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Top 5 S'Mores Variations

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The Houston heat makes it difficult to motivate yourself to clamor around the campfire for a sing-along. Here's your one-word incentive (hint, it's not kumbaya): s'mores. They're worth the risk of some burns, sweat and (smoky) tears, especially when gussied up with some different and/or unusual fixin's. Looking for some more s'more variations? Here are five. I made up the names myself.

5. PB&J Special. You actually don't need an open flame to enjoy this s'mores "sandwich" designed to take you back to your schoolyard days. Spread a thick coating of creamy peanut butter on one graham cracker square; on another, layer marshmallow fluff and strawberry jam. Place a large milk chocolate square in the middle. Consume outside to facilitate chocolate melting.

4. Apple Pie Perfection. Swap cinnamon graham crackers (I recommend Honey Maid) for regular and spread caramel sauce on one side of each square. Affix sliced green apples to caramel on both squares; on the bottom square only, stack white chocolate. Toast marshmallow until light brown and place on white chocolate. Top with other graham cracker. Wash down with vanilla milkshake.

3. Chocolate Trifecta. Extremely simple to construct and guaranteed to make you salivate: chocolate graham crackers + square of dark chocolate + one chocolate marshmallow (toasted until almost burnt). The crucial ingredient to this variation, chocolate marshmallows, is admittedly a bit fancy-pants. But who says camping has to be rustic? Look for them online or at gourmet grocery stores; also, during certain times of the year Jet-Puffed issues a chocolate-flavored 'mallow.

2. Island Indulgence. Sprinkle coconut flakes on graham crackers coated with honey (in a pinch, use "honey-flavored" grahams), then on one square layer a thick chunk of chocolate with macademia nuts (like Ritter Sport), then a lightly toasted marshmallow, then the other square. If you can get your hands on some toasted coconut 'mallows, substitute those for plain.

1. Snickers. Not for those made squeamish by excessive stickiness. The base and ceiling of the Snickers S'more is ideally a chocolate-covered graham cracker square, but again, if that's too much additional effort, chocolate grahams will do just fine. What's more important, however, is that you place a toasted marshmallow (the Jet-Puffed "stacker" mallows work best) on each square and sprinkle with chopped peanuts (which should adhere to melted mallows). Then use a chocolate bar infused with caramel as the interior filling. And grab many napkins.

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