We also went to Seattle for (quite literally) a bit, so aside from seeing the space needle, the one thing I really wanted to check out was a Trader Joe's. I'm sure you've heard of them. They've only been mentioned a millionty times on blogs, foodie or otherwise.
Maybe we went to a smaller one, but I wasn't as excited or impressed by it as I felt like I should be. Just like Target, Trader Joe's didn't live up to its hype. We still got a few things to try, though!
The guy at the checkout said these would be the best potato chips we'd ever have. They were good, but we've had just as good.
The salt water taffy, because Idle Husband had never had it; the chocolate covered cereal (think: Trader Joe's cheerios) was our least favourite; the white chocolate pistachio cookies were so good! and while the s'mores bits were quite delicious, they triggered one of my "I could make this!" thoughts. And I can! They're super easy and they taste pretty much the same.
As luck would have it, Idle Husband had been invited to a BBQ, so I thought it would be the perfect excuse to make my own version of Trader Joe's s'more bites. I really needed an excuse, cuz after a week of vacation and frivolous eating, neither of us could really stand the thought of more sugar and chocolate. But I really had to try making them. I couldn't get them off my mind!
This is more of a how-to than a recipe so it's pretty easy overall. Obviously it's a little time consuming and labour intensive, but if you set things up like an assembly line and get a few helpers, making a bunch of these would be pretty swift work.
I purchased regular graham crackers and used a serrated bread knife to cut them into quarters.
I had a few breaks, but overall, this worked really well. Just drag the knife gently across the top, scoring the cracker until you cut through. You don't have to apply that much pressure.
I also purchased regular marshmallows for this simply because I didn't have the time (or the energy) to make my own. All you have to do with them is cut them in half and squish the sticky (cut) side down onto the graham cracker quarter. You're all prepped!
While you melt chocolate in a double boiler, set up a pan with a cooling rack and a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper under it to catch the dripped chocolate once they've been dipped. This makes clean up a breeze and the pan makes it easier to transfer the s'more d'oeuvres to the fridge when you're done.
I found chunks of Callebaut chocolate in the bulk aisle at Save On Foods so that's what I used for dipping. I think it cost me $8 which is about the price of two good quality chocolate bars and I ended up with two larger chunks leftover after all 32 s'more d'oeuvres had been dipped.
Since I didn't know how much chocolate to melt, I started with a small amount and melted a few more pieces as I needed them. I also used a combination of fork and spoon for dipping mostly because I didn't have enough chocolate to fully submerge each marshmallow.
All you have to do is place a graham crackered marshmallow on a fork, dip the bottom into the chocolate and use a spoon to pour chocolate over the top. Tap the fork with the spoon until the excess drips off.
Then slide the s'more d'oeuvre onto your prepared cooling rack (choose one that's easy to clean! I have a mesh patterned rack and that would have been a real hassle had I used it).
Continue until you're done. Then set the tray into the fridge to harden. They don't take very long at all to set.
They're so very good and the cracker stays nice and crunchy!
inspired by Trader Joe's s'mores bites
Use desired amounts:
regular sized marshmallows
good quality chocolate
Prepare a large cookie sheet with a piece of wax paper, plastic wrap, or otherwise to catch drips and place a cooling rack on top. Cut the graham crackers into quarters. Cut the marshmallows in half. Stick the sticky side of a marshmallow to a graham cracker quarter. Over a double boiler (or in the microwave), melt chocolate. Using a fork, lower a graham crackered marshmallow into the chocolate, then use a spoon to cover the top with chocolate. Tap the fork to remove excess chocolate from the s'more d'oeurve and set on rack to cool. Once the tray is full, place it in the fridge to fully harden.
notes for the future: homemade marshmallows; flavoured marshmallows; piping the marshmallow directly onto the crackers; homemade graham crackers; sandwich something in between the marshmallow and cracker -- more chocolate, a strawberry, peanut butter; double dip them in chocolate for thicker coating; try different chocolates -- white, dark, mint; sprinkle sea salt on tops while still wet (why didn't I think of this earlier?!).
noted: the Callebaut chocolate was just about the best tasting chocolate I've ever had (and I only sampled two of the s'more d'oeuvres).