A Bite Inspired by… Jack O’Lanterns:
I love this time of year—orange leaves, crisp air, Jack O’Lanterns on every door step, and, of course, the eagerly awaited return of pumpkin spice. Carving pumpkins was one of my favorite things to do with my dad growing up and seeing all the amazing carved pumpkins in my neighborhood last weekend inspired me to create the pumpkin spice s’more! Adding pumpkin spice to chocolate gives it a unique warmth that is as comforting as it is delicious. The toasted marshmallow is reminiscent of the cute little tea candle that lights up your Halloween Jack O’Lantern and brightens your Halloween night.
Last weekend, I was taking a walk in my neighborhood and noticed Jack O’Lanterns on almost every door step. Carving pumpkins was one of my favorite things to do with my dad growing up. Every year, we would go the nearby pumpkin patch and spend about an hour there until we found the two most perfectly fat, round pumpkins. After that we would go to a grocery store, buy every pumpkin carving kit they had, and spend the rest of the day making our spooky Jack O’Lantern creations. Even as an adult, carving pumpkins is still one of my favorite parts of Halloween. That, and the candy. All the candy… and THE CHOCOLATE. If you didn’t eat enough chocolate to keep you wired for days, you didn’t do it right.
This inspired me to create a Halloween treat that reminds me of carving pumpkins with my dad AND contains lots of chocolate. Behold: the Pumpkin Spice S’more. You haven’t lived until you’ve tried chocolate mixed with pumpkin pie spice. It gives the chocolate an incredible warmth and depth of flavor that you have to taste to believe. A small sprinkle of sea salt makes the flavor pop even more, while balancing out some of the sweetness. The crunch of the graham cracker and the gooey-ness of the warm, toasted marshmallow take it over the top. Are you hungry yet?
The toasted marshmallow is another little homage to the Jack O’Lantern inspired by that cute little tea candle on the inside of it that lights up its Halloween smile and makes you feel all warm and happy inside. The best part? You toast the marshmallows right in your oven! No campfire necessary. Just stick those sugary puffs under the broiler for a few minutes and… Ta-da! Perfectly roasted marshmallows!
Added bonus: this recipe is completely vegan, dairy-free, and nut-free as long as you choose your graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows carefully. These s’mores also pair perfectly with hot apple cider finished with mulling spices. On top of that, they’re extra great with spiced hot chocolate (recipe for that coming to the blog in December– stay tuned!) or just regular hot chocolate. You can never go wrong having chocolate with chocolate right? Put marshmallows in your hot chocolate and BOOM. Double marshmallow + double chocolate experience.
No matter what you choose to serve these with, I promise you that if you make this recipe on a crisp fall night, it will not only make you feel warm and toasty inside, but it’ll also make you feel like a kid again. And isn’t that what Halloween is really all about?
- 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
- 8 graham crackers, broken in half into 16 squares
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (I used McCormick, but any brand is fine)
- 8 large marshmallows
- Pink Himalayan salt for sprinkling on top
- Heat oven to broil.
- Place chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Melt on high, removing from microwave every 20-30 seconds to stir until fully melted and smooth (about 1:30-2 minutes).
- Add pumpkin pie spice to the melted chocolate and stir until completely mixed.
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Dip one of the graham cracker halves in the chocolate so about ⅓ of it is coated in chocolate. Carefully place on parchment paper. Sprinkle with a small amount of salt immediately. Do this with 8 of the graham cracker halves leaving the other 8 plain.
- Put the chocolate covered graham crackers in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes or until hardened. Remove from fridge and set aside.
- Spray a sheet tray with a little cooking spray. Place marshmallows on the sheet tray and carefully place into oven to broil (use oven mitts!) Broil for 4-7 minutes checking frequently until brown and toasty. Remove from oven.
- Carefully place one toasted marshmallow with tongs or spoon onto a plain graham cracker and top with a chocolate covered one. Repeat until you have 8 s’mores. Enjoy!
Pick your packaged ingredients (graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows) carefully for a completely vegan, dairy-free, nut-free treat!