There are certain rights of passage along the way to becoming a True New Yorker. You’ve gotta learn some basics about riding the subway. (You have to let the people OFF before you get ON or there won’t be room for you. It’s just science, friends.) You should probably learn how to hail a cab, and you’ll need to establish a favorite spot for bagels, coffee, and a dollar slice. The list goes on. Nathan Pyle’s “NYC Basic Tips & Etiquette” can help you nail the basics, along with Yelp, Zagat, Eater, Tasting Table, and many others.
I’ve been working on my True New Yorker status for over two years now, and I just checked a bonus box on the list: a weekend away in the Hamptons. I know, I know, sounds pretty chichi, but you can do it on the budget if you split a tiny three bedroom cabin between five couples—that way, you can split the cost of a rental car, too. Pro tip: trade proximity to the shoreline for a place with a great pool. You can always drive to the beach, and it will save you big bucks.
Our little bungalow also had a grill, so for a treat, I brought the fixings to make a simple spin on a classic summer staple: the s’more. Sun, surf, s’mores, and a bunch of fabulous friends? Great summer weekend.
As for those s’mores, just one extra ingredient is a serious game changer. One friend called it life changing. When Mr. M brought this jar of Peanut Butter & Co‘s Dark Chocolate Dreams spread home for me one night to help assuage a case of the grumpies, I knew I was in big trouble. I made a grilled pb & banana sandwich with it, and things have just escalated from there. I’ve even been known to dip pretzels straight into the jar. (There’s no judgment here.)
This peanut butter full of dark chocolatey goodness adds just enough salty, umami-packed flavor to elevate the campfire favorite to a new level. But you can’t just replace the chocolate with a shmear of this stuff; you’ve got to keep the milk chocolate and marshmallow combo going. I like to use a smattering of milk chocolate chips, since they melt really well and the pb holds them in place.
Dreamy Peanut Butter S’mores
I don’t know if I can really call this a recipe, but here are some tips for the assembly of a perfect s’more.
For one s’more:
1 graham cracker, broken into two squares
1 heaping tblsp. milk chocolate chips
2 large marshmallows
1/2 tblsp Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter
1. Heat your stove or grill on high, or, build a campfire. Smear peanut butter on one side of a graham cracker half and top with milk chocolate chips, spread evenly over pb. Press the chips down into the pb to keep things tidy.
2. Turn heat down to low (or wait for a nice bed of red coals in your fire), a toast both marshmallows—a bamboo skewer is the perfect tool for this—slowly, rotating until they are golden brown.
3. Using the plain graham as a tool, pull the toasted marshmallows from the skewer and onto the graham covered in chocolate. (I like to do this fancy trick my dad taught me where you pull the outside layer of the marshmallows off, then toast the insides again.)
Voila! Welcome to s’more nirvana.