I had been causally planning a backyard S'more Party for the past few months, pinning ideas for decor and marshmallow recipes along the way (isn't Pinterest the best for party planning?). I had originally planned to throw the party at the very beginning of fall, but life threw a few curve balls and I had to push the date back a couple of times. I was able to set a certain date for last Saturday and was excited to finally get to throw the party.
I had planned some lovely lighting to help illuminate our backyard for the party, including tons of darling hanging mason jar lanterns I created to line the fence along the path to our backyard as well as pretty fairy lights to decorate our deck.
Unfortunately Saturday decided to bring unpleasant weather and rain forced me to abandon the idea of throwing a whimsical backyard S'more Party. Instead I moved things indoor, used a few of the mason jar lanterns and lots of other candles as decor, and utilized Sterno cans as our marshmallow roasting source.
I set up a drink/dessert table for the party full of lots of homemade goodies to provide numerous s'more flavor possibilities. I baked two types of graham crackers, made four marshmallow flavors (vanilla bean, chocolate, strawberry, and lime), bought five different types of Ghiradelli squares and Reese's cups for chocolate, and toasted coconut and chopped pecans for toppings.
I used this image as inspiration and created a little menu of sorts of various ideas for combining different marshmallows and chocolates to create unique s'more flavors from Italian Cream Cake (graham cracker + vanilla mallow + white chocolate + toasted coconut & pecans) to Key Lime Pie (graham cracker + lime mallow + white chocolate). The hardest part about making your s'more was choosing what flavors to try!
To wash down the s'mores, I served up homemade hot chocolate, delicious hot apple cider from a local orchard, ice cold cream soda, root beer, and Ale-8 (a locally made ginger ale).
I set up four Sterno cans over a thick cutting board on our dining table so folks could gather 'round and roast their marshmallows. The Sterno cans worked beautifully as a roasting source, caramelizing our mallows quickly and evenly. I'm so glad I discovered these gems for indoor s'more making! I see many (more simplified) s'more bars in my party hosting future.
I really love planning and throwing little parties like this! The S'more Party makes for easier and less stressful prep than most food-oriented parties since homemade graham crackers and marshmallows can be made days ahead, if needed. Hot beverages can be whipped up before guests arrive and kept hot in carafes. You can go all out with tons of homemade marshmallows and various chocolate options as I did for a full-fledged S'more Party, or do a simplified s'more bar as a fun dessert option for any party.
I think throwing together a S'more Party for the holiday season would be a fun, unique alternative to the typical holiday gatherings. Everyone loves making s'mores and substituting homemade graham crackers and marshmallows for the usual store bought varieties really elevates things and makes the party seem upscale and gourmet.
I always get so many surprised looks when folks try my homemade marshmallows, "What? How do you make marshmallows?" But, really, if you have a candy thermometer and are blessed with a stand mixer, these couldn't be simpler to make!
I'll be back in a day or two with a full recipe list for the graham crackers, marshmallows, and hot chocolate. In the mean time, if you have any questions about my set up or how to throw your own S'more Party, leave me a comment!