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S’mores Bark Recipe: Chocolate, Marshmallows and Graham Crackers

August 10th is National S’mores Day, celebrating a combination of graham crackers, marshmallows and melted chocolate that made famous by the Girl Scouts (the history of s’mores).

This year, we offer you a recipe that can made with conventional or vegan ingredients. The recipe is .

It’s an interpretation of chocolate bark, itself a popular variation of a chocolate bar.

Chocolate bark is actually a large sheet of chocolate that is broken up into pieces that resembled (to some) tree bark. It’s easy for the surface of homemade bark to have a rougher, craggy surface resembling bark. Professional barks tend to be smooth. While not bark, see the difference between the smooth surface of the professional mendiants in photo #6 and the swirly surface of the homemade mendiants in photo #7.

Bark, which is made in dark, milk and white chocolate as well as peppermint-flavored chocolate, is often covered with a variety of candies, dried fruits, nuts, mini marshmallows, pretzels, seeds, or whatever catches the eye off the confectioner.

  • Almond bark, studded with almonds, gave birth to pistachio bark, pecan bark, and so on.
  • Peppermint bark, a layer of chocolate topped with a layer of peppermint-flavored white chocolate (photo #4). It’s studded with shards of red and white peppermint candy, and is typically a holiday season specialty.
  •  
     
    FROM FRENCH MENDIANTS TO AMERICAN BARK

    When did a slab of chocolate become “bark?”

    We haven’t been able to discover the first appearance, but Fanny Farmer, the See’s Candies equivalent on the East Coast (alas, closed in 2004), sold almond bark since at least the 1960s, maybe earlier.

    Bark became a popular item in chocolate shops: Served to company or given as gifts, grabbing “just a piece” was a better than eating a whole chocolate bar.

    The concept of bark derives from a 19th century Provençal French chocolate confection called a mendiant (photos #6 and #7). The word means “beggar,” and one idea was that the chocolates were so tempting, that a person would beg for a piece.

    But first, there was a religious theme:

    The original mendiants paid tribute to the Catholic friars and nuns who helped the local poor. The first chocolatier (whose name is lost to history) created a disk of chocolate topped with with nuts and dried fruits.

    There were four different combinations of fruits and nuts to honor each order: Augustinians, Carmelites, Dominicans and Franciscans (here’s more about it).
     
     
    DANDIES VEGAN MARSHMALLOWS

    This recipe below comes to us from Dandies, maker of superb vegan marshmallows, can be made with vegan or conventional ingredients.

    Vegan or not, we have long been fans of Dandies. They’re delicious, fresher-tasting than supermarket marshmallows, and no one will suspect they’re anything other than great.

    Dandies makes full-size and mini marshmallows, plus holiday flavors. We’re especially fond of the pumpkin marshmallows and peppermint marshmallows.

    What makes Dandies special?

  • Vegan means no animal products are used. Conventional marshmallows use gelatin. Dandies uses carrageenan, which is derived from dried red seaweed.
  • All natural: all of flavors are derived naturally, and colors come from vegetable sources.
  • No corn syrup. Traditional marshmallows are loaded with it. Dandies are sweetened with tapioca and vegan cane sugar.
  • Plus: they’re allergen-friendly, certified kosher by CRC, gluten-free and Non GMO.
  •  
    There are many craveable recipes on the website. Head to Dandies.com, where you’ll find a store locator and options to buy online.

     
    RECIPE: S’MORES BARK

     
    Ingredients

  • 1 10-ounce package of Dandies Mini Marshmallows or other brand
  • 1 box graham crackers
  • 1 package chocolate chips, vegan or conventional
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 stick butter, vegan or conventional
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and lay out the graham crackers.

    2. COMBINE the butter and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until dissolved. Pour this mixture over the graham crackers. Use a spatula to spread evenly if needed.

    3. BAKE for 5 minutes and remove from the oven. While still hot, sprinkle on the chocolate chips, and spread with the spatula as they melt.

    4. SPRINKLE on the marshmallows and garnish with a chocolate drizzle made from melting more chocolate chips. Spooning the melted chocolate over the bark. Once completely cooled…

    5. BREAK apart into bark, and enjoy!
     
     
    > MORE S’MORES RECIPES
     
     
    > THE HISTORY OF S’MORES
     
     
    > THE HISTORY OF GRAHAM CRACKERS
     
     
    > THE HISTORY OF MARSHMALLOWS
     
     
    > THE HISTORY OF CHOCOLATE

     


    [1] S’mores “bark” made with Dandies vegan marshmallows. You can use your mallow of choice. The recipe is below (photos #1 and #2 © Dandies).


    [2] It’s broken up, just like chocolate bark.

    Dandies Vegan Marshmallows
    [3] Dandies Vegan Marshmallows are available in standard, mini, pumpkin and peppermint.


    [4] Peppermint bark, a popular American holiday treat (photo © Delysia Chocolatier).


    [5] It’s easy to make bark at home. How about this Caramel Almond Bark recipe, from Lemons for Lulu (photo © Lemons For Lulu). Or, here’s a chocolate bark recipe that you can customize with numerous yummy toppings.


    [6] Mendiants (photo © Eli Zabar).


    [7] Homemade mendiants. Here’s the recipe (photo © American Heritage Chocolate).

     

      

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