Hello, Summer

The Meltiest S'mores Don't Need a Campfire, Just a Sheet Pan

June 20, 2018

Summer starts on June 21st! In honor of all the BBQing, sprinkler-hopping, and ice cream truck-chasing to come, we give you Hello, Summer, a picnic basket full of easy-breezy recipes and tips to help you make the most of every minute this season.

Let's put it this way: I'm not good at the outdoors.

In my freshman year of college—a liberal arts campus near the Adirondaks—my lie in the icebreaker Two Truths and a Lie was "I have never been hiking." Everyone thought it was a lie. (I grew up in a city with a population of 10 million, okay??)

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After my first real hike, at Zion National Park—five years after college—I was so nervous and so slow that I was pretty sure my friends never wanted to see me again after that weekend. But I finished! And I made it back to the Airbnb intact enough to enjoy my favorite thing about the great outdoors: s'mores, lots and lots of s'mores.

While I admit Zion was stunning and 100% worth the subsequent weeklong body ache, for my next great American getaway, I'm going to push hard for Key West. Eating slices of key lime pie on the beach, touring Hemingway's home, watching the sunset on a boat—that's what my vacation dreams are made of. You're very likely to find me tearing into fries, daiquiri in hand, at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville.

Ha! Nice try!
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That won't happen anytime soon, but a girl can dream. Better yet, a girl can cook. So imagine my two-pronged excitement when 1) a copy of the Margaritaville: The Cookbook, co-authored by my culinary hero Julia Turshen, landed on my desk; and 2) there's a s'mores recipe in it that doesn't require stepping outdoors. It doesn't require that I, too, melt like a marshmallow either. All these sheet pan s'mores need is two minutes in the broiler to get that char.

The cookbook refers to them as "nachos," because you can pile on whatever your sweet tooth desires, from bananas to caramel to coconut flakes. But a drizzle of warm chocolate sauce over the whole dang thing is more than enough to please me—and the eight people I want to invite over just so we can all crowd around the sheet pan and attack. Vacations can wait.

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How do you subvert s'mores? Let us know in the comments!

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Former Associate Editor at Food52; still enjoys + talks about food.