Salted S’mores Bites (gluten-free, paleo)
These gluten-free, grain-free, paleo-friendly salted s’mores bites are the perfect sweet treat and reminiscent of campfire gatherings.
I don’t know why, but I’ve had a bee in my bonnet to make a s’mores dessert for several weeks. Fluffy marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate is the perfect summer treat…and simultaneously conjures up lots of fond family memories. Like, a camping trip that my mom took us on as kids to Anza Borrego, which, to this day is without a doubt one of the funniest home videos of all time. I must’ve been 8 years old or so (though whenever I can’t remember how old I was, I was always 8) and it was in the early days of VHS video recorders. If you’re a child of the 80’s, then you’ll remember how massive VHS recorders were. The recording devices had two parts, the huge and clunky camera that sat on your shoulder and probably weighed 6 pounds and the VHS tape machine that was a briefcase-looking thing with a strap that you also put on your shoulder and had to lug around with you. In fact, these pieces were so heavy that my brother and I usually had to team up and each carry half, tethered together.
There’s so many laugh-out-loud moments on that video that go hand in hand with childhood, campfires and s’mores. One moment in particular my mom is videoing, I’m goofing off (as usual) so she clearly says, “Lisa, act normal.” Two seconds later, I do this combo chicken dance/penguin walk/Charlie Chaplin impersonation that was anything but normal – and I’ve never been able to live it down since!
Now, it’s been a while since I’ve had s’mores, mainly due to being gluten-free and not loving store-bought gluten-free graham crackers. Have you tried them? They’re kinda cardboard blah in flavor. And store-bought marshmallows, yeah, not exactly quality ingredients. But I’ve been on a mission. A s’mores mission, especially after the epic failure I mentioned last week.
So I changed direction to this – salted s’mores bites. And I couldn’t be more thrilled with how they turned out! Sweet, fluffy, salty, crunchy (and perfectly portioned) bites that are great for a late summer party, picnic or outdoor gathering. This recipe makes a lot (about 60-70 bites), but as each person is guaranteed to eat several, it’s really not too many. Just remember that homemade marshmallow (especially when made with honey) tends to absorb moisture, so these won’t stay fresh for more than a day or two. I’d recommend making the graham cracker base and marshmallow one afternoon/evening and letting the marshmallow “set” overnight. Then, drizzle with chocolate and sprinkle with sea salt the next day for the most perfect, highly addictive, summer appropriate salted s’mores bites.
- 3 cups almond flour
- ⅓ cup coconut flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- ⅓ cup honey
- ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 tbsp blackstrap molasses
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup water (divided)
- 3 tbsp powdered gelatin (I use this brand)
- 1 cup light colored honey (or maple syrup)
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
- Coating: 2 tbsp organic powdered sugar or arrowroot flour (or a mixture of both)
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- ½ tbsp organic palm shortening
- Sea salt, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and line two 8x8 square pans with parchment paper.
- Add the dry ingredients for the graham cracker layer into a mixing bowl and whisk together. Stir the wet ingredients together in a separate small bowl, then pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and begin to stir. Once the mixture becomes too difficult to stir, kneed together with your hands until you have a crumbly, sandy mixture.
- Divide the mixture between the two square pans and use the back of a large spoon to press the graham cracker layer flat. Alternative, use a piece of parchment paper on top to flatten the layer.
- Use a fork to pierce several holes in each graham cracker layer and place the pans in the oven for 12-13 minutes (rotating every 3-4 minutes), until golden on top. Remove and let the pans cool.
- To make the marshmallow, pour ½ cup of water into the bowl of a stand mixer (remove the beaters for now) and sprinkle the gelatin on top. Allow the gelatin to bloom for 5 minutes.
- While the gelatin is blooming, add the remaining ½ cup water, honey and salt to a small pot with a candy thermometer. Heat on medium-high to a boil and stir the mixture for the first minute only, keeping a close eye that it doesn't boil over (*stirring later in the process may contribute to the sugar mixture boiling over). Cook until the mixture reaches 240-242 degrees fahrenheit (the soft ball stage). This should take approximately 12-15 minutes.
- Slowly and carefully pour the sugar mixture into the bowl of the stand mixer, on top of the gelatin. Add the beaters and turn the mixer to high, beating until the mixture has tripled in size, resembles marshmallow fluff and is cool to the touch. This should take approximately 10 minutes. In the last minute, add the vanilla bean.
- Divide the marshmallow between the two pans on top of the graham cracker and use an offset spatula to flatten the top. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or arrowroot flour and allow to set a minimum of 6 hours or overnight.
- Using a large knife, press directly down (do not use a saw motion) to slice the s'mores into bite-sized pieces. If the knife sticks, add more powdered sugar or arrowroot flour. Place the smore's bites on a large piece of parchment paper on a sheet pan.
- Heat the dark chocolate chips in a double boiler over medium heat, until just melted. Add the palm shortening and stir together (this helps thin the chocolate for drizzling).
- Use a spoon to drizzle the s'mores bites with chocolate. Sprinkle sea salt on top of each bite. Place the s'mores in the refrigerator for 5 minutes, or until the chocolate has hardened, then remove and enjoy.
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