Ever since I was a kid, S’mores have always been one of my favorite treats. Every time I bite into one, it takes me back to my cousin’s farm out in the country. We’d spend the Summers together caring for her horses and after a long day of work, sit under the stars, listening to our favorite country music station and roast marshmallows over a fire.
You can easily bring the fun of S’mores and the beauty of the country together through this do it yourself S’mores Bar featuring my recipe for fluffy, homemade Vanilla Bourbon Marshmallows!
Make your marshmallows
The first part of creating your country inspired S’mores bar is making your marshmallows. I love making these as a treat for any occasion because they are fun, super easy and everyone loves them! Adding the bourbon to them gives them a bit of a kick and they go great in coffee, hot cocoa, s’mores or just eaten by themselves.
Materials you will need:
- Candy thermometer
- Stand or hand mixer
- 2 mixing bowls
- 9×13 pan (I recommend glass or using a large plastic container or cake/cupcake holder for easier removal)
Each batch of marshmallows will yield around 25-30 good sized marshmallows. If you have kids or want to omit the bourbon, you can do so by substituting it for 1/2 cup of cold water for plain vanilla marshmallows. You can also use other spirits in place of bourbon for different flavors. I made both Vanilla Bourbon and plain Vanilla Marshmallows for the S’more’s Bar.
Fluffy Vanilla Bourbon Marshmallows Recipe
- 3 1/2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
- 1/2 cup cold bourbon (for plain, non-alcoholic Vanilla Marshmallows, use 1/2 cup cold water instead)
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Using vegetable oil, oil a 9 x 13 baking pan (I suggest using glass or a large plastic container or cake/cupcake holder for easier removal later). VERY generously, sprinkle powdered sugar to cover and coat. Set aside. Pour the cold water and gelatin into a mixing bowl. Gently mix once with a spoon, then let sit while you make the sugar mixture.
In a medium saucepan combine sugar, bourbon, syrup, and salt. Heat over low heat and whisk until sugar is dissolved (about 3-5 minutes). Turn heat up to medium and let sugar come to a boil. It will bubble up so keep your eye on it. Let it boil for 8-12 minutes. Measure temperature with a candy thermometer, remove from heat when it reads 240 degrees F. The mixture will appear to be a light brown color.
Gently pour sugar mixture into mixing bowl over top of the gelatin. Mix on low until ingredients are blended. Then, mix on high and beat for 6-8 minutes. The mixture should grow in size and be white and fluffy. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Then add egg whites and vanilla extract to the sugar-gelatin mixture and beat until just combined.
Pour marshmallow mixture into 9 x 13 pan. It will be very sticky. Remove as much as you can, then spray a spatula with non-stick spray and smooth the surface of 9 x 13 pan. Dust powdered sugar on top and let sit for 6 hours until firm. Once firm, turn the pan upside down on a cutting board to release marshmallow rectangle. Cut into pieces.
Fun Tip: If you want to get fancy, you can remove some of the marshmallow mixtures before pouring it into the pan and add coloring to it. Pour the remaining white mixture into the pan and then add dots of your colored mixture on top. You can then use a skewer to swirl the coloring around to make patterned marshmallows.
Create your Country S’mores Bar
Now that you have your homemade marshmallows it’s time to set up your Country S’mores Bar! I stuck with metal and wood bar accessories and accents and added some chalkboards to give it that nostalgic feel.
I colored my Vanilla Bourbon marshmallows with a blue swirl so guest could tell the difference between the plain and which had the bourbon.
Give your S’mores Bar a gourmet feel by adding different chocolate choices for guests to choose from. I found a great array of Ghirardelli gourmet chocolates such as Dark Chocolate Raspberry, Milk Chocolate Caramel, and Dark Cocoa.
You can easily host this S’mores Bar inside or outdoors by using buffet heating gel cans. These portable heat sources will stay lit for around 4-6 hours, allowing for plenty of marshmallow roasting.
Lastly, give your guests something to remember by creating take-home S’mores kits featuring your homemade marshmallows!
There truly is nothing like good old country fun! Hosting your own Country S’mores Bar is a great way to celebrate any occasion and give guests a taste of your homemade cooking.
I’d love to know how your s’mores bar turned out, come back and fill me in!