By Donna Erickson
Signal Contributing Writer
For those of us who could use an unexpected surprise to chase away the winter doldrums, here’s an idea that’s hard to beat. No, it’s not moving to a sunny beach somewhere far away. It’s making mouthwatering s’mores — indoors! Sound impossible? It’s not! Just swap out a classic campfire for your microwave, then grab the ingredients, and you’ll have a finger-licking-good snack for everyone in the family in seconds. Here’s how to put smiles on everyone’s faces in three easy steps:
1. On a small saucer, place a piece of a Hershey’s chocolate bar on top of one half of a graham cracker. Add one large marshmallow, or several mini marshmallows.
2. Cook in your microwave on high for about 10-15 seconds, or until marshmallows puff and grow.
3. An adult should remove the plate from the microwave, top with the other cracker half and gently press down on the gooey marshmallow. Let cool a bit so the snack isn’t too hot.Make several and serve with big glasses of milk. For extra fun, gather everyone around in a circle on sleeping bags, wrap yourselves in blankets, sing your favorite camp songs and tell stories as you savor your treat.
Note: A toaster oven works fine, too. Cook the layered cracker, chocolate and marshmallow on the tray at 350 F until the marshmallow begins to brown. Remove and top with the other cracker half. Six s’mores fit on most trays.
More Ideas I’ve tweaked the basic recipe with a few variations kids like.
• Substitute a Peppermint Patty or good chocolate syrup drizzled over the marshmallow for the chocolate bar.
• For a surprise taste, spread a thin layer of peanut butter on one of the graham crackers before you add the other ingredients.
• Add a banana slice.
• For a s’more without the microwave, let preschoolers spread marsh-mallow cream and chocolate frosting on a graham cracker.
• For a creative hostess gift, take along prepackaged s’mores. Wrap up fully assembled s’mores in neat little packages using waxed paper. Tie together with string and arrange in a tissue-filled container. Or, fill a gift bag with a box of graham crackers, a bag of marshmallows and a few chocolate bars for a simple kit.
Donna Erickson’s award-winning series “Donna’s Day” is airing on public television nationwide. To find more of her creative family recipes and activities, visit www.donnasday.com and link to the Donna’s Day Facebook fan page. Her latest book is “Donna Erickson’s Fabulous Funstuff for Families.”