I’m going to be inundating you with graham cracker recipes over the next few weeks. Prepare thyselves. You’re going to be drooling. Graham crackers are one of my all time favorite things. They’re a sweet, but not too sweet, and they pair perfectly with classic dessert ingredients: chocolate, peanut butter, marshmallow, vanilla, cinnamon, etc. It’s impossible to bake with them without snagging one or two to snack on as you go. Thankfully they aren’t so unhealthy that you feel awful about it later. Although I guess you might feel a little guilty if you, like me, stand in the kitchen tasting every element of every baked good you make, then building a graham cracker-marshmallow-peanut butter-chocolate sandwich. Whatever, that’s what the gym is for. That’s tomorrow-Sydney’s problem. Today-Sydney is going to enjoy her sandwich. Weekends don’t count, right? That’s how I like to live my life. One weekend to the next.
Beers, beach, doughnuts and drinking games in North Carolina.
Yeah, so, anyway – there’s going to be lots of graham cracker goodies ’round these parts. I figured the best place to start was with these s’mores cinnamon rolls. The idea came to me almost instantly. Sweet graham cracker dough rolled up with my homemade marshmallow fluff and chocolate filling sounded like heaven, and believe me, it was. I’m blissfully proud of these babies. I want everyone to try them. They taste exactly like a campfire s’more. It’s incredible. I brought the whole pan over to my friend’s house because Kramer and I would have gotten into them at midnight one evening and not stopped until they were all gone. The dough is pillowy and soft, and the marshmallow filling is addictive. You can certainly use a jar of Fluff if you don’t feel like making your own, but I would recommend just trying to make it because 1. When it comes together, it seems like magic and 2. It’s cheaper than buying it on your own, plus you’ll have enough left over to spread on top of the rolls like a a beautiful genius. Bake these off for your next brunch or summer party. People will love you forever.
This weekend, Kramer and I were really looking forward to going to a Battle of Brooklyn reenactment at Brooklyn Bridge Park, which sounded so nerdy and awesome, but we found out yesterday that it was canceled! I am so bummed out. I love reenactments. We went to a Civil War one on Governors Island last year, and I’ve even been to Tombstone, Arizona to see the O.K. Corral reenactment. Thanks a lot, Brooklyn – you’ve really let me down. I think in light of my disappointment, we’ll end up going to The Zombie Hut for a round of conciliatory tiki drinks. Hopefully followed by a meal of conciliatory Thai food at Pok Pok. I can be very convincing after a round of said tiki drinks. Tonight, though, is all about The Simpsons. I’m excited to finally have someone else pick episodes for me. We’re going to go to our friend’s house to watch, laugh and maybe sneak in a game of Pandemic or Settlers of Catan. We get pretty crazy, I know.
Gather your dough ingredients.
Make sure your grind your graham crackers into fine crumbs for your dough.
Make your dough, let it rest, then get your marshmallow going.
Also work on that chocolate!
Roll out your dough and spread half of your marshmallow over it.
Then spread your chocolate, then your brown sugar, then your crushed graham crackers.
Roll it all up, slice into rounds and let rise once more.
Bake until golden, cool slightly and serve with leftover marshmallow.
You can sprinkle then with a little extra graham cracker crumb, too.
- 1 cup warm water, 115 degrees F
- 2½ teaspoons active dry yeast (this is usually the size of 1 packet)
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- ¾ cup (7 sheets) crushed graham crackers
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 teaspoons vegetable oil
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light corn syrup
- ¼ cup water
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- ⅔ cup dark chocolate, chopped (or dark chocolate chips)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter, cubed
- pinch kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 graham cracker sheets
- Combine the warm water and yeast in the bowl of your mixer and let stand for 5-7 minutes or so, until the yeast foams up a bit. Add in the flour, graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon and oil. Using the hook attachment on your mixer, mix, then knead, for 5 minutes, until the dough comes together, is smooth, and starts to slap the side of the bowl. It should be slightly tacky but not too sticky to handle - add a bit more flour if you need it.
- Grease a bowl, form the dough into a ball, and place the dough in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and/or a towel, put in a warm place (but not too warm) and let the dough rise for 30-45 minutes. While the dough rises, make your marshmallow and chocolate filling.
- Stir together the sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often, until the it reaches 240 degrees F on a candy/fat thermometer. Be careful not to let the mixture bubble over - turn the heat down if you need and keep a watchful eye over it. This might take a little longer than you think, but just keep at it. Mine took about 10 minutes, but when you're standing there watching it, it feels like an eternity. It got stuck at around 220 for what seemed like forever, but then it eventually got up to 240.
- Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Start whipping the egg whites to soft peaks on medium speed. You want to have the egg whites whipped and ready to go, waiting for your syrup to be drizzled in. If they’re whipping faster than your syrup is coming to temperature, just stop the mixer until the syrup is ready, which is what I did.
- When the syrup reaches 240 degrees F, reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly drizzle about 2 tablespoons of syrup into the egg whites to warm them. If you add too much syrup at once, the whites will scramble. Slowly drizzle in the rest of the syrup, a bit at a time - seriously, do not do more than 2 tablespoons at a time.
- Increase the speed to medium high and whip until the marshmallow fluff is stiff and glossy, about 7 solid minutes. Don't try to speed this process up! Add in the vanilla and whip 2 minutes more. Use the fluff that day or refrigerate stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. You'll have a little extra, so I highly recommend spreading the remaining fluff on top of your warm cinnamon rolls!
- If you have a double boiler, great, use that, but I don't, so I just melt chocolate very slowly and carefully because it burns easily. In a saucepan, combine your cocoa powder, heavy cream, chocolate, sugar, butter and salt. Stir over medium-low heat constantly until everything is melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside. The mixture will thicken up as it cools down, making it easy to spread.
- Roll out your dough on a well floured surface out to about 15 inches by 20 inches, give or take. It definitely doesn't have to be perfect! Spread 2 tablespoons of melted butter over the rolled out dough. Spread half of your fluff over the dough, then all of your chocolate (again, doesn't have to be perfect), being sure to leave a 1-inch strip around all sides to make rolling easier. Sprinkle your brown sugar on top, then use your hands to roughly crush the 2 sheets of graham cracker over everything.
- Starting on the long edge closest to you, roll up your dough carefully, as tightly as you can. Use your fingers to tap down the final edge to seal the rolls as best as you can. Butter a 9x13-inch baking dish (or a 12-inch round dish, like I did), then slice the rolls into 1½-inch rounds and place them in the dish an inch or two apart. Cover with plastic wrap and let the rolls rise one more time for 30 minutes.
- When you're ready to bake, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Place the rolls in the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm with a side of marshmallow, or let cool, cover, and keep at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.