Happy summer friends! I’m elated that the warmer weather has finally arrived, and with that comes family camping, beaches and s’mores!
Each year we kick off the summer with a giant family camp. We are a big crew, and we all pack up and camp together for the first long week-end of the summer. Since we don’t all live in the same city, it’s a time for us to get together and just reconnect about our busy lives. I love the chance to have some extra cuddles and game time with my nieces and nephews, that I don’t see often enough. We get dirty, stay up late, and eat a ton of marshmallows, s’mores and spider wieners.
Just have a look at this adorably dirty, brown-eyed, speckled-nose little boy. He’s my nephew James, and was born with the same sweet tooth as me. He’s as devilish as the day is long, the spitting image of my brother as a child, and he’s completely captured this aunt’s heart. Don’t you just want to take a bite out of him??
Not a camping fan? I used to think that too, but I’ve grown to love the time that it gives us together. No tv. No computers. No deadlines. I do have one serious requirement though, a coffee maker is a MUST.
No coffee. No campee. That’s it.
Otherwise, I think I’m pretty flexible about how things go.
I tend to over pack in the food department, and the sweets are no exception. This time, I brought a tray of these amazing Date Squares, and a huge tin of bakery sized Better Ginger Cookies, for s’mores and snacking. You can’t do campfires without roasting marshmallows, and you can’t roast marshmallows without s’mores!
This is a twist on a classic s’more, with the addition of a giant, spicy ginger cookie. Ginger and chocolate are a match made in heaven, and a slightly toasted, gooey marshmallow in the middle makes this the perfect dessert for camping. When the campfire starts and the s’mores come out, there’s lots of chatter around the fire, the little kids are excited, and the adults can begin to wind down from a busy day. It’s one of those desserts that have happy memories connected to it, wouldn’t you say?
Are you a camper? I’d love to hear about some of your best camping recipes, dessert or not!
Happy summer friends,
Better Ginger Cookies
Pre-heat oven to 325°
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup shortening
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger
- marshmallows (for s’mores)
- bar of milk or dark chocolate (for s’mores)
1. In a small bowl sift together the flour, soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt, set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the shortening, sugar and molasses until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix well. Slowly add dry ingredients into creamed mixture. Mix just until flour is combined. Stir in crystallized ginger. Shape into 2″ balls and roll in sugar (no need to flatten).
2. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper, about 3″ apart. Bake for 18 minutes. Cookies will still be soft when they come out of the oven. Leave cookies on pan for 2 minutes then move them to a cooling rack.
Break up the chocolate bar into squares and place a fairly large square on a cookie. Top with two roasted marshmallows, followed by another cookie. Eat immediately. Lick fingers.
- Want to add some extra kick? Add 1/4 tsp black pepper or cardamom to your flour mix for an extra spicy kick!
- For smaller cookies, roll into smaller 1″ balls. Simply decrease your baking time by a few minutes . I decrease my baking time to approx. 14 minutes with the 2 minute rest on the cookie sheet.
- This recipe is easily doubled, even tripled.
- The cooled cookies freeze very well, for a few weeks.