Keiki in the Kitchen: S’mores from Scratch
Too rainy for a campout? Make these fireside favorites in the kitchen with help from one of Hawai‘i’s top pastry chefs.
Melted chocolate, toasty graham crackers and marshmallows roasted until they’re golden brown–what could be better than your usual s’more? Michelle Karr-Ueoka knows.
The chef and co-owner of the award-winning MW Restaurant, Karr-Ueoka worked in amazing restaurants that included The French Laundry, Thomas Keller’s Per Se and, most recently, Alan Wong’s before opening MW with her husband, chef Wade Ueoka. So she knows what makes a must-have dessert for all ages.
Her s’more recipe includes scrumptious graham crackers created from scratch that the HONOLULU Family staff couldn’t stop eating. The dough can be crumbly, so let the kids roll it out right in the baking pan to avoid a messy clean up. The other key ingredient is homemade marshmallows that are light and airy and dissolve in your mouth without the cloying, sugary aftertaste you’ll get from store-bought sweets.
We let the kids at our Keiki in the Kitchen class with Karr-Ueoka cut out their favorite marshmallow shapes with festive cookie cutters. You could also slice the treat into mini-marshmallow sizes. Karr-Ueoka told parents to dust the sweet in cornstarch to keep it from liquefying in Hawai‘i’s humidity.
Another tip from Karr-Ueoka–scrape the inside of a vanilla bean and add the seeds to the egg whites for added flavor. Don’t toss the pod, bury it in a container of granulated sugar and let it sit for one to two weeks for vanilla sugar.
Our past Keiki in the Kitchen classes, held in partnership with the Hawai‘i Children’s Discovery Center, allowed parents and children to enjoy time cooking together with ideas from real local chefs. Parents and kids alike at our class with Karr-Ueoka, sponsored by HFM FoodService, scarfed down their s’mores in silence. Now that speaks volumes.
See also: 🏕️ Party Idea: Sleepover Camp
by chef Michelle Karr-Ueoka
Note: Chef Karr-Ueoka measures by weight for the most accurate baking. She also gave us metric equivalents for cooks without kitchen scales.
- 60 grams powdered sugar (about 1/2 cup)
- 65 grams cornstarch (about 1/2 cup)
- 5 sheets gelatin (about 2 1/2 teaspoons)
- 90 grams egg whites (about 3 eggs)
- 225 grams granulated sugar (about 1 cup)
- 115 grams water (about 1/2 cup)
- 50 grams Karo corn syrup (about 1/8 cup)
- Stir gelatin into an equal part water and let it dissolve.
- Combine water, corn syrup and sugar in a pan and cook until 281 degrees. That’s about 5–7 minutes.
- Mix egg whites until you get medium peaks. Slowly stream in sugar mixture while the mixer is going. Add in bloomed gelatin.
- Sift powdered sugar and cornstarch together and dust a tray lined with plastic wrap.
- Spread mixture into the prepared tray and let set.
Homemade Graham Crackers
by chef Michelle Karr-Ueoka
- 12 ounces melted butter (about 3 sticks)
- 5 ounces brown sugar (about 3/4 cup)
- 4 ounces granulated sugar (about 1/2 cup)
- 8 grams honey (about 1 teaspoon)
- 7 ounces bread flour (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 5 ounces cake flour (a little less than 1 1/2 cups)
- 4 ounces whole wheat flour (about 1 cup)
- 1 gram salt (about 1/4 teaspoon)
- 1 gram baking soda (about 1/4 teaspoon)
- 12 grams cinnamon (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
- Mix dry ingredients. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Melt butter and honey together and pour over dry ingredients. Mix until combined.
- Roll out onto a baking sheet. Score it into cracker sizes and bake until golden brown, about 15–20 minutes.