If you don’t like burning your fingers over an open flame, try these solar oven s’mores for an off grid twist on a classic campfire treat.
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My biggest accomplishment last year was to learn to build and maintain a fire for my open flame cooking experiments. You may laugh but, for me, this was a big deal! I’m not very good at it, but I can do it.
Versatile Solar Ovens
Open flame cooking is economical and super tasty, but a fire is more work and a lot hotter to tend than my solar oven. On a sunny day, when I need to be lazy, I go for my S.O.S. brand solar oven. There are a few different commercial brands of solar oven and they all have their merits. The biggest plus is that they don’t cost anything to run.
For my family of seven, my only pet peeve with them is that they’re too small. I’m saving up to buy two more but that will take awhile. With a total of three ovens I can make dinner and bread and a treat!
Lest you think that you’re limited to casseroles and soups in a solar oven, rest assured that you can roast chicken, make loaf bread and stuffed zucchini. We did a fun solar oven experiment with dinner rolls and the conventional oven – to read that, click here.
Those are just a few of the more recent things I’ve pulled, piping hot out of my solar oven. I have also discovered that, among the many desserts you can concoct for your solar oven, you can also make some very interesting variations on the classic, campfire S’more. Let me share just one with you here and then you can play around with the ingredients and your own ideas.
Solar Oven S’mores
First of all, learn how to make homemade marshmallows because you can learn to make, without too much hassle, a healthier, junk-free version of the humble marshmallow. No HFCS, no preservatives, no plastic packaging. Just water, honey (or other sugar) and gelatin. You can make them GAPS, Paleo and Weston Price friendly. Homemade graham crackers are also worthwhile to learn, so here’s a recipe for healthy, homemade graham crackers from Chocolate Covered Katie.
- Homemade marshmallows
- Homemade graham crackers
- Chocolate bars of you favorite persuasion – can also be homemade, show off.
You’ll also need a 9×13 casserole dish, a solar oven, spatula, hot mitts and some utensils and plates. If you’re into eating off plates, that is. My family just grabbed some forks and ate like piglets out of the pan. (Do piglets use forks?)
Assembling your S’mores
Set out your solar oven with the lid on in a sunny spot in order to preheat it a bit. Butter your casserole dish. Cover the bottom of the dish in graham cracker squares. Break the chocolate bars into bite size pieces and put one or two on top of each cracker. Place one to two marshmallows on top of the chocolate – however many it takes to fill the area of the graham cracker.
Now you face a choice, and a grave one at that. You can put another piece of chocolate on top of the marshmallow and another marshmallow over that, forming a kind of sandwich of happiness or you can just leave one layer of each. The decision is yours but I caution you that the double layer will be doubly sweet so bear that in mind.
Regardless of how many layers of marshmallow and chocolate you decide to use, wait until your s’mores are fully baked and being served up before you put on your top graham cracker. Especially if you like the inside of your s’mores melted all the way. The s’mores are a bit messy when they come out of the oven. If you wait to put that top cracker on until the very last minute, you clean up the presentation a bit.
Again, my crew could have cared less what they looked like since it all tastes the same but if you’re serving individuals who stick their pinkies out when they eat, presentation is important.
Baking S’mores in the Solar Oven
Once your dish is full, take it out to the solar oven and put it inside, re-securing the lid and leave it in the sun to melt both the chocolate and the marshmallows.
How long that will takes is entirely dependent on how mushy you want your s’mores. If you just want all the ingredients warmed but not melted, be sure to check on your dish after about twenty minutes, if it’s a hot day. If you want it melted (the way we like it), give it a bit longer.
If you’re making s’mores in the fall or winter, give it a little extra time. Fyi, a homemade marshmallow will melt a lot faster than a store bought one.
Use a spatula to serve up individual baked s’mores and place the finishing graham cracker on top, like a hat on top of your s’mores.
Solar oven cooking is always a bit of an adventure at my house. Between five small children and a homestead, I get pretty scatterbrained and can forget to check on my solar oven occupants regularly.
With a roast chicken, that’s not as big a deal but with something a bit temperature sensitive like s’mores, I do try to pay more attention. (Remember the fire building difficulty – attention to details is a real chore for me!!)
After you try this, go do more experiments with solar oven desserts and see if you can start some sweet obsessions of your own!