Three types of s'mores to enjoy by the fireside
You've just finished a day full of ice skating, sledding and viewing the neighborhood Christmas lights as a family. Everyone's cheeks are rosy and noses are running. Don't head inside just yet! Top off this perfect day with some tasty s'mores at your outdoor fire pit. Send the kids inside to queue up a holiday movie while you whip up these delicious treats or have them join in on the fun:
If you're having a party, consider ditching the chips and salsa and opting for a dessert version instead! With the help of an outdoor fireplace, you can enjoy s'mores dip as a unique after-dinner sweet. This recipe by Five Heart Home requires chocolate chips, jumbo marshmallows, butter and graham crackers. First, set the cast iron pan near the flame so it heats up. Then, coat the inside with the butter to promote browning and reduce stickiness.
Next, create an even layer of chocolate chips at the bottom of the pan followed with halved marshmallows to make a second layer. Enlist the assistance of your kids for these steps - they'll love getting the chance to help out! Place the pan back near the flame and wait until the marshmallows reach your desired level of "done." Remove from the heat with a potholder and dig in with graham crackers. You may have to make several rounds of this dip - it'll go fast! Serve it with hot chocolate while enjoying your Christmas lights, and you'll be making memories that last a lifetime.
When you think snack, do salty and sweet flavors come to mind? If so, skip the graham cracker the next time you make s'mores. Instead, substitute pretzels as the bread factor on these sweet little sandwiches. Use your outdoor fireplace to roast marshmallows with skewers. Then, add the melty mallows to a pretzel and top with a few squares of chocolate. Squish the whole thing together with another pretzel and enjoy! You can also keep graham crackers on hand for those who don't want the extra salty flavor. Or, choose chocolate-dipped pretzels to make the s'mores creation process even easier. Holiday pretzels featuring colorful sprinkles will be a hit with your kids.
S'mores skillet brownie
Is your family going winter camping? Perhaps they hang out in the backyard around the fireplace even when it's freezing out. Why not pretend you're out in the backcountry and make this amazing s'mores skillet brownie from Delish? Spread a little butter on a cast iron pan that has been heated over the fire. Combine crushed graham crackers, unsalted butter and granulated sugar to form the crust. Press it into the skillet so it's compact and sticks together. Add the pan to the fire for eight minutes.
Next, make homemade brownie mix or whip up the boxed kind from the store. Place the brownie batter on the graham crust and move the pan back to the fire until the brownies are cooked per the recipe's instructions. Add marshmallows to the top in the last five minutes so they bake to perfection. Make sure your kids (and you!) wait until the skillet brownie has cooled a bit before digging in - marshmallows can burn your tongue and skin! If you're impatient, you can even eat this tasty dessert when the brownie batter is only part-way cooked - just be wary that there are raw eggs in the mix so some degree of baking is required.
Enjoy your fun s'mores around the fire to warm up together. Read "The Night Before Christmas" or other holiday books to get in the spirit and spread Christmas cheer. You just might be making a new family tradition!