Graham Cracker Party Bar Including a DIY S’mores Table-Top Grill

graham crackers-18.jpg

A graham cracker party bar makes a festive and unusual dessert for a New Year’s celebration or any gathering of special friends.

Pin It

graham crackers-15.jpg

This is perfect for a relaxed, sit-down meal or a buffet/party where people linger around the food.

Table top s'mores.jpg

Kids love it too.  Adult supervision required, of course.

 

Do-it-Yourself Table-top Marshmallow Grill

You can buy a miniature table-top grill at the store–if you can find one, for 30$ and up. But it’s easy to make them yourself. It’s nice to have more than one if you are serving more than 4 people.

graham crackers-21.jpg

I first used a soup mug and an old apple corer I just happened to find in my kitchen drawer.

If you don’t have the same, you can also make a table-top grill with a clay pot,  hardware cloth (available at a hardware store by the inch or foot) and a can of Sterno. 

graham crackers-13.jpg


  • Invert pot and trace shape of 4-inch clay pot onto a sturdy piece of hardware cloth.
  • Cut hardware cloth with wire snippers and trim if necessary to barely fit inside. You need to be able to remove and replace the wire easily to change the Sterno.
  • Use a can of Sterno to provide the heat.(In case you’re wondering, Sterno is a formulation of denatured alcohol, water and gel. It’s what they use in commercially sold table-side marshmallow roasters. You can read more about it here.) Sterno comes in more than one size. Buy one that will sit on the bottom of the pot with at least 1-2 inches of clearance from the top. 
  • Graham crackers:  I like to make my own honey wheat graham crackers (see recipe below) but the store-bought crackers are sufficient. I recommend including a variety.  The homemade chocolate crackers are most popular and fabulous with the various spreads.
  • Chocolate: I prefer to melt chocolate bars suitable for eating in the microwave (your choice, but milk chocolate is traditional), spread it thin (see the picture of the s’more above) on wax paper, chill, and then cut in squares about the same size as the crackers. Again, a variety of different chocolates makes the tray interesting.
  • Marshmallows: If you are a candy maker, trying making your own in different flavors just as maple, coffee, or orange.  I’m not a candy maker so I can’t recommend a recipe. Store-bought marshmallows work fine too.
  • Roasting Sticks:  Wooden or metal k-bob sticks.
  • Spreads: Several have been mentioned already.  My favorite is the cookies and cream frosting.  If your party includes kids, they might enjoy a plain buttercream frosting with colored sprinkles or chocolate chips.

Brett and Amanda smores.jpg

Homemade Honey Wheat Graham Crackers–The Recipe (with a Chocolate and Cinnamon Variation)

You don’t have to make your own graham crackers but doing so will make your graham cracker bar a more memorable event. Making them yourself means you can experiment with the spices. It also means you can roll them out thinner–more like a wafer. I MUCH prefer them over the thicker crackers. Using zippered plastic bags is much easier than the traditional method of rolling out the dough on a floured cutting board and transferring each cracker to a cookie sheet.

graham crackers-14.jpg

Place 1/3 of dough into a zippered plastic bag. Chill in fridge 15-30 minutes. Use a rolling pin to roll out dough and distribute evenly throughout entire bag. Use hands to smooth out wrinkles. Freeze.

graham crackers-4.jpg

 When completely hard, remove from freezer and barely trim bag on 3 sides.

graham crackers-6.jpg

Carefully peel plastic back from ugliest side of frozen sheet of dough.

graham crackers-5.jpg

Flip over onto parchment paper so silicone baking mat so the smoothest side shows. Pull plastic from top side.

graham crackers-7.jpg

Cut into 16 squares with a pizza cutter or large knife.

graham crackers.jpg

Poke 4 holes in each square with the blunt end of a wooden k-bob stick.

graham crackers-2.jpg

Sprinkle with sparkling or sanding sugar. Transfer dough to parchment or baking mat, then to a cookie sheet.

graham crackers-11.jpg

Bake. Re-cut squares immediately after removing from the oven.

The chocolate wafers are my favorite.  Cinnamon is delicious too but so far, my friends seem to prefer them plain for S’mores.

Homemade Honey Graham Crackers (Wafers)
 
Author:
Serves: 48 wafers
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Ingredients
  • 1-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, chilled
  • ⅓ cup lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Sift flours, cinnamon if using, soda and salt together.
  2. Mix butter and sugars together. Add honey, egg and vanilla and continue to mix.
  3. Add dry ingredients in three batches, mixing just until ingredients are combined and come together in a ball.
  4. Divide dough into 3 equal portions. Place each dough ball inside of lightly floured gallon-sized zippered plastic bag. If dough is very soft, refrigerate for 15-30 minutes.
  5. Remove from refrigerator and use a rolling pin to roll dough out inside plastic bag until evenly distributed and the same thickness everywhere. If wrinkles develop, use your hand to smooth out bag.
  6. Place plastic bag in the freezer and leave until hard. Dough will keep in the freezer for several weeks.
  7. When ready to bake, use scissors to barely trim edges from 3 sides of the bag. Carefully pull plastic from one side (the ugliest side). Place ugly side down on parchment paper or a silicone mat. Peel other side of plastic from dough.
  8. Use large knife or pizza cutter to make 16 equally sized squares. Make 4 holes in each wafer with a wooden k-bob skewer. Sprinkle with sparkling or sanding sugar. If making cinnamon grahams, add a bit of cinnamon to granulated sugar and sprinkle crackers.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees for 13 minutes.
  10. Remove from the oven and re-cut the squares in the same place as previously cut.
Notes
To make chocolate grahams, substitute ½ cup of Dutch-processed cocoa for ½ cup of flour.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 55 calories per square

 

Email This Post Email This Post Share Follow me on Pinterest
smith June 3, 2015 at 9:24 am

What a great idea to make your own marshmallow grilling pot. It’s a perfect solution when you don’t have a campfire available. I have never made graham crackers but of course have always wanted too. thanks!

CoDi January 30, 2015 at 11:18 pm

This is a cute idea, but please consider the environmental impact of using three gallon size plastic bags each time you want to make some graham crackers. Please don’t mess up the environment just to keep a mess out of your kitchen. An extra two minutes of cleaning can keep needless trash out of the landfill. Plus, you can buy handy rings that go on the sides of your rolling pins to keep your dough level and they are very cheap and reusable! 🙂

caring carington October 5, 2013 at 6:24 pm

please don’t use a pizza cutter on your baking mat.

Paula October 5, 2013 at 8:43 pm

Thanks for the warning. I do it all the time myself but I am careful.

Vicki Walton March 29, 2012 at 8:59 am

Hi Paula! Love this idea for indoors. I recently saw an idea on You Tube that shows an inexpensive “stove” that you can not only roast marshmallows and hotdogs over, but actually cook in a pot as well. Very handy if you’re grilling meat outside and want to cook something else and not be running back and forth to the kitchen. Very economical and entertaining for the kids, too. It’s called a “Redneck Rocket Stove.” I actually have the Stovetec Rocket Stove which is portable. But I think everyone should have this low cost alternative in their back yard. Just a little kindling scraps and sticks is required. Places like Lowe’s sell the cement blocks already cut in half. Just buy 3 pieces (see the video) and gather some sticks and you have a stove!

Paula March 29, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Hi Vicki,
Sounds like I should check that out, although kindling scraps and sticks are pretty hard to come by around here. Thanks for sharing. pr

Miriam @ Overtime Cook January 8, 2012 at 7:15 pm

What an amazing party idea! I bet this would be a real hit if I do it at my next party. Delicious and fun- perfect!!

Sandy January 6, 2012 at 12:52 am

This dessert was soooooooooo much fun. I don’t know when I have had such a good time. The assortment of homemade goodies topped it all off. Thanks for giving us all such a fun idea. I adore the picture of the kids. They had a great time and I know memories were made.

Nicole@The Galley Gourmet January 3, 2012 at 9:35 pm

I love this! Perfect for a kids (or adults:) indoor winter party!

Paula January 1, 2012 at 7:11 pm

What a fun idea and I love your grilling pots! Next time you have this party…I’m available and I’ll bring the chocolate 🙂 Happy New Year Paula, all the best in 2012

Megan's Cookin' December 30, 2011 at 1:42 pm

What a great idea to make your own marshmallow grilling pot. It’s a perfect solution when you don’t have a campfire available. I have never made graham crackers but of course have always wanted too. The tip to roll it in the plastic baggy is terrific and I’ll do it that way when the time comes. Great pictures too!
Happy new Year Paula!!!

Paula December 30, 2011 at 2:24 pm

If not for the Ziplock bags, Megan, I would not do these cookies. Also great to put these in the freezer and bake one sheet at a time. Happy New Year to you too!

Vicki V December 30, 2011 at 9:39 am

I love this idea and am happy to have your recipe for homemade graham crackers. I really want to try making a homemade Moon Pie someday, and I’ll use your graham cracker recipe!

BTW, I had some advice for you re: the floors. Not sure, but I think you are a noreply blogger, so my reply email probably never got to you, right?

Gina December 29, 2011 at 8:44 pm

Thanks for the s’mores last night! We had a great time and enjoyed your homemade graham crackers!

The Café Sucré Farine December 29, 2011 at 8:11 am

Paula,
I LOVE this idea! It would be fun in the summer but what a great treat at this time of year. I’m definitely going to try this with my little girles! They will go crazy!
Oh – I just recently discovered that Biscoff spread – oh my, I really can’t keep it around as I can’t stay away from it! Thanks for this wonderful idea!

Tamara December 29, 2011 at 7:58 am

Paula, I am completely candy-challenged. Whenever I make caramel, I always burn the first batch. Marshmallows are truly easy-peasy. You need two things — a stand mixer (Kitchen Aid) and a good candy thermometer. I was gifted a digital candy/oil thermometer (less than $20 on Amazon) and it rocks! They are a bit messy and sticky, but worth it.

Paula December 30, 2011 at 2:57 pm

Tamara, My niece just brought me some homemade marshmallows and they made the most fabulous s’mores. I am definitely going to try them for our New Year’s Day party.

Natasha December 28, 2011 at 1:47 pm

This is just the most wonderful idea ever!

*Just Fran* December 27, 2011 at 9:49 pm

This looks like fabulous fun! I love the idea to make your own table-top grill. Great post!

`Suzanne December 27, 2011 at 9:39 pm

What a fabulous post! I pinned it before I even read it because I saw what a great idea it was, just genius and lots of fun for a small gathering. My family would absolutely love to do this, thanks Paula and great photos your family looked like they enjoyed it 🙂

sis December 27, 2011 at 7:40 pm

Wish I had some of those chocolate graham crackers right now!

Jillbert December 27, 2011 at 7:39 am

What a great idea to roll out the dough in a plastic bag — less messy & very even. I can’t wait to try this!

Cindy B. December 27, 2011 at 7:24 am

I love this idea, thanks for sharing!

Gary December 27, 2011 at 7:13 am

Great post, as always!

Betty @ scrambled hen fruit December 26, 2011 at 10:49 pm

This looks like so much fun! Your marshmallow roasters are so clever- I’m going to have to rummage around the kitchen to see what I can find to make one with. 🙂

Tamara December 26, 2011 at 8:18 pm

What a great idea, Paula! I’m seriously thinking about doing this for our annual Super Bowl party. Btw, I made Alton Brown’s Ambrosia Salad for Christmas dinner and the homemade marshmallows were delicious and very easy to make.

Paula December 27, 2011 at 9:43 pm

Do you think even a candy challenged person like me could do it? Part of the problem is that marshmallows are my favorite. Of course they are good in s’mores.

Der December 26, 2011 at 5:31 pm

So much fun!!!!!!!
I can’t wait to make the chocolate graham crackers!…Do you put cinnamon in them?

Paula December 26, 2011 at 5:49 pm

Der, Good question. I did not add cinnamon with the chocolate.
Thanks for the pic of the kids!

Jill December 26, 2011 at 4:32 pm

This is such a fun idea, and thanks for the instructions to make a tabletop grill. Besides being cheaper, I think it’s more fun to give everyone their own mini grill!

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: