Homemade Puffy Cloud S'mores

Yield: 15 S'mores (about 2" x 3" clouds) + approx 1 1/2 dozen extra graham cookies

Classic Vanilla Marshmallows

shared with permission, as written in the book Marshmallow Madness!: Dozens of Puffalicious Recipes

Yield: About 2 dozen 1 1/2"-inch mallows

*the bloom

4 1/2 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin

1/2 cup cold water

*the syrup

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup, divided

1/4 cup water

1/8 teaspoon salt

*the mallowing

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup Classic Coating (below), plus more for dusting

Lightly coat an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

Whisk together the gelatin and cold water in a small bowl and let soften for 5 minutes.

Stir together the sugar, 1/4 cup of the corn syrup, water, and salt in a medium saucepan over high heat. Boil, stirring occasionally, until the temperature reaches 240°F. Meanwhile, pour remaining 1/4 cup corn syrup into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Microwave gelatin on high until completely melted, about 30 seconds. Pour into the mixer bowl. Set the mixer speed to low and keep it running.

When the syrup reaches 240°F, slowly pour it into the mixer bowl. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 5 minutes. Increase to medium-high and beat for 5 more minutes. Beat on the highest setting for 1 to 2 minutes more and beat in the vanilla; finished marshmallow will be opaque white, fluffy, and tripled in volume. Pour it into the prepared pan, using an offset spatula to smooth it into the corners. Sift coating evenly and generously over top. Let set for at least 6 hours in a cool, dry place.

Use knife to loosen the marshmallow from the edges of the pan. Invert the slab onto a coating-dusted work surface and dust it with more coating. Cut into whatever size pieces you wish (a pizza cutter works great for squares). Dip the sticky edges of the marshmallows in more coating, patting off the excess.

Super vanilla-ize these mallows by adding a scraped vanilla bean or dab of pure vanilla bean paste along with the vanilla extract.

* Classic Coating: 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar + 1 cup cornstarch or potato starch

Sift the ingredients together in a large bowl or combine them in a food processor. I tend to make several cups' worth at a time and store it in an airtight container; it keeps forever.

Sweetapolita's Notes on Making the Marshmallows

  • For the my cloud s'mores I did the vanilla bean version of these, so in addition to the pure vanilla extract, I added one scraped vanilla bean. It makes the vanilla flavour even more heavenly, and those beloved little black vanilla flecks are gorgeous in these puffy, pure white cloud marshmallows.
  • I used Knox brand gelatin.
  • I used a 9" square pan, rather than 8" so they would slightly shorter for the cloud s'mores. This yields about 15 2" x 3" clouds.
  • The first batch I made took about 30 minutes active time, but after I got the hang of it, the following batches took about 20 minutes.
  • For sandwiching the mallows in the s'mores, I only coated the top of the mallow batch while it sets, but didn't coat the underside, so that they would stick to the cookies.
  • I let the pan of marshmallows set overnight, for about 9 hours, and then removed it in one big slab from the pan, onto a cutting board, then cut into clouds (you could do any shape you like) using a cookie cutter.
  • For my clouds, I simply bent these cutters so they were cloud-like, but you can also buy a Cloud Cookie Cutter.
  • These are incredible on their own, so if you opt for making just the marshmallows, once you've cut them you can keep in single layers in an airtight container (with one corner cracked ) somewhere cool and dry (not the refrigerator).
  • You can watch Shauna make these marshmallows here.

Homemade Graham Crackers

shared with permission, as written in the book Marshmallow Madness!: Dozens of Puffalicious Recipes

Yield: About 4 dozen 2 1/2-inch crackers

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup stone-ground whole wheat flour

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1/4 cup honey

Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling (optional)

In the bowl of a food processor, blend together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. Add the butter pieces and the honey and blend until the mixtures comes together. Scrape out the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and pat it into a rectangular shape; wrap well. Refrigerate until firm, but still pliable, about 1 hour.

Position an oven rack in the center position and preheat to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll out thinly, about 1/8 inch thick (you can gather the dough scraps and reroll as necessary). Cut out crackers with a 2- to 3-inch cookie cutter (or cut into squares with a pizza cutter) and place pieces on the prepared baking sheets, a dozen per sheet. Prick each one several times with a fork and sprinkle with turbinado sugar, if desired. Chill the pieces on the sheets for at least 15 minutes before baking. bake for 14 to 16 minutes until golden. Let set for 1 minute before transferring the crackers to a rack to cool completely.

Sweetapolita's Notes on Making the Graham Crackers

  • I used standard whole-wheat flour (because it's what I had on hand) and it worked fine, but you can find the stone ground variety here: Stone Ground Whole Wheat Flour. I'll try it this way next time.
  • I rolled the dough, as I do most rolled cookie dough, between two sheets of parchment paper on top of a slip-free mat (I use my Fondant Work Mat for everything).
  • I chilled the rolled dough for 15 minutes in the freezer before cutting with the cloud cookie cutter, then put the baking trays back in the freezer for another 15 or so before baking.
  • I didn't sprinkle with turbinado sugar (since I was covering them with chocolate).
  • This batch yields about 4 dozen 2"x 3" graham clouds.
  • These are so tasty, even on their own! They make a great snack for kids, and they keep well in a sealed plastic bag at room temperature.

Covering the Graham Clouds in Chocolate

1. Line 2 baking sheets with wax paper or silicone mats.

2. Temper about 8 oz (depending on how many cookies you are covering) quality chocolate in the microwave follow this easy tempering process (when, using the microwave, your chocolate will be tempered in seconds, which is how we get the chocolate to harden with a nice sheen.) I used both Callebaut Dark Chocolate Callets (dark) as well as Callebaut Milk Callets (milk) and dipped half of my graham cracker batch in dark and the other half in milk chocolate .

3. Dip cookies into chocolate using two forks (or if you have a chocolate-dipping fork), covering entire cookie, letting the excess chocolate drip back into bowl.

4. Place on Silpat or wax paper-lined cookie sheet.

5. Place filled sheet in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes to set.

Assembly of the Homemade Puffy Cloud S'mores

1. Place one chocolate-covered graham cloud (be sure the chocolate is set) smooth side down into a baking liner (I used White Petite Loaf Baking Cups) or plate (you can even use cupcake liners, but depending on your cloud cutter, they may be too small). I popped mine in the freezer for a few moments before assembling them, to firm up the chocolate.

2. Place cloud cut marshmallow (one side should be sticky) on top.

3. Place second chocolate-covered graham cloud on top, smooth side up.

4. If you need the top of the "sandwich" to stick to the marshmallow, you can try adding a dab of melted chocolate and letting set.

Timing of the Homemade Puffy Cloud S'mores Prep

1. I made the marshmallow batch first (and set the pan aside overnight).

2. I made the graham clouds that same day and sealed them in an airtight bag overnight.

3. The next morning I dipped them graham clouds in chocolate and let them set.

4. Later that morning I cut the marshmallow clouds and assembled the s'mores.

Sweetapolita's Notes:

  • The cloud cutter I used is about 3" by 2".
  • These finished s'mores are best stored in an airtight container at room temperature, and will last for several days.
  • Milk chocolate is a lot softer to work with than dark, so when assembling the s'mores you'll likely need to put the tray in the freezer for a few moments when needed.
  • These make an amazing gift--use the baking liners and place in a gift box tied with ribbon for an adorable and yummy handmade gift.
  • I know the notes for these seem epic, but honestly, it was not a super time-consuming project (about 2 hours total active time).
Good luck & enjoy!