It's hard to improve on the classic flavors of traditional s'mores. But, making your own marshmallows, using warm chocolate chip cookies, sweet and salty bacon bits and a spiced ganache gives these an extra edge. I love to enjoy these with whiskey or Bourbon or an Irish coffee if it's cold out.
Chocolate chip cookies
- 1 cup shortening
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2¾ cups pastry flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup water, divided
- 1½ tablespoons granulated gelatin
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup corn syrup
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1½ cups chocolate, about 59% cacao
- 1¾ cups butter
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon chile powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 pound thick-sliced applewood smoked bacon
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon chile powder
For the chocolate chip cookies:
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a bowl with a hand mixer, beat together the shortening, granulated sugar, brown sugar and salt. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure not to over beat.
3. In a separate bowl, sift together the pastry flour and baking soda.
4. Slowly add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and then fold in the chocolate chips.
5. Using a spoon, scoop 2-ounce spoonfuls of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the dough about 2-inches apart. Place the baking sheets in the oven and bake for about 12 minutes.
For the marshmallows:
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or a regular bowl, add 1/4 cup of the water and sprinkle in the gelatin.
2. In a small pot fitted with a candy thermometer, combine the remaining 1/4 cup of water, granulated sugar, corn syrup, brown sugar and salt. Heat to 240°F and then immediately remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
3. While whisking slowly, carefully stream the hot sugar mixture into the gelatin mixture. When all the sugar is added, increase the mixer speed to high. Mix until the bowl cools to room temperature.
4. In a separate bowl, sift together the cornstarch and powdered sugar.
5. Spray a 9- by 13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and sift half of the cornstarch-sugar mixture evenly into the pan.
6. Pour the gelatin mixture into the pan and gently shake to distribute evenly. Dust the top with the remaining of the cornstarch-sugar mixture. Let sit at room temperature until completely cool, about 15-20 minutes.
7. Cut into 1½-inch squares. For the ganache: In a double boiler, melt the butter and chocolate. Stir in the cream and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Stir in the chile powder and cinnamon. Keep warm.
For the candied bacon:
1. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, pepper and chile powder.
2. Separate the bacon strips and place sheet pan fitted with a rack. Sprinkle the bacon liberally with the brown sugar mixture.
3. Cook in the oven for 10 minutes. Flip the bacon strips over and continue cooking for 5-10 more minutes, until desired doneness is reached.
4. Remove the bacon from the oven and let cool. Once cooled, crumble or chop into small piece.
Smear the bottom side of one cookie with the ganache and sprinkle with some bacon crumbles.
Carefully toast the marshmallow over a flame (the stove will do fine if you aren't near a campfire). Place the toasted marshmallow on the prepared cookie and place a second cookie on top.