What will you think of me once I confess that I’ve never had a s’more? I like all the flavors, but why have I never had one? Well, we aren’t going to figure that out today, but there’s no time like the present for me to make these and see what all those kids were squealing about in 4th grade! A bit different from the traditional graham cracker “sandwich” used with s’mores (it’s graham crackers, right?), tea consultant Alexis Siemons and photographer Courtney Apple bring us chai tea s’mores, a spice-y twist on the traditional s’more. Let us know your s’more memories and what you think of these!
A quick note: My photography portfolio has been redesigned and launched! Occasionally, I post sneak peeks of recipes to come in the ITKW portfolio. Check in from time to time to see what awaits you the next Friday, or check my Twitter feed where I tweet on weekends about the recipe results as I try them, with a few snapshots here and there. — Kristina
About Alexis and Courtney: Alexis Siemons is a freelance writer and tea consultant living in Philadelphia. As a tea enthusiast, she writes about her culinary and stylish adventures with tea on her tea blog, teaspoons & petals. Her line of haiku teaware has been featured in DailyCandy, and she teaches a series of culinary tea classes. Her recipes and stories have been published in Anthology Magazine (“Chill Out,” The Outdoor Issue, Summer 2011), Grid Magazine (“Steeped Summer Sips,” August 2011) and Remedy Quarterly (Issue 6, September 2011). She also consults with tea companies and guides their creative marketing strategies.
Courtney Apple is a Philadelphia-based photographer specializing in editorial and lifestyle photography. Using natural light to highlight her images, she effortlessly captures whimsical moments thanks to her eclectic mix of vintage, quirky and playful styling. Some of her clients include Philadelphia Magazine, Anthology Magazine, Starr Restaurants and a variety of dining establishments and creative businesses based in Philadelphia and surrounding areas. As a food lover, Courtney is inspired by exotic feasts, feminine dinner parties and traveling around the world.
The full recipe continues after the jump!
Chai Tea S’Mores
Makes 8–10 crackers, depending on desired size, and 4–5 s’mores
Chai Tea Graham Crackers
- 1/4 cup & two teaspoons loose-leaf masala chai tea (black tea blended with ginger, clove, cardamom, cinnamon)
- 2.5 cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter (cut into small squares and frozen)
- 1/3 cup honey (wildflower adds a rich flavor)
- 5 tablespoons whole milk
- 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
(Adapted from Nancy Silverton’s Pastries via 101cookbooks.com)
1. Add 5 tablespoons of whole milk to a small saucepan. Heat on medium-high until steaming. Remove from heat. Add two teaspoons of loose-leaf masala chai tea to the infuser and steep in milk for 6 minutes. Remove infuser. Let cool to room temperature.
2. Whisk chai tea-infused milk, pure vanilla extract and honey in a small bowl. Combine the remaining 1/4 cup of the dry loose-leaf masala chai tea leaves, flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
3. Mix with a handheld mixer or food processor. Add in pieces of chilled butter and stir/pulse to incorporate.
4. Pour in wet ingredients and mix until dough starts to come together. The dark brown dough should be soft and speckled with bits of black tea leaves and masala chai spices.
5. Sprinkle counter with flour and work the dough into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Cover in plastic and chill in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 2 hours.
6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dust the counter and rolling pin with flour, and roll out the dough into a large rectangle about 1/8 of an inch thick (keep in mind that the dough will rise and you want to be able to bite through the s’more).
7. Cut out 8 to 10 4-inch by 4-inch squares of dough (wrap and chill scraps for a second small batch of tiny crackers for tea). Using a spatula, gently remove each dough square from the counter and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Pop the sheet into freezer for 10 minutes to quickly chill until firm.
8. Remove crackers from freezer and, using a toothpick, draw a line down the center of each cracker and prick a few dotted rows to create an authentic graham cracker appearance. (Note: Don’t break through the dough.) Bake for 20 minutes until firm and slightly brown (rotate sheet at 10 minutes for even baking). Let cool before assembling s’mores.
Oven-Roasted Chai Tea S’mores
Assemble the S’mores:
- Chai Tea Graham Crackers (see above)
- Whimsy & Spice homemade cardamom marshmallows
- 2 large chocolate bars broken into 2-inch pieces (I recommend milk chocolate for a creamy finish, but dark works well, too)
- powdered sugar (for topping)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place half of the graham crackers on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet (these will be the bottom half of your s’mores). Top each with 1 to 2 Cardamom Marshmallows (remember that they will expand when baked in the oven).
2. Place the sheet in the oven and bake for 4 minutes until the edges of the marshmallows have browned.
3. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Immediately top the hot marshmallows with pieces of chocolate. The heat of the marshmallows will perfectly melt the chocolate pieces. Top with remaining graham crackers. Sprinkle each s’more with powdered sugar. I recommend eating at least one right away. But if you’re taking them along to share with friends, tie them up with string to keep the sweet sandwiches intact.
Why Alexis and Courtney Chose This Recipe
The shift from summer to autumn changes my pantry more so than my wardrobe. Think tall glasses of iced tea fading into steamy teacups. One recipe that I’ve crafted to hold on to summer sweetness while embracing autumn’s aromatic spices is the Chai Tea S’more, made with homemade chai tea graham crackers, milk chocolate and Whimsy & Spice’s cardamom marshmallows. Consider it a celebratory snack to share with friends on the couch or at a picnic. Simply pack a few in a basket with a thermos of masala chai tea and bid summer adieu while welcoming fall.