What could be more decadent than s’mores?
How about s’mores from scratch, with both homemade marshmallows and homemade graham crackers?
Or, even better, how about gooey, melty s’mores made from homemade marshmallows stuffed with Goo Goo Clusters?
This is serious business, people.
For those of you not yet aquainted, I’d like to introduce you to the Goo Goo Cluster, a roundish mound of caramel, marshmallow nougat, fresh roasted peanuts, and coated in milk chocolate. The closest thing I can compare it to would be a Snickers bar, but to say it is on the same level is blasphemy. A Goo Goo is WAY better, no question. Dare I say it’s my favorite candy bar, even if it’s not really a bar? (And oh man, the peanut butter variety… it’s pure heaven). The original Goo Goo was the world’s first combination candy bar, invented way back in 1912, and still manufactured today by Standard Candy Co. here in Nashville. Way to go local!
Believe it or not, this brilliant idea was our neighbor’s, which, if you know him, may come as a surprise. This is the same neighbor whose fridge is filled with little more than beer and Mountain Dew, who admits to never having used his dishware, and who didn’t own a pot or a pan when we met him 5 years ago (while I am proud to say he actually owns one now, I doubt it’s been used half a dozen times during the entire time we’ve known him). Despite the fact that our culinary tendencies are polar opposites, we share a love of Goo Goo Clusters. And it was during a passionate discussion of our shared love that he made the uncharacteristic suggestion that I should make Goo Goo s’mores.
Why, yes. Yes I will.
Now, I realize that not everyone will be able to get Goo Goos where they are. If you have any Cracker Barrel or Hobby Lobby stores near you, I recommend trying those first. Googoo.com also has a store locator that will come in very handy when you’re having a serious craving. Southern states will definitely have an easier time of it than others, but even if you live in remote Alaska, you can still order Goo Goos online in 3, 12, and 72-count packs. (And pssst! As a special offer for L&OO readers, Goo Goo is offering 20% off your online order! Simply use code LAOO20 upon checkout to receive your discount. Valid through 1/31.)
I decided to get a little cheeky with my graham crackers, stamping phrases like “S’more please” and “What a Cluster” into my cookies with an alphabet stamp set. But, you know, poking them with a fork works just fine too.
What a cluster (get it? Goo Goo CLUSTER, what a CLUSTER). I cannot claim such cleverness as my own, however; Goo Goo coined the phrase on one of their new tshirts, and it was simply too perfect not to borrow.
I even made a few “Mike Mike Mike” cookies just for our neighbor (it was his idea, afterall). The only thing better would be if they had been camel shaped and delivered on a Wednesday. Ah well, next time…
The marshmallows themselves are a basic vanilla marshmallow (recipe adapted from Marshmallow Madness by Shauna Sever), with a layer of chopped Goo Goos in the middle. You don’t even need more chocolate with these s’mores – the chocolate is already built in!
When you toast the marshmallow (use a kitchen torch or pop them under the broiler for a minute or two), the pieces of candy get all melty and oozy and deliciously messy inside the perfectly toasted and charred marshmallow.
Sure, you could use other candy in place of the Goo Goo Clusters, but really, why would you want to? I will say, however, that it’s on my to-do list has a new line (marked of utmost importance): and that’s to make these again with the peanut butter Goo Goos.
For those of you who aren’t lucky enough to have the Goo Goo retail outlet in your city, well, stay tuned because I’ve got a sweet giveaway coming up for you tomorrow. :) Seriously, you don’t want to miss this one!
Goo Goo Cluster S'mores
- 4 1/2 teaspoons (2 packets) unflavored powdered gelatin
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup, divided
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- powdered sugar, for dusting
- 4 original Goo Goo Clusters, coarsely chopped
For Graham Crackers:
- 1 1/2 cups graham flour (or whole wheat flour)
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 3 tablespoons whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- turbinado sugar, for sprinkling (optional)
- Line a 9-by-9-inch baking pan with parchment paper; spray lightly with cooking spray and dust with powdered sugar.
- Place cold water in a small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin evenly over top and let soften for 5 minutes.
- In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, 1/4 cup of the corn syrup, water, and salt. Bring to a boil over high heaat, stirring occasionally, until the temperature reaches 240°F on a candy thermometer. Meanwhile, pour remaining 1/4 cup corn syrup into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
- Microwave gelatin on high until completely melted, about 30 seconds. Pour it into the mixer bowl. Set the mixer speed to low and keep it running. When the syrup reaches 240°F, slowly pour it into the mixer bowl.
- Increase the speed to medium and beat for 5 minutes. Increase to medium-high and beat for 5 more minutes, beating in the vanilla during the last minute until marshmallow is shiny white and tripled in volume. Spread half of the marshmallow it into the prepared pan, smoothing it into the corners with an offset spatua. Sprinkle with chopped Goo Goo candy, then top with remaining marshmallow. Let set for at least 6 hours in a cool, dry place to set.
- For graham crackers, place graham flour, all purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon into the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Add the molasses, milk and vanilla extract and process until the dough forms a ball, approximately 1 minute. Gently knead and shape the ball into disk;wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- On a lightly-floured surface, roll dough to 1/8-inch thick. Cut into 2 1/2-inch squares (or other shapes as desired) Using a fork or skewer, poke holes all over the top of the dough. Transfer to prepared baking pan and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges just start to darken. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to cooling racks to cool completely. (This recipe will make more cookies than you need for the s’mores; they will keep in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.)
- To assemble, use a knife to loosen the marshmallow from the parchment paper and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into squares just slightly smaller than your graham crackers (a pizza cutter or sharp, oiled knife works best, or you can use the same cookie cutters as you did for the graham crackers). When you are ready to serve (don’t assemble too soon beforehand or the cookies will get soft) place one marshmallow square on top of one cookie. Toast using a kitchen torch, or place under the broiler for 60 to 90 seconds (watch it carefully). Place a second cookie on top and press firmly until the marshmallow begins to ooze. Serve immediately.