Campfire-Less S’Mores Ice Cream

August is nearing its end… and with it goes any hope of going camping this year.

I spent a lot of time outdoors this summer – tubing, biking, swimming, walking, and simply relaxing. But growing up, every summer included at least one family camping trip. So it seems strange to let a summer go by without setting up a tent, chatting around a big campfire, and waking up in a sleeping bag. But most importantly, I can’t bear the thought of a s’mores-less summer. The horror!

Since I can’t go to the s’mores, I figured I’d bring the s’mores to me. And thus a new ice-cream recipe was born…

Did you know that you can “roast” marshmallows using your oven’s broiler? I’d never tried this trick before, but it works surprisingly. The trick is to watch them like a hawk to avoid burning them and setting off your apartment’s fire alarm.

This recipe is perfect for city dwellers like me, who dream about eating campfire s’mores under the stars while we sit in our tiny urban apartments.

Campfire-Less S’Mores Ice Cream
{Makes 1.5 quarts}

Ingredients

  • 2 cups while milk
  • 1 cup light cream
  • 3/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract 
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1.5 cups mini marshmallows (or ~10 regular-sized marshmallows)
  • 1.5 regular-sized Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 cup chopped graham cracker pieces (for gluten free, I followed this recipe)

Directions

  • Combine the milk, cream and sugar in a medium saucepan and cook over low heat, whisking until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  • Turn off heat, remove saucepan from heat and whisk in the vanilla extract and salt. Transfer mixture to a large metal or ceramic bowl. Cover and refrigerate until mixture is cold (about 1-2 hours).
  • Pour chilled mixture into ice cream maker and freeze per the manufacturer’s directions. If you’re using a Cuisinart, this means 1) turn on your machine, 2) slowly pour mixture in, and 3) leave the thing churn for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, position oven rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat broiler (if you have the option, turn broiler on “low”). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and mist with cooking spray. Arrange marshmallows on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Broil the marshmallows, watching carefully (I kept oven door ajar), until the marshmallows are golden brown (took about 1 minute). Remove marshmallows and set aside.
  • Five minutes before mixing is completed, gradually add bits of the toasted marshmallows through the top of the ice-cream maker (this part can be a bit messy – but that’s part of the fun!). Once mixed, add the chopped chocolate and graham crackers, one spoonful at a time. Let everything mix into the ice cream.
  • Serve immediately or if a firmer consistency is desired, transfer to an airtight container and freeze until firm.

The verdict? This ice cream totally satisfies my s’mores craving. The vanilla ice-cream base is nothing special, but it’s mild flavor allowed the flavors of toasted marshmallows, Hershey’s milk chocolate, and graham crackers to take center stage. This recipe is definitely on the sweeter side of the ice-cream sugar spectrum, but isn’t that the point of s’mores? Now, I must warn you that this recipe is heavy-handed with the mix-ins. This was a conscious choice on my part – but if super-chunky ice creams aren’t your thing, simply scale back the on the amount of mix-ins you add. But I adored how the slightly-chewy marshmallows, nutty graham cracker crunch, and classic Hershey’s milk chocolate taste made it into every spoonful. And while I might not be sleeping in a tent tonight, I’ll definitely go to bed with that familiar feeling of fullness and nostalgia.