Huh. I guess my nerves are a little frayed. This blog is better than therapy.
I’ve been going through boxes of stuff – dregs from our own move, plus a fresh influx from my mom’s house, where she is getting ready for a remodel. Mostly I’m purging into recycling bins. But old belongings are a minefield of memories, and every so often I uncover something that punches me back in time: grade school stories, middle school yearbooks (big plastic earrings and a perm), an outfit I wore at 15 that fits my daughter at 10 (I finally grew just in time to drive).
And then my friend Nancy handed me a packet of letters I wrote to her during freshman year in college, when I was in New York and she was still in California. Some parts were as if from a stranger, recounting places I don’t remember going, people I don’t remember knowing – and others brought back sharp memories of those early, lonely days as an 18-year-old in a big city where I knew no one, 2500 miles from home.
Handwritten mail has so much more personality than typed correspondence. Too much, maybe. My letters stopped – regrettably, mercifully – sophomore year after I got my boxy Macintosh computer networked and entered the world of email.
Even in a life of good memories, the past is a hard place to visit.
To the rescue: cookies.
I never post cookie recipes here that require refrigerating dough before baking, because I don’t have the forethought or patience to refrigerate dough myself. And yet, flat, thin cookies – which are more likely if you don’t refrigerate – bum me out. Rolled oats help make a soft, no-chilling-needed cookie. But in this s’mores cookie recipe, it’s graham cracker crumbs that give the dough extra heft.
There’s something about kids and marshmallows – that bland, squishy sweetness appeals to them like inflatable jumpy houses. Marshmallows = sugar + fun.
On paper, a s’mores cookie really isn’t a whole lot different from a regular chocolate chipper. But I’m telling you, if you are a kid, mini marshmallows deliver a whole new excitement level.
Same process you Toll House lovers already know. Soft butter, white and brown sugars (half recipe pictured).
Flour and baking soda (no salt since I am using salted butter). I cheat and just stir the baking soda briefly into the flour before mixing it in.
Graham crackers crumble very easily – you could do this with your palm.
Add chocolate chips. Milk chocolate are truer to the s’mores concept, but I stock semi-sweet. It’s all good.
And graham cracker crumbs.
I like small cookies, partly because I have kids, and partly because it’s psychologically more satisfying to eat two small cookies than half a giant one.
Push two or three marshmallows into each cookie as soon as they’re out of the oven. A little Hershey square is a cute visual cue too, though with the chocolate chips it isn’t really necessary for taste.
Baking therapy. It’s cheaper than the retail kind, and you don’t even need to leave home.
Graham cracker crumbs give enough heft to keep these chocolate chip cookies soft, while mini marshmallows ramp up the excitement level for the kids. Adapted from The Pollan Family Table.
- 6 graham cracker sheets (2 crackers per sheet), or about 1 cup coarse graham crumbs
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (omit if using salted butter)
- 2 cups chocolate chips
- 1 cup mini marshmallows
- 2 1.55 ounce milk chocolate bars (regular Hershey bar size), broken into small half-squares (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place graham crackers in a sealed plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin or large spoon into coarse crumbs. Set aside.
- Place softened butter in a mixing bowl with granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Using a fork or electric mixer, mix together until creamy. Add eggs and beat until light and fluffy.
- In a separate bowl, mix baking soda and salt (if using) into the flour. Add flour mixture into the egg mixture and mix until fully incorporated.
- Using a spoon, stir in chocolate chips followed by graham cracker crumbs.
- Using a tablespoon measure, drop spoonfuls of dough onto a baking sheet about two inches apart. Bake for 9-11 minutes, until they are done but not yet browned on top (cookies will be lightly brown on the bottom). Push 2-3 marshmallows into each cookie, along with 1-2 chocolate pieces. Remove to wire rack to cool.
- The original recipe calls for a baking temperature of 375 degrees F, but I have better results (and fewer overbaked cookies) at 350 degrees F.
- Milk chocolate chips are truer to the taste of classic s’mores, but what I usually have on hand is semi-sweet. Don’t sweat it – it’s really the marshmallows that make it a s’mores cookie.
- For half-recipe: 3 graham cracker sheets, 1 stick butter, 6 tablespoons granulated sugar, 6 tablespoons brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1 egg, 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 cup chocolate chips, 1/2 cup mini marshmallows, 1 Hershey bar.
Here’s the link to a printable version.