Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Bourbon Pecan S'mores

"You're killing me Smalls! These are s'more's stuff! Ok, pay attention. First you take the graham, you stick the chocolate on the graham. Then you roast the 'mallow. When the 'mallows flaming... you stick it on the chocolate. Then cover with the other end. Then you scarf."

Wise words from the Hambino (if you haven't seen the Sandlot you're a terrible American). S'mores are classic for a reason. Sticky, sweet, chocolatey. So how do I make it better? How about some adult bourbon-scented marshmallows and a savory chocolate bark. You're killing me blog!

Before you do anything, you need to make my Bourbon Vanilla Marshmallows. Unless your local grocery store sells boozy marshmallows, you'll have to make 'em. If your store does carry boozy marshmallows, I'm moving in. 

The other key component? Homemade spiced pecan chocolate bark. This is the same technique you use for Holiday Chocolate Bark, but with another topping. It's really just melting chocolate and putting delicious stuff in it. 

You'll melt about 2/3 of the chocolate in a double boiler. This is just a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water. Fancy stuff.

Then you'll stir in the remaining 1/3 of chocolate off the heat. This helps ensure a good snap on your bark. Stir vigorously to achieve an extra shine.

Pour out melted chocolate onto a sheet of parchment and spread evenly. Marvel at how pretty chocolate looks when it's melted. Restrain yourself from sticking your finger in it. Or not.

The chocolate topping are my Hot and Sweet Pecans, with an extra pinch of salt. Super easy and versatile. Just chop before sprinkling over melted chocolate. The salty, hot seasoning on the pecans is a beautiful complement to the sweet sweet marshmallows and chocolate. 

Once your chocolate hardens for a bit, you're ready for serious s'more 'ssmenbly. Yield the Hambino's advice.

In lieu of a campfire, I put my broiler to work. Ovens will vary, so keep an eye on it. This will be messy, so prepare your pan accordingly.

Like I said... messy. Get after this one with a fork. Holy adult. Best s'more ever. Scarf!

Bourbon Pecan S'mores
For Marshmallows
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/8 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup bourbon
1/2 cup cold water
3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For Spiced Pecans
1 cup halved pecans
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flake

For Chocolate Bark
1 12oz bag semisweet chocolate chips
1 12oz bag dark chocolate chips

1 package honey graham crackers

Combine cornstarch and powdered sugar in a small bowl. Spray an 8-inch pan lightly with cooking spray and spread two spoonfuls of cornstarch mixture. Dust the base and sides to coat.

In a medium saucepan, combine corn syrup, sugar, water and honey. Bring to boil over high heat. Cook without stirring until thermometer registers 245 degrees.

While sugar is cooking, combine gelatin, bourbon and cold water in the bowl of your stand mixer, with a whisk attachment. Once sugar reaches 245 degrees slowly pour over gelatin mixture while beating on low speed. Slowly increase speed to high, but take caution since sugar mixture is extremely hot. Whisk on high for 6 to 8 minute, until thick and fluffy. Add vanilla and whip for another minute.

Pour marshmallow mixture into prepared pan. Use a spatula to spread evenly. Dust with another spoonful of cornstarch mixture. Let set, uncovered, at room temperature for at least an hour.

Collapse sides of pan or remove from a standard pan. Coat a knife or perforated cutter with cornstarch mixture and cut into 2-inch squares. Dust sides of marshmallows with cornstarch mixture to prevent from sticking.

Over medium heat, warm peanut oil in a cast iron skillet or heavy bottomed pan. Stir in 3/4 tablespoons sugar and continue stirring until sugar melts and turns a light brown. Add pecans to pan stirring for 1-2 minutes, until pecans begin to toast and are evenly coated with melted sugar.

In a large bowl, combine remaining sugar, salt, red pepper flake and cumin. Toss pecans in spice mixture until evenly coated. Remove pecans to a cookie sheet lined with parchment. Chop roughly.

Draw a 9x10 square on a sheet of parchment and reserve on a cookie sheet. Melt two-thirds of chocolate over a double-boiler with water just simmering (not boiling). Remove from heat and stir in remaining chocolate, stirring quickly and vigorously.

Evenly spread chocolate to fill square. Top with chopped pecans and allow chocolate to cool. Cut into squares.

Heat broiler on a low setting. On a lined cookie sheet, assemble s'mores -- graham cracker, chocolate bark and marshmallow. Broil for 2-3 minutes, but watch closely as ovens may vary. Carefully remove from oven once melted and top with graham cracker. Serve immediately and enjoy!

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