"Please, sir... May I have s'more?"
These fateful words uttered by that musical scamp Oliver Twist from the musical that bears his name always come to mind whenever I hear someone mention the three-ingredient campfire treats that are celebrated nationwide today, on this National S'mores Day.
Yes, it's a real holiday. This is America; there's a holiday for almost every sinful indulgence you can imagine. And you can benefit from it by partaking as your CIVIL DUTY as an American citizen.
While lil' Oliver Twist was just asking for "s'more" gruel, we instead have the pleasure of over-consuming copious amounts of melted Hershey's chocolate, toasted marshmallows and graham crackers. It was a snack trifecta that was first published in 1927 in the Girl Scout Handbook and quickly became a staple in the pop culture mindset.
While the snacks are best enjoyed at a campfire accompanied either by church camp sing-alongs or ghostly stories about serial killers with hooks for hands (strange how it's either/or), many of Austin's top restaurants and bakeshops carry clever versions of the beloved American snack-time.
If your S'more worship takes a traditional form, we suggest heading over to Halcyon to enjoy Tableside S'mores. This mini-campfire experience is the perfect way to share the gooey treats with friends while enjoying signature cocktails. And, big plus, the open flame presents the (minimal but still exciting) danger of lighting your own hair on fire.
For a high-class S'more, we suggest heading over to upscale TRIO at the Four Seasons Hotel for Executive Pastry Chef Javier Franco's PB&J S'mores. Yeah, you read that right: It's peanut butter and jelly time up in these s'mores. You probably won't end up with melted chocolate burning your fingertips since you'll be using a fork, but the flavor profile will conjure those familiar songs of praise in your mouth all over again.
Next, over at Simplicity Wine & Eats, you can further mix it up with Nutella S'mores while you enjoy an extensive wind-down wine list. I'm not sure which wines you're supposed to drink with marshmallow, graham cracker and Nutella, but I'm not sure it even matters. Because, c'mon, y'all: Nutella s'mores. They exist and they are as good as you want them to be. Wowza.
Lucy's Fried Chicken became famous for the S'mores Pie, but the recipe followed Lucy's original chef who has since moved on. Fear not: the Hot Chocolate Pie is so close most people can't even tell the difference! With the same creamy dark chocolate filling and airy toasted marshmallow topping, the major difference is a move from a graham cracker crust to a shortbread and coffee crust. Either way you slice it though, it's delicious.
And if you're looking for a petite bite that won't let you over-indulge (or you're from the Midwest where everything is eventually turned into a "bar" of some sort), we suggest heading South to Sugar Mama's Bakeshop for an impeccable S'mores Bar. It's the perfect moist delicacy made up of buttery graham cracker crust, creamy dark chocolate and a homemade toasted marshmallow top.
Of course, your neighborhood H.E.B. has all the ingredients you need to throw your own S'mores-making party. Those Stay-Pufts aren't going to eat themselves, and you'll likely end up with too many Hershey's bars to possibly finish in one night. Just remember this holiday doesn't have to only be one night: S'mores are forever.
God Bless America.