I forget now what led me to it, but a while back I found this recipe for homemade marshmallows. And on the same site, another for homemade graham crackers. Also, Dave cleaned out the wood stove last month and we’ve been building fires on particularly cold days.

You are now thinking the exact same thing that I was.

I had to try it. The marshmallows came together almost effortlessly; the graham crackers were a little more work. But on a recent Sunday afternoon, there they were: the makings of some (almost) entirely homemade s’mores. There is just something exceptionally cool about making something by hand when you’ve always gotten it from a store before. At least, there is for me. To be fair, I come from parents who once (willingly!) made head cheese from pigs they’d raised themselves.

Here are my marshmallow and graham cracker findings:

  • Homemade marshmallows are indeed better than store-bought, particularly in the first couple of days. Maybe it’s just the freshness, but I found these babies to be tender and tasty. I had never considered marshmallows to be a candy in their own right, but these were good enough that I am tempted to make some variations of them for giving out to neighbors for Christmas.
  • Being softer, they didn’t roast well over the fire. They wanted to drip off the stick before getting nice and toasty. S’mores made in the toaster oven, though, worked wonderfully. (Ah, the skills gained during a college education!)
  • Homemade graham crackers are tasty. Dave found them to have “all the good qualities of ginger cookies, but without the nasty ginger flavor.” (He and I differ on this point, as I adore ginger cookies.) He has encouraged me to make them again, and in particular to make them instead of ginger cookies anytime I get the urge for the latter. Also, making them by hand makes it obvious that they are a cookie.
  • Both recipes made a lot. Especially the marshmallows.
  • Because of that, I made a simple bark called Dark Chocolate-Mint Rocky Road Squares with some of the excess. It’s really good, too.

A note on the graham crackers: I made mine almost entirely whole wheat (part whole wheat pastry flour, part white whole wheat flour). They were still very good; definitely denser than store-bought, but tasty and pleasantly crackery. I hadn’t actually intended to do this, but when I went looking in my cupboard I found that I only had a scant half cup on all-purpose flour to my name. Turns out I’ve switched over to white whole wheat flour so completely that I simply don’t buy white flour anymore.

Except for croissants. There’s no way I’m messing around with a recipe that takes two freaking days. But that’s another story.

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