I decided a few weeks ago that I was going to try and attempt to make them at home, so that I could share a recipe for folks who may not have access to Theo's - a shout out to all my Canadian friends!

I am giving you a pre-warning, these chocolate dipped caramel S'mores are labour intensive. You've got to make the graham crackers, marshmallows, and caramel from scratch, and then assemble them all together and then dip in chocolate. I will admit that it would be much easier to use store bought graham crackers, marshmallows, and caramel, but then you would just be left withViva Puffs.

Despite the amount of time it took to make these treats, the whole process was really fun. I'm not sure if you've ever made marshmallows from scratch, but you should give it a try. They are pretty easy to make, and it's somewhat like a science experiment. The graham crackers were also really easy to make. The caramels as well. None of the recipes are super challenging, there are just many stages to the whole process, and each stage takes at least a couple of hours to dry/cool/set. This recipe makes a lot of cookies, so be prepared to share with friends and loved ones, or if you're like me and have a real weakness when it comes to chocolate, you will eat them all. And not feel bad about it.








CHOCOLATE DIPPED CARAMEL S'MORES
makes 30 S'mores

30 graham crackers
30 marshmallows
30 pieces of caramel
32 ounces semi sweet chocolate, finely chopped 


For this recipe, I used homemade graham crackers, marshmallows, and caramel (see recipes below). I made them all the day before, allowing them time to cool and set overnight, before assembling the S'mores. If you want to save time, you could always use store bought graham crackers and/or omit the caramel.

Place a wire rack, or two, on top of a baking sheet or parchment paper. Assemble the s'mores on the wire rack - graham cracker on the bottom, followed by the caramel, and then a marshmallow on top.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler set over simmering water, or place the chocolate in a bowl over simmering water, stirring until melted. Don't let the bowl touch the water.

Once the chocolate has melted, and is very pourable, pour over the s'mores cookies to coat. Let them cool for 30 minutes, or until the chocolate has hardened.

Store in an airtight container for a couple of weeks.  


HOMEMADE GRAHAM CRACKER RECIPE
recipe adapted from Joy of Baking
makes 30 graham crackers

1 1/2 cups graham flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
7 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla



In a food processor, add the dry ingredients and pulse until combined.

Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumb.

Add the remaining wet ingredients and pulse until the mixture clumps together.

Divide the dough into two pieces. Lightly flour your hands and the dough. Roll the dough between two pieces of parchment paper, roughly 1/8 inch thick. Try to roll the dough as square as possible. Repeat with the second piece of dough. Place both sheets of dough onto a baking sheet, or two baking sheets if they wont fit, and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes, or the freezer for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Remove the dough from the fridge. Peel off the top layer of parchment paper, but keep the dough on the bottom piece. With a ruler, and a pizza cutter or knife, score the dough into 2 x 2 inch squares. Trim away the excess edges. Place the baking sheets into the oven and bake for 12 - 15 minutes, or until the edges turn golden brown. The longer you bake them, the crispier they will be. I err on the side of 12 minutes.

Remove the crackers from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. Once cool, break the graham crackers at the scored edges.

Store in an airtight container.


HOMEMADE MARSHMALLOW RECIPE
recipe adapted from David Lebovitz
makes roughly 30 caramels

2 packs of powdered gelatin
1/2 cup + 1/3 cup cold water
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
4 large egg whites
pinch of salt
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup potato starch
1/2 cup powdered sugar


In a small bowl, dissolve the gelatin into 1/2 cup of cold water.

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and corn syrup with 1/3 cup of water. Place over medium-to-high heat.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on low speed until frothy. Add a pinch of salt.

When the syrup reaches 210ºF, increase the speed of the mixer to high and beat the whites until they are thick and fluffy.

When the syrup reaches 245ºF, remove from the stove and slowly pour into the whites while the mixer is still running on high speed. Try not to get the sugar syrup onto the whisk. Continue to keep the mixture running.

Using the same small saucepan (while still warm) add the gelatin mixture and and swirl to melt into a liquid. Pour the liquified gelatin into the whites as they are whipping. Add the vanilla extract and continue to whip for 5 minutes, until the mixture is feels completely cool when you touch the outside of the bowl.

In a bowl, combine the potato starch and the powdered sugar. Generously dust a rimmed baking sheet, covering every corner, with a layer of the potato starch and sugar mixture. Using a sifter may be helpful.

Pour the marshmallow mixture onto the baking sheet and spread 1/2 inch thick with a spatula. Allow the marshmallows to to dry uncovered for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

Dust the top of the marshmallows with the potato starch powdered sugar marshmallow mixture. Use a pizza cutter to slice the marshmallows into 2 x 2 inch squares. Toss them in the powdered sugar mixture, and then shake in a wire strainer to remove any excess powder.

Store in an airtight container.


HOMEMADE CARAMELS RECIPE
makes roughly 30 marshmallows

vegetable oil
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/3 cup honey
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 tsp salt


Line a rimmed baking sheet with tin foil, covering the sides, and grease with vegetable oil. 

In a heavy 4-quart saucepan, on medium heat, bring the cream to a boil. Add the sugar, corn syrup and honey and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches 257ºF, roughly 15 to 30 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, vanilla and salt. Pour the mixture onto the baking sheet, 1/8 inch thick. If you have excess syrup, line an additional pan with tin foil, grease, and pour in the rest. You want to make sure the thickness of the caramel is 1/8 inch. Let the caramel completely cool. Preferably overnight.

When completely cool, peel aways the tin foil, and cut into 2 x 2 inch squares.

Store in an airtight container. 


18 comments:

  1. I think you just created the recipe for the key to my heart!! These are so lovely!

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  2. These sound sooo good. I think all s'mores should have homemade graham crackers and marshmallows, but I'd settle for a squeeze of caramel.

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  3. Do you get Tunnocks teacakes in the US? These remind me of a much classier version of them. LOVE that first photo x

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  4. They look lovely and really..sweet!

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  5. Very interesting idea, I love this type of biscuits. I'll have to try my own smores, as the vegetarian ones are so hard to find.

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  6. Drooling. Smores anything has my heart!

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  7. I just drooled. These are perfection!!!

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  8. Good Lord do these look delicious and probably worth every ounce of effort to make - YUM!!!

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  9. Oh my goddess, these are stunning and sound so ridiculously good. Theo's in Fremont is wonderful. I go there every time I visit Seattle.

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  10. I can feel my waist band expanding just reading this blog post. Yet my mind is going, "gimme! gimme!" these look delicious and this is delayed, but congrats on the baby :)

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  11. Grace @ Sweet Spree26 May, 2015

    Both beautiful and classic. Never considered making my own marshmallows for s'mores!

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  12. These are genius! What a brilliant idea and a gorgeous post. I could eat about 30 of these now tbh.

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  13. Anonymous26 May, 2015

    just FYI...it's Theo. Not Theo's

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  14. These are amazing and EVERYTHING my summer NEEDS!!

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  15. These are beautifullll! Homemade marshmallows are the best- after making them I almost can't buy them from the store. :)

    Jillian

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  16. Wow, drooling! I love the Big Daddy chocolates from Theo. Agreed that making everything homemade is the best way to achieve the delicious-ness factor. On a side note, I met you years ago (at a GSDA meeting) when you first moved to Seattle. I remember loving your blog back then, and I just recently rediscovered it and fell in love with it all over again. This time around I understand blogs a bit better and subscribed so I never miss a post!

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  17. Wow these look amazing! Love the layers!!

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