The chef reveals her top tips for making this twist on the classic campfire dessert at home.
Chef Stephanie Izard has always had a thing for Cheez-Its. Her wedding featured a “four-tiered…Cheez-It-flavored cake with a crunchy filling of chocolate ganache, peanut butter, and chocolate-covered Cheez-Its," designed by Girl and the Goat pastry chef Mathew Rice. And in her newly released cookbook, Gather and Graze: 120 Favorite Recipes for Tasty Good Times, she shares an epic recipe for Cheez-It s'mores.
Where did the celebrated Chicago chef dream up such a creation? She was partly inspired by the salty-sweet profile of a dessert her mother used to make called “mystery pie,” made with a Ritz cracker crust.
Izard's modern update on the traditional s’more finds everyone's favorite cheezy crackers covered in chocolate and peanut butter, yielding a dessert—or anytime snack—reminiscent of a Butterfinger.
You can watch Izard explain the recipe and whip up a batch on the latest edition of Mad Genius Live, with Justin Chapple.
Taking a bite of a typical s’more might mean getting your hands covered in marshmallow and melted chocolate, but this version is a much cleaner, convenient “one-biter,” the chef says. “It’s such a simple recipe, and just kind of fun.” Here are her top six tips for making Cheez-It s’mores at home.
- Use large Cheez-Its, because they have "better flakiness," than the regular size, Izard says. Cheez-It Big, $3 on amazon.com
- Use a double boiler to melt chocolate, peanut butter and regular butter with ease. You don't need anything fancy, Izard promises.
Universal Double Boiler Insert, $31 on amazon.com
- Use caution when you’re tossing all of the ingredients together to make sure you don’t break the Cheeze-Its apart. “It takes a little bit of finesse.”
- Don't get bogged down by the chocolate. While Izard prefers to use Ghirardelli chocolate morsels, she says that you can use any brand of chocolate you have on hand.
Ghirardelli Chocolate Baking Chips, 6 count, $17 on amazon.com
- Serve these at a dinner party, no matter what you're making, because, as Izard says, "they're a good conversation starter."
- Trying to get your kids in the kitchen? Let these s'mores be your way in. Izard—who has a two-year-old son—thinks that children would love to help coat the crackers in chocolate and peanut butter.