S’more Ice Cream and Homemade Graham Crackers
Crackling, popping, sizzling and hissing of a nearby carefully constructed fire compete with the symphony of chirping crickets, hissing cicadas and howling insects so familiar to a southern summer night. Friends’ faces glow with dancing reds, oranges and yellows, and with smiles of careless joy. Stories bounce about the night air, some frightening others comforting. Drinks are consumed, cheers are made, secrets shared and bonds are forged ever stronger.
A box is opened, a bag torn apart and sticks hastily collected. Smirks pierce faces as the foodie of the group brings the goodies to the haphazard circle. Graham crackers, marshmallows and bars of chocolate can mean only one thing. It doesn’t matter this circle of friends is in their twenties. Hearts are instantly transported back to childish days spent around campfires tended by their parents, days when their only concern was constructing the perfect s’more. Straight sticks are fought after and stragglers pout over the gimp sticks. Complaints fade though as the puffy white marshmallow assumes its rightful place above the golden flames. Judgements, insults and jest fly as some pull their marshmallow away far too soon while others play chicken and leave theirs until it emerges a charred crisp.
Then assembly. Delicately perched graham crackers rest in open hands as chocolate is oh so carefully placed on top. A perfectly roasted marshmallow is slid off it’s roasting stick onto the now warming, melting chocolate. Greedy boys and girls add more chocolate and then the final layer of graham cracker lands on top smashing the concoction down into a flat, gooey, pouring over the sides, perfect for everyone treat. Silence falls over the group. Chatter, glass clinking, laughter all disappear. The night is again only filled with the crackle of a glowing fire and the distant sounds of bugs serenading their lovers. The group slowly delves into the blissful creation that is the s’more taking as much time as they can to savor the delicious moment.
Step right up. Come one, come all. Boy oh boy are you in for a treat today. I am reaching deep inside my childhood for this one. That’s right, it’s a s’more-tastic post. A friend recently–actually a while back–asked if I would do a s’more post. I was instantly thrilled at the potential of this post. I was also instantly overwhelmed with the number of directions I could take this. Should I make cake? A pie? Cookies? Fancy s’mores? Meringues? Cupcakes? Crepes? Eclairs? Candy? Then as I sat on my couch about a year after my friend made the request, a thought randomly popped into my head. Ice cream! I’ll make s’more ice cream!
Since I had graham flour on hand I decided to make the graham crackers from scratch. Boy was I right in doing this. Homemade graham crackers are incredible! The recipe is quite easy too. So if you feel up to it, I suggest making the graham crackers from scratch for this recipe. You will have tons left over too so you can make some classic s’mores or just snack on them. The best part of making graham crackers from scratch is you can choose the size! I made some large ones for s’mores and some small ones for snacking.
About Homemade Ice Cream: Ok so yes, this is a recipe where you need a specific, single-function tool. I don’t like sharing recipes that require such things–as they become exclusive–but it’s Ice Cream. If you love ice cream then you should have an ice cream maker–if you don’t love ice cream then you are probably a robot and are just scanning this post to find my email so that you can spam me.
Also, to ensure the ice cream is the right texture–creamy with no ice crystals–, the batter needs to be very, very cold and your ice cream maker bowl also very very cold. I suggest keeping the batter in your fridge at it’s coldest setting and putting the batter in the bottom of the fridge (because as we remember in elementary school, cold air sinks). Leave the batter overnight for at least 8 hours after mixing. As for your ice cream maker bowl, that should be put in your freezer at least 24 hours before you plan on making ice cream. Because I make ice cream often, I store my ice cream maker in the freezer and keep my freezer at -8F, it’s coldest temperature.
This ice cream is incredible. The chocolate is delicious and rich. The marshmallow adds a scrumptious sweetness and the bits of graham crackers and milk chocolate mixed in add a bite that make this ice cream unmistakably s’more ice cream.
S’more Ice Cream
Ingredients 1 quart half and half (or 2 cups heavy cream and 2 cups whole milk) 4 ounces (1 cup) unsweetened good cocoa powder 1 vanilla bean (or a teaspoon of vanilla extract) 2 ounces 70% (bittersweet) chocolate, chopped finely 4 ounces 60& (also bittersweet-er) chocolate, chopped finely 8 egg yolks 6 ounces (1 cup) sugar 1 cup graham crackers, chopped 4 ounces milk chocolate, chopped 1 cup small marshmallows Instructions 1. Put the cocoa in a heavy bottom pot (at least 3 quarts). Slowly pour in enough of the half and half to make a paste. It will be clumpy and a bit difficult to mix all together at first but be patient, it will get there. Pour in the rest of the half and half in slowly and mix well. I use a whisk but a wooden spoon will work too. 2. Slice the vanilla bean open lengthwise and scoop out the little seeds into the chocolate mixture. Add the bean as well. Heat over medium heat until the mixture is scalding (steaming heavily but not yet boiling or simmering). 3. Take the pot off the heat and stir in the chopped 60% and 70% chocolate. Stir well until the chocolate is completely melted. I would stir a bit longer than you think you need to as the ice cream can be gritty if the chocolate is not melted completely. Set aside. 4. Whip the egg yolks and the sugar until they are light and fluffy. 5. While whipping fast (or on high speed) temper the egg mixture by slowly pouring in the chocolate mixture. 6. Return the mixture to the pot and put over low-medium heat stirring constantly until the mixture is thick enough to coat a spoon. Be careful with this step and do not heat longer than 5 to 8 minutes as it could scramble the eggs. Also, do not go any higher than medium heat. 7. Pour the batter into a bowl and let cool. Once cool place in the refrigerator covered and chill overnight. 8. Process in your ice cream maker according to the maker's instructions. The mixture should be very thick, almost like a pudding or custard before churning. The mixture should get thicker and appear like a very thick soft serve. 9. In the mean time melt the marshmallows in a bain marie (bowl over simmering water). 10. Pour half the batter into a sealable metal or glass container. Add half of the marshmallow, milk chocolate and graham crackers. Fold in the extras in. 11. Pour in the rest of the ice cream and add the rest of the extras. Fold them in. 12. Seal the container and place as low in your freezer as possible. Let freeze at least a few hours to harden before eating.
This graham cracker recipe is modified from Alton Brown’s graham cracker recipe. This dough is made using a food processor. If you do not have a food processor you can use your hands by first pinching the butter in the flour mixture, then when you add the liquid and honey using a kneading motion. Beware since this mixture has honey it will be a messy process.
Homemade Graham Crackers
Ingredients 8 ounces (1 1/2 cups) graham flour 2 ounces (1/2 cup) all purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 3 ounces (1/2 cup) brown sugar 3 ounces (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cold 3 ounces (1/4 cup) honey 1/8 cup milk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Instructions 1. Place the flours, baking powder and soda, salt and sugar in a food processor. Pulse until combined. 2. Add the cold butter and pulse until the mixture resembles corn meal. 3. Add the honey, milk and vanilla and pulse until the mixture begins to come together and form a dough. 4. Dump the mixture out onto parchment paper and knead a few moments if needed. Flatten to a 1" thick disk and refrigerator for 30 minutes. 5. Preheat the oven to 350F. 6. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll out on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough out to 1/8th to 1/4 inch thick. 7. Using a cookie cutter (i used a ridged cookie cutter) or using a pizza cutter cut out square cookies. Using a toothpick or skewer, pokes holes in the top in any pattern you wish. I made some large cookies at 2 inchesand some small at 1 inch. 8. Place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. 9. Bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes for small 1 inch cookies and 20-25 minutes for 2 inch cookies, or until the sides begin to brown.
Enjoy! I know I have. And just like the classic s’more this ice cream is going to go quick, leaving little behind to remind you of it’s deliciousness.