An American on Bonfire Night

This year will be my first Bonfire Night, and only recently did I learn what that actually is. My only point of reference was Hollywood’s interpretation in V for Vendetta, which vaguely hints at Guy Fawkes and that fateful night in 1605. When I heard about the dazzling displays of fireworks and countless bonfires, it sounded a bit like home.

More specifically, it reminds me of summer nights in America, sitting around a backyard bonfire with friends, roasting marshmallows and making s’mores. Next to PB&J sandwiches and “biscuits and gravy,” s’mores are as American as they come, but the true origin of the s’more is somewhat of a debate.

The late 19th century is when roasting marshmallows started to trend as a summertime activity, described as a “[simplistic] form of entertainment. One buys two or three pounds of marshmallows, invites half a dozen friends, and that is all the preparation required.” Then came the Mallow Bar and Moonpie snacks in the 1910’s, both combing the essential ingredients to a s’more – chocolate, marshmallow and graham crackers.

It was the Girl Scouts came out with the first recorded recipe for a “Some Mores” in Camping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts in 1927.

The instructions were “Toast two marshmallows over the coals to a crisp gooey state and then put them inside a graham cracker and chocolate bar sandwich. The heat of the marshmallow between the halves of chocolate bar will melt the chocolate a bit. Though it tastes like “some more” one is really enough.” Not much has changed since that original recipe, besides the name being shortened to s’more. Today, it remains a childhood classic.

For this weekend’s festivities, consider adding this special to your celebration. If you’d rather stay away from the fire, here’s my family’s oven-baked spin on this ooey-gooey delight.

S'mores Bars
  • Graham crackers (or some type of honey biscuit. A Digestive is a good alternative)
  • 110 g of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • Chocolate bars (Hershey’s for the full American experience)
  • 30 g of white marshmallows (Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallows is the proper American brand).
  1. Crush the graham crackers into crumbs. Mix the crumbs, sugar and melted butter and press into a cake pan or small casserole dish to form the crust.
  2. Bake at 180 degrees for 12 minutes, or until the crust starts to brown.
  3. Remove from the oven and line the dish with chocolate bars.
  4. Top it off with a layer of marshmallows and place the pan back in the oven.
  5. Let it bake until the marshmallows start to brown, to your liking.
  6. Remove and let it cool (or spoon it out if you can’t wait).
  7. Cut into squares and enjoy!


Leave a Reply

Rate this recipe: