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Surprising s'mores
New book reimagines a campfire favorite

You may have missed National S'more Day on Friday, but it's not too late to celebrate by concocting some of those tasty morsels.

Lisa Adams, author of "S'mores: Gourmet Treats for Every Occasion" (Gibbs Smith, $16.95) has taken the s'more to the next level.

"I decided to write a book about s'mores because there hasn't been one in the world," Adams said.

The author came up with her concept for the cookbook when she was camping in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

"We were sitting around the campfire making s'mores and someone had the idea of putting a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup in a s'more," she said. "Then we just started thinking up recipes."

Instead of just using the standard graham cracker with a toasted marshmallow and piece of milk chocolate, Adams added ingredients such as cookies, brownies, pound cake, caramel, Nutella, marzipan and even liqueur to step up the s'more.

The one ingredient that remains the constant in all 60 of Adams' recipes is the marshmallow.

Most of the recipes are Adams' own creations. Her personal favorites are the recipes with fruit - such as the Fruit Flavor Burst with strawberry, mango or pineapple - or with mint. The Simple Mint is made with Andes mints and a crispy mint cookie, your choice of a Mint Oreo, Thin Mint or Mint Brussel.

Adams also created themed s'mores. The Patriot, perfect for a summer barbecue, is a standard s'more with blueberries and strawberries. For the holiday season, there's the Saucy Cranberry, made with white chocolate and cranberry sauce. Adams suggests using homemade sauce because "it just tastes better."

In today's fat-free, low carb world, the author has found many people cringe at the thought of eating a s'more.

"I would bring samples to my book signings and some people would look at me like I was offering them poison," Adams said.

However, she said, graham crackers are a healthy snack and marshmallows contain only a little bit of sugar. The more fruit on the s'more, the healthier it gets.

The s'more dates back to the 1920s, and the first official s'more recipe appeared in the Girl Scout Handbook of 1927.

Hannah White, 13, of Girl Scout troop 1029 in Snellville said she's been snacking on s'mores since her first year in the Girl Scouts as a Daisy. Now, nine years later as a second-year cadet, White still enjoys s'mores on her camping trips.

"At most I can eat four or five," White said. "Don't try making it in the microwave at home because it will blow up."

When it comes to reinventing the s'more, White said she likes the idea of putting a new twist on the treat, "but you can't go wrong with the classic."

SideBar: Recipes

Emma's Pound Cake Spectacular

2 slices pound cake, about 1⁄2-inch thick

Nutella

Sliced strawberries

1 marshmallow

Generously cover one side of each pound cake slice with Nutella. Arrange strawberries over Nutella on one slice. Roast the marshmallow. Top with second pound cake slice, Nutella-side down.

Source: "S'mores: Gourmet Treats for Every Occasion"

Minty Brownie

1 marshmallow

A handful of Junior Mints

2 brownie squares OR 1 brownie square and 1⁄2 graham cracker

Roast the marshmallow. Melt the mints on the brownie bottom or graham cracker half in the microwave for 30 seconds or until melted. Add marshmallow and top with remaining brownie square.

Source: "S'mores: Gourmet Treats for Every Occasion"

Tracey's Caramel Apple

1 marshmallow

2 chewy caramels

2 green apple slices, about 1⁄2-inch thick

Skewer the marshmallow, followed by the two caramels, on the same roasting stick. Roast the marshmallow with the caramels. If camp fire is unavailable, place the skewers on a baking sheet into a 350 F, preheated oven for 4 to 6 minutes, or until marshmallow is cooked to your liking. Slide the concoction onto one of the apple slices. Top with remaining apple slice.

Source: "S'mores: Gourmet Treats for Every Occasion"