My final and favorite edible gift idea is a s’mores kit made with homemade marshmallows, homemade graham crackers, and the best bar of dark chocolate you can find. If you’ve never tried a homemade marshmallow before, you must. They’re pretty easy to make and 1000 times better than any store bought kind. They’ll turn a cup of hot chocolate into something magical, and when roasted and pressed between chocolate and graham crackers, the warm center oozing out, they’re unbelievably delicious. As for the graham crackers, when I first tasted my homemade version, I wasn’t sold. It was a lot of work and I don’t dislike graham crackers from the store. But then I tried them in the s’more and changed my mind. They really stood up to the marshmallow and chocolate and didn’t crumble like other graham crackers do. They made the best s’more I’ve ever tasted. But if you’re running short on time or low on motivation, store-bought would be fine. As for the chocolate, I used a Mast Brothers chocolate bar, mainly because the paper it comes wrapped in is so great. Their chocolate is extremely dark, a little too bitter for some people, although I like it, but when combined with the sweetness of marshmallow and graham crackers, it really worked. I highly recommend them. These little kits would be a good gift for anyone, but they’d be fantastic for someone with kids. Standing around a fire roasting marshmallows is fun at 32, but even better at age 8!
I hope you enjoyed my edible gift ideas this year! In case you missed any, here’s a recap: spiced apple cider + ginger cookies, popcorn 3 ways, homemade nutella, hot toddy kit and here are some other ideas from past posts that would also work as a gift: lemon curd, boozy maraschino cherries, pumpkin whoopie pies, dark chocolate sea salt caramels, clementine bars, the perfect chocolate chip cookies, salted fudge brownies, rhubarb-raspberry jam tassies, and apple butter
From jam it, pickle it, cure it
- 2/3 cup water, divided
- 3 (1/4-ounce) envelopes unflavored gelatin
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Lightly oil the inside of an 8 by 8-inch pan with vegetable oil. Generously coat with confectioners’ sugar; set aside.
Pour 1/3 cup of the water into the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water, and let stand for about 10 minutes, or until the gelatin has softened.
In a saucepan, off heat, combine the remaining 1/3 cup of water and the granulated sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Place the pan over medium-high heat. Clip a candy thermometer to the inside of the pan and make sure it does not touch the bottom. Cook the mixture without stirring until it reaches 240°F. Brush down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush (or a clean paintbrush reserved for kitchen use only), dipped in water, to gently wipe away residual sugar crystals.
With the mixer on low speed, very carefully add the hot syrup to the softened gelatin. Add the vanilla, increase the speed to medium-high, and beat for 8 to 13 minutes, until the mixture becomes very white, stiff, and sticky.
Spread the mixture into the prepared pan using a lightly oiled spatula. With wet hands, press the batter evenly into the corners of the pan. Set aside for at least 1 hour, or until the mixture is firm and cool.
Sift the confectioners’ sugar into a shallow dish or bowl. Run a wet knife around the edge of the cooled pan to loosen the marshmallow sheet. Remove the marshmallows from the pan. Cut into 16 squares, wetting the knife often to keep it from sticking. Toss each marshmallow in the confectioners’ sugar until completely coated.
HOW TO STORE IT Store marshmallows in a single layer or in layers separated by waxed paper. They will keep for at least 1 month when stored airtight at moderate temperature.
MAKES 16 LARGE 2-INCH MARSHMALLOWS
Slightly adapted from jam it, pickle it, cure it
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/3 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
- 1/3 cup plus 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a bowl or a food processor, mix or pulse the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, salt, and baking powder. Cut in the butter or, if using a food processor, add the butter and pulse until the dough is the consistency of coarse crumbs. Add the honey, molasses, and the 1/3 cup of sugar and combine. Then add the milk and vanilla, bringing it all together into a stiff dough.
Lightly oil 2 baking sheets. On a work surface, cut the dough in half. Shape the first half into a rectangle and place in the center of a sheet of parchment paper. Lay another sheet of parchment paper over the dough. Roll, trying to keep the dough as rectangular as possible. The dough should be 1/4 inch thick, and about 12 by 15 inches. Lightly prick the dough all over with the tines of a fork (I used a chopstick to do this so I could evenly space the holes). Sprinkle evenly with 2 tablespoons of the sugar, and roll the sugar gently into the top of the dough with a floured pin. Using a knife or a fluted pastry cutter, trim the edges of the dough rectangular to yield neat crackers (or leave them uneven if you prefer). Cut into approximately 3-inch squares (I used a 3-inch square cookie cutter for mine). Using a spatula, carefully transfer the crackers to the prepared baking sheets, leaving a little space between them. Repeat the process with the second half of the dough. Freeze the crackers for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F.
Bake the chilled dough for 18 to 22 minutes, until just a little browned at the edges. Cool completely and enjoy.
HOW TO STORE IT Store in an airtight container, up to 2 weeks. You can also freeze the crackers for 2 months, allowing 2 hours to thaw before eating.
MAKES ABOUT 3 DOZEN 3-INCH SQUARE CRACKERS