We kick off the start of summer every year with s'mores around a campfire on Memorial Day weekend. And though my kids absolutely love s'mores, we usually never have them after that.
It's kind of a shame really. S'mores are basically the unofficial summer dessert, so why do we limit it to just once? I'll tell you why: campfires are a rare treat for us. No campfire, no s'mores.
This year on Memorial Day weekend, I did something unexpected: I bought a container of fluff. My kids were flummoxed. I've never bought fluff in all my years as a parent. But somehow in the grocery store, I got the idea to combine fluff with brownies, and this recipe came into existence.
Everyone cheered. But I still had a ton of fluff leftover. What to do? I set out to create a s'mores recipe that didn't require a campfire. It worked! My kids have been happily having s'mores parfaits all summer for the first time ever. Do they have that toasted marshmallow flavor? Nope. But no one seems to be complaining.
The first step to making these s'mores parfaits is to make the chocolate pudding. I've used Ghirardelli 72% cocoa squares, which have a deep cocoa flavor and are dairy free. I added avocado to make it super creamy and plant-based milk to keep it dairy free. Because fluff is so sweet, and graham crackers are also usually sweet, I didn't want to overdo it and add sugar. I wanted the chocolate flavor to ground this dessert. The creaminess of the avocado tempers the bite of the cocoa, and lightens the flavor overall, making this a universally loved dessert around here.
As an aside, I've been loving a yogurt called White Moustache recently, and they come in little 8 ounce glass jars. I keep the jars and use them for a million things, and these s'mores parfaits are just one example. An 8 ounce jar makes this dessert perfect for sharing, as it's quite large for just one person. Of course, you can modify the size of the container that you use.
You can also use chocolate chips in place of the chocolate squares. Be sure to use chips that are high in cocoa content - I recommend 60% or more - to maintain the balance. I've also used the ghirardelli 60% cocoa squares with great success here, which yields a lighter cocoa flavor.
All you'll need to make this parfait is a blender. If you don't have a microwave to melt the chocolate, use a double boiler and melt it old school on the stove top.
The trickiest part of putting it all together is layering the graham cracker crumbs, chocolate pudding and fluff. The fluff is the hardest part, because quite frankly, it's sticky, so you'll be either rinsing your hands a lot, or licking them! And even if you don't master the layering on your first go, I guarantee that you'll have a good time licking your fingers!
10 ghirardelli 72% cocoa squares, melted (or 3/4 cup chocolate chips, at least 60% cocoa)
1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
1/2 cup milk or plant milk
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup (heaping) marshmallow fluff
8 full rectangles of graham crackers, crushed into crumbs
2 8 oz glass jars
Berries, for garnish
Makes 2 8 oz parfaits, (serves 4 total)
1. Melt the chocolate. I used my microwave on high for about one minute and stirred until everything was melted and uniform.
2. Combine melted chocolate, avocado, milk, cocoa powder, vanilla extract and salt in a blender. Purée on high for about 30-60 seconds until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides to make sure all ingredients are included.
3. Crush graham crackers, either with a cuisinart or the old fashioned way (like I did) in a bag using a rolling pin. Make sure the bag is closed so that crumbs don't go flying everywhere!
4. Separate the graham crackers into four approximately equal amounts. Use the first two piles to line the bottom of the two glass jars. Use the back of a spoon to pat down.
5. Carefully spoon in some chocolate pudding on top of the graham cracker layer. Pat down.
6. Next add about a heaping 1/8 cup of marshmallow fluff to each cup and use your fingers to pat down as much as possible.
7. Repeat each of those layers until the cup is filled and refrigerate for at least an hour.
8. Garnish with berries (and/or flake salt) and serve.
These lasted beautifully in my refrigerator (covered) for two days, and I was happy to see that the fluff stayed ooey and gooey, just like in a s'more.
You can pretend it's summer all year round with this recipe, so when it's the dark of winter and you need a little sprinkling of summer, whip these up!