Somehow, the fact that August 10th is National S'mores Day managed to sneak by us, but these delicious treats are worth a mention, even if it is a bit belated.
If you're not familiar with s'mores, they are made by sandwiching a toasted marshmallow and a piece of chocolate in between two graham crackers. The name of the treat comes from the two words "some more," clearly combined because people often wanted to have at least a second serving after having one s'more. The treat was developed by campers in the early part of the 20th century, making use of the fairly new mass-produced marshmallows. Marshmallows were easy to transport, as were candy bars and graham crackers, and the marshmallows could be warmed easily over a fire to make a delicious treat in a situation where other types of sweets would have been difficult to come by.
The true origin of the snack is unknown, as camping recipes tended to be passed from person to person and family to family - often over the campfire itself. The first recipe for s'mores was published in 1927 in the Girl Scout Handbook and the event marked the official introduction of the s'more into popular culture.
The publication of the s'more recipe was not the first pairing of chocolate, marshmallow and cookies. In 1913, the Mallomar cookie was introduced to market, followed in 1917 by the Moon Pie. Both products have a graham cracker-like base - a sandwich, in the case of the Moon Pie - and are topped with marshmallow and a layer of chocolate.
S'mores (as well as Mallomars, Moon Pies and other confections with similar components) are popular because the simple ingredients make a perfect balance of flavors. The marshmallow is sticky and sweet, the chocolate is smooth, and the graham cracker is crisp and crumbly, acting almost like a pie crust to contain the filling. To make them at home, you can use a microwave version of the recipe or you can cook them on a grill or in the oven. Use high quality chocolate and homemade graham crackers to make the treat a bit more upscale, but, for the sake of tradition, there is nothing wrong with using store-bought ingredients for these.