No need to make a campfire! You can make S’mores cookies with crisp edges and chewy centers anytime. Each bite packs crumbled graham crackers, gooey chocolate chips, and toasted marshmallows.
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Nothing is more fun than gathering around a fire to make S’mores, but it can turn into a hot mess. I used my classic chocolate chip cookie for this summertime recipe and infused it with crispy graham crackers, semi-sweet chocolate chips, and gooey marshmallows. It has the nostalgic campfire taste that you can enjoy all year round.
To complement the toasted marshmallows, I use brown butter to add toffee flavors to the cookie dough. It takes only a few extra minutes but completely transforms the taste. Right before baking, I also add extra bits of topping and a mini marshmallow on top. The surface gets lightly browned, just like roasting the pillowy puffs on a stick.
Brown the butter
When you heat marshmallows, the browned sugar becomes a toffee-like flavor. I add browned butter to the cookie batter base to complement that transformation. The process starts with melting unsalted butter and heating until you smell a nutty butterscotch aroma and see it turn into a golden liquid.
As the milk solids toast, they add a more complex flavor to the treats. To prevent curdling, stir in a few tablespoons of cold butter to reduce the temperature before adding to the eggs. You can also try this technique in my M&M cookies and chocolate chip pecan cookies.
I use two types of sugar to give the contrast of crispy edges and chewy centers, just like S’mores. Using crystalline granulated sugar preserves the crisp border and structure of the cookie. Dark brown sugar contains molasses for a caramel-like flavor. It also acts as a humectant, attracting moisture so that the centers stay soft after baking.
Mix the brown butter, sugars, and eggs
I use a unique mixing technique to enhance the toffee flavor of the cookie. The sugars and warm butter mix to break down the sucrose into glucose and fructose. These monosaccharides can caramelize at lower temperatures, producing a more delicious cookie in just 10 minutes.
The eggs add air and richness. It’s essential to mix for 30 seconds, then rest for 3 minutes to let the sugars break down. This process takes place a total of four times. The melted butter creates a decadent and dense cookie instead of a cakey one.
Add the dry ingredients
To add a more robust cinnamon cracker flavor to the cookie, crumble them up and stir them into the flour. I like to keep them chunky for a pronounced taste when bitten. However, you can crush the crackers more finely to infuse the flavor throughout the base.
Gently stir the dry ingredients into the butter mixture just to hydrate. Overmixing will cause the gluten in the flour to overdevelop and make the cookies tough to eat.
Hershey’s milk chocolate bars are traditionally broken up and used for S’mores. However, when melted in the oven, they lose their form and become unattractive blobs. Instead, I use chocolate chips which are formulated to hold their teardrop appearance.
They keep their shape while becoming melty in the center. You still get the smore’s effect with a stunning presentation. I prefer dark chocolate like semi-sweet, but you can use milk chocolate chips if you prefer a sweeter taste.
Don’t overdo it with marshmallows
Soft and fluffy mini marshmallows are best to use. When exposed to the cookie surface, the marshmallows melt as they bake, turning into a sugary liquid. As the sugars dissolve and caramelize, you may notice little toffee puddles on the edges. During cooling, the sugar turns brittle for a crispy texture.
With an overabundance of marshmallows in the dough, you’ll lose the shape of the cookie with too much water released as they melt. I add just one marshmallow pressed in the center on top. They will expand and toast.
Mix and chill
Before shaping, refrigerate or freeze the cookie dough. It’s easier to roll into dough balls and prevent spreading. The dough should be between 65 to 70oF (18 to 21oC). It will feel firm.
Portion the cookies
Make dough balls of about 3 tablespoons for crisp edges and soft centers. This size gives a large enough cookie to have contrast from the middle to the sides. For a rustic surface that exposes the chips, break them in half and press them back together.
I add a few more chocolate chips on top, graham cracker pieces, and one marshmallow in the center. Don’t be tempted to add any more, trust me!
Bake the cookie dough after forming slightly below room temperature for a thick and chewy texture. If making the dough ahead of time, let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes so that the centers are not raw. The cookies bake on a large sheet with parchment paper.
You don’t want to overcrowd them because they will expand, about 8 on a large tray. Look for the edges to set, with a slightly puffy center, and the marshmallow to be toasted. Let them cool on the tray to finish cooking, and enjoy while still warm.
If you want to add a surprise element to the center of the S’mores cookies, you can stuff them with a small piece of graham cracker, a chocolate bar, and about 3 to 4 mini marshmallows, or half of a large one. I would omit the one cup of mini marshmallows from the recipe.
Any marshmallows that come in contact with the hot pan, like the ones on the edges of the cookie dough, will melt and turn into a toffee-like brittle. Instead, place just one mini marshmallow on top of the cookie dough before baking. It will expand and turn golden brown but will not melt completely.
You have a few options to reheat a batch of S’mores cookies and make them warm and gooey. For single cookies, heat on the high setting in the microwave in 5-second increments until warm. For a large batch, place on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan and heat at 300ºF (149ºC) until warm, about 5 minutes.
Using pieces of Hershey’s chocolate bar
If you prefer to use a chocolate bar instead of chips, chop it into small pieces to mix into the dough. The bar will melt down instead of keeping its shape due to the extra cocoa butter and fewer emulsifiers and stabilizers. Alternatively, you can place a small rectangular piece of the bar on top, but any engraving will melt. I recommend pressing it into the top of the cookie right out of the oven.
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- 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup crumbled graham crackers, divided
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 14 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 ½ cup semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips, divided
- 1 cup mini marshmallows, plus more for topping (51g, 1 ¾ ounces)
- Preheat the Oven – Adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Heat to 375°F (191ºC).
- Mix the Dry Ingredients – In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, ¾ cup of graham crackers, and baking soda. Set aside.
- Brown the Butter – Cut the butter into 14 even-sized pieces. In a medium skillet, melt 10 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat, swirling to melt evenly. Stir and cook, scraping the bottom of the pan with a spatula, until butter is golden brown and nutty in aroma, 1 to 2 minutes. Turn off the heat, and remove the pan from the stove. Stir in the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter until completely melted.
- Combine the Butter and Sugars – In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the melted butter to the mixing bowl. Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, and vanilla. Whisk on medium speed (setting 5) until combined, 30 seconds.
- Mix the Eggs – Add the whole egg and yolk to the mixing bowl. Whisk on medium-high speed (setting 8) until smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds. Let the mixture stand for 3 minutes. Repeat the whisking and resting process three more times: 30-seconds mixing at medium-high speed and 3 minutes of rest. After four total times, the mixture should be thick, smooth, and shiny.
- Add the Dry Ingredients – Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in the flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute. Stir in 1 ¼ cup chocolate chips and mini marshmallows. Give the dough a final stir to ensure no flour pockets remain.
- Chill the Dough – Transfer the mixing bowl to the refrigerator for 30 minutes or freezer for 15 minutes, or until the dough firms up, around 65 to 70ºF (18 to 21ºC). The texture should not feel overly sticky.
- Make Dough Balls – Divide the dough into 16 portions, each about 3 tablespoons (about 60 grams, 2 ounces), and roll into a ball. If the dough starts to warm and get sticky, place it on a sheet tray and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
- To Enhance the Look – For a rustic appearance, tear the dough balls in half. Press the two halves together with the lumpy torn sides facing upward to expose the chips. Shape the sides of the dough back into a circle. Press one marshmallow in the center of each ball, plus some of the remaining ¼ cup of chocolate chips and ¼ cup of crushed graham crackers, so they pop out of the surface.
- Arrange the Dough – Place at least 2-inches apart on the lined baking sheets, 8 per tray. Smaller baking sheets can be used but will require baking in 3 batches. The dough should be room temperature or just below for even cooking, around 65 to 70ºF (18 to 21ºC).
- Baking the Cookies – Bake one tray at a time in the center position for 5 minutes, then rotate the baking sheet. Continue to bake until the edges are golden brown and the centers look slightly underdone, about 5 to 7 minutes. The color will continue to darken during cooling. Place the baking sheet on a wire rack and cool until they reach room temperature, 20 to 30 minutes. Make sure the oven returns to 375°F (191ºC) before baking the remaining tray.
- Make ahead: Cookie dough can be shaped into balls and refrigerated in a resealable plastic bag for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 2 months. Add one marshmallow, chocolate chips, and graham crackers on top before baking.
- Storing: Baked cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 5 days or 3 months in the freezer. Defrost before serving.
- Reheating: Heat one cookie in the microwave on the high setting in 5-second increments until warm. Alternatively, place multiple cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake at 300ºF (149ºC) until warm, about 5 minutes.
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