In my opinion, one of the best summer activities of all time is making S'mores. I grew up in western NY and we'd go camping numerous times each summer. With 3 kids, camping was the perfect vacation: it's inexpensive, us kids would play outdoors for hours on end, and there's not much travel required. We always made S'mores at night after dinner and mmmm, they were so good!
I have many fond memories of our various camping trips. Most of them were at Jellystone Park. My favorite camping experience was always Halloween week in July - we would dress up in costumes and go trick-or-treating around the campground...so fun! One summer when I was 6 or 7 years old, I was trick-or-treating with my girlfriend and my younger brother. He's 3 1/2 years younger than me so he was quite young at the time. He was complaining that he wanted to go back to our site, so I pointed in the general direction of where I thought it was, saying "it's just through those trees"... and off he went, by himself. A while later I was still trick-or-treating (Jellystone was a large campground) and came upon a site with a familiar-looking little blonde boy sitting by the campfire, roasting a marshmallow. It was my brother, just hanging out with a complete stranger. I told the man "that's my brother!" and he replied "Oh, he just showed up and asked if he can sit with me." I remember feeling terrified and I grabbed my brother by the hand and led him back to our site. I wasn't allowed to trick-or-treat anymore that summer.
When my husband and I moved to Savannah 20 years ago our camping days quickly ended (he grew up camping too). We went camping our first summer here and it was hot, humid, and very buggy. We were miserable. For days afterwards we removed ticks from our dogs (and from ourselves - yuck!) So nowadays, we take an annual summer trip to Lake Lure, NC and spend a week in the mountains in a lake house. It's not the same as camping (it's way better!) but the kids still get outside: we swim, boat, hike and of course, make S'mores.
Since summer is right around the corner, here's a S'mores Cone Cake recipe for those of you who love the flavor of marshmallow, chocolate and graham crackers as much as I do! These are delicious!! The details are below.
Do you have a fun memory of camping? Share with me in the comments below, I'd love to hear it!
4. Fill each cone 1/2 - 2/3 full
4. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean.
5. Cool completely on a cooling rack (don't skip this step - the heat needs to escape from underneath the holders!)
6. Using an apple corer or spoon, remove 2" deep of cake batter to create a hole for the graham cracker filling.
7. Discard (or eat!) the centers.
8. In a small bowl, combine 3/4 cup of graham cracker crumbs with white sugar and mix well. Stir in melted butter and mix to combine.
9. Using a 1/2 teaspoon spoon, place about 2-3 teaspoons of graham cracker mix into each cake cavity. Gently press down the crumbs with the back of the spoon. Repeat until all 24 cones are filled. Reserve remaining mix for the topping.
10. Beat marshmallow fluff and butter with vanilla in a large mixing bowl.
11. Add powdered sugar and half and half and beat until stiff and has a frosting consistency, about 3 minutes.
12. Place into a piping bag fitted with a 2D tip. Pipe frosting onto the top of each cupcake.
13. Break apart the chocolate bar and place half of it into a resealable sandwich bag, but do not seal. Microwave bag on 50% power for 30 seconds. Knead bag and if chocolate is not melted, return to microwave for same time and power. Knead until smooth.
14. Cut a small tip off the corner of the bag and drizzle chocolate onto the top of the frosting.
15. Top with remaining graham cracker crumbs.