Homemade Graham Crackers &
Chocolate-Dipped Marshmallows

If you’re a semi-competent human being, this is probably the way that you make marshmallows. If you’re me, it goes something like this:

  1. Wait to do this until you’re at your parents’ house, because the 600 Series KitchenAid that you found for a super-awesome price won’t be yours until Christmas. (And because it’s more fun to make a giant mess in their kitchen.)
  2. Since this is your first time working with gelatin, stick your face in the bowl of gelatin and water to see if it smells anything like jell-o. Recoil in horror at the disgusting scent that assaults your olfactory system.
  3. After a few minutes of the mixer running on high speed, start milling around nervously because the motor sounds like it’s begging you to put it out of its misery. Consider that you might just be paranoid because your mother’s KitchenAid is near the top of the list of Things You Don’t Want to Break (second only to her Vitamix). Also consider that you could tell her to keep your new mixer, but that just makes the thought of breaking hers even more upsetting. Hover over the mixer with your hand inches from the off switch for the next ten minutes.
  4. After you’ve poured everything into the pan, smack yourself in the head because you were so worried about destroying the mixer, you forgot to add the vanilla extract.

Despite the missing vanilla and my concern that nothing delicious could come from a substance as vile-smelling as gelatin, these things turned out awesome. (Although I was a bit disappointed that I spent all that time tempering chocolate just to wind up with a speckled coating, thanks to the excess powdered sugar on the marshmallows.) When I set out to make these, I had s’mores in mind. But as soon as I took a bite, I said, “oh, duh—mallomars!” (How did I forget about mallomars?!) Next time, 1×1 marshmallow squares are totally being affixed to 1×1 crackers, and the whole thing is getting dipped in chocolate. Considering how many of these things I ate, bite-size mallomars might be the end of me.

Homemade Marshmallows
(adapted from Good Eats)

yield: approximately 3 dozen 2×2½-inch marshmallows (I used a pan that was 11½x14)

  • 3 packages of unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup of ice cold water, divided
  • 12 ounces of granulated sugar (approximately 1 ½ cups)
  • 1 cup of light corn syrup
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup of confectioners’ sugar
  • ¼ cup of cornstarch
  • nonstick spray

Combine the gelatin and half a cup of the water in the bowl of your stand mixer. Ready the whisk attachment.

Combine the remaining half cup of water, granulated sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a small saucepan. Place over medium-high heat, cover, and let cook for 3–4 minutes. Uncover, attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan, and continue to cook the mixture until it reaches 240° (around 7–8 minutes) then immediately remove from heat.

Attach the whisk to your mixer and turn on to low speed. Slowly pour the syrup down the side of the mixing bowl. Once all of the syrup is added, turn the mixer to high. Whip until the mixture becomes very thick—around 12–15 minutes. Add the vanilla during the last minute of whipping. (The longer you whip the mixture, the stiffer the marshmallows will be. I stopped mine at 12 because of the whole mixer-destruction paranoia, and they were noticeably softer than store-bought.)

While the mixer is handling the whipping, prep a metal pan to pour the mixture into. (Alton Brown recommends a 9×13, but the closest I had was 11½x14.) Combine the confectionery sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Spray your pan with cooking spray, then dust the bottom and sides with some of the sugar/cornstarch mixture. Reserve what is left for later.

When the mixture has finished whipping, pour it into your pan, using a lightly-oiled spatula to scrape it from the bowl and spread it evenly in the pan. Dust the top with some of the remaining sugar/cornstarch mixture (still reserving some for later). Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

Turn the marshmallow block out onto a large cutting board. Using a pizza wheel lightly-dusted with the sugar/cornstarch mixture, cut the marshmallows into 2×2½-inch rectangles. Dust sides with the remaining sugar/cornstarch mixture. (If you neurotically trim off the edges of the entire block to make sure you have perfectly-even rectangles, cut the trimmed edges into mini marshmallows.)

Tempering Chocolate

Note: If you want to avoid a speckled chocolate coating, remove as much of the sugar/cornstarch mixture from the outside of your marshmallows as you possibly can.

Prepare several sheets of wax paper on your counter.

Roughly chop around 15 oz. of high-quality dark chocolate. Transfer ⅔ of it to a double boiler. Heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture reaches 115°. Immediately remove from heat and add the remaining ⅓ of the chocolate. Stir until all of the chocolate has melted. Continue stirring until the mixture is between 91–88°.

Dip each marshmallow in the chocolate, then set (chocolate side-up) on the wax paper. Continue until all of the marshmallows have been coated. Let sit until chocolate has cooled and hardened. You may get some speckling in the chocolate, and you will probably get some unsightly drips down the sides of some mallows. Not to worry—the deliciousness will overshadow all of this!

Homemade Graham Crackers
(adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

Dough

  • 2 cups + 2 tbsp of unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup of graham (or whole wheat) flour
  • 1 cup of dark brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp kosher or coarse sea salt
  • 7 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen
  • ⅓ cup of honey
  • 5 tbsp whole milk
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract

Topping

  • 1 ½ tbsp granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon

Combine the flours, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of a food processor or electric mixer (if using the latter, affix the paddle attachment). Pulse or mix on low to incorporate, then add the butter and pulse/mix on low, until the mixture is crumbly.

Whisk together the honey, milk, and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture and pulse/mix on low until the dough just comes together (it will be soft and sticky). Lay out two pieces of plastic wrap and lightly dust with flour. Divide dough in two and place each half in plastic wrap. Pat into a 1″-thick rectangle and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

On a well-floured surface, roll dough out into a rectangle approximately ⅛” thick. Using a pasta wheel or a sharp knife, trim the edges then cut the crackers into 2½x3-inch rectangles. Transfer to a parchment or silpat-lined baking sheet. Poke holes in the crackers using a bamboo skewer (or whatever other device you might have handy) and sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar topping. Refrigerate for another 30–40 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Continue rolling and cutting with the second half of the dough.  When the oven is at the right temperature, put the first batch of crackers in the oven. Bake for 12–15 minutes, rotating halfway through. Keep an eye on the crackers, as the baking time can be a bit finicky. (I burnt the first batch because I let them go for about 17 minutes.) If you see any browning around the edges, remove them from the oven.

Top with chocolate-covered marshmallows and enjoy! If you’d like a s’mores-like treat, hit them with a crème brûlée torch. :)

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Comments

    • says

      They are awesome! And very easily made vegan as well. :) Made dad said they didn’t taste like normal graham crackers, which I took to mean they didn’t taste like stale, sugary cardboard.

  1. Eloise says

    This is so perfect thank you, as someone who lives in the UK getting hold of graham crackers is nigh on impossible without paying over the odds for them, yet so many recipes/blogs use them and now i can replicate the recipe! Usually i substitute digestive/gingersnap biscuits but now i have your recipe to try instead. And being a vegan myself it is a very easily adaptable recipe for myself. Thank you!
    Oh and the marshmallows look insanely good too, have you ever made vegan ones?
    Lovely blog, thanks again, and Happy New Year to you.

    • says

      Thank you, Eloise! This was my first time making marshmallows, and I will say that working with gelatin has made me curious about vegan alternatives (it really is a pretty vile substance!). I believe there are some kosher vegan gelatin alternatives on the market, but I’m not sure what would be available in the UK. I’ve seen a few vegan marshmallow recipes that use agar agar (amongst other things), and many refer back to Jeanette’s recipe on meatandeggfree.com. That seems like the most promising method, provided you can find all of the ingredients!

      Happy New Year. :)

  2. Scot says

    I found Eloise’s comment really interesting. Kim at All Consuming says they don’t have graham crackers in New Zealand. She’d never heard of them until she was reading a smores recipe. Makes me wonder what kind of crust they use for simple cheesecakes!
    I’m sending her a link to your blog and this post. Thanks!

    • says

      Thanks, Scot! It’s always interesting to discover that certain foods and ingredients simply can’t be found (and, in cases like this, are virtually unknown!) in other countries. It makes me wonder what we’re missing out on. :)

    • says

      We do not have Graham Crackers in New Zealand. For a simple cheesecake crust we tend to use malt biscuits, round wine biscuits, gingernuts or digestive biscuits.
      I love Graham Crackers though, when I can get someone to bring me some back from the US, I am very stoked to find a recipe for them though!

  3. C. Wayne Lammers says

    This is a wonderful find. I have always wanted to make home-made graham crackers for pie crust, mainly for Southern Lemon Icebox pies. The marshmallow recipe looks good too. I have to admit I am not a Vegan. When I get ready to eat – SOMETHING IS GOING TO DIE! But it is nice having a recipe that appeals to both groups. :-)

    • says

      Ha! I like you, Lammers. I could never be vegan myself, but I occasionally enjoy trying to provide options for those who are. :)

      And this graham cracker recipe would be great for a homemade crust, especially since you could bake it up as one big cracker sheet and then smash it. ‘Tis the season for icebox pies and cakes!

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