By Debbie Koenig
It’s our first full week up at the house. We had guests Monday–Wednesday, a friend and her son. She’s a former park ranger who builds a killer fire, so naturally, each night we used the fire pit. (My husband and I are such city people, we’ve barely managed to get a sputtering, 10-minute flicker going before it flames out.) And for almost-11-year-old boys, a fire can only mean one thing: s’mores.
I didn’t want to feel left out of the fun — not the glass of rosé (4 SmartPoints® value) my friend enjoyed, and not the s’mores the kids were gleefully chomping. The wine solution was simple: I poured half a glass and filled the rest with seltzer for a spritzer. The chocolaty, sticky confection, on the other hand, posed more of a challenge. To lower the score, I considered each element of this classic sweet:
- 1 graham cracker sheet
- 1/4 Hershey’s milk chocolate bar
- 1 marshmallow
Together, that’s 6 SmartPoints value. I probably could’ve just enjoyed one and called it a night, but I like solving puzzles. I knew I didn’t want to switch out the marshmallow — minis wouldn’t toast well over a fire, and nothing else would mimic the activity and yield an ooey, gooey treat. That left the graham cracker and the chocolate. I knew I wouldn’t be able to lower the SmartPoints values drastically, so instead I aimed to create something less overwhelmingly sweet. (I find it much harder to stop eating when we’re talking sweets, so less sugar helps me stay in control.)
For the sandwich base, I experimented with saltines and pretzel crisps (y’know, the flat, crackery ones). I love salty and sweet together, don’t you? And for the chocolate, I aimed for a very bittersweet bar, and found that I could go as high as 85% cacao content. When the s’mores are all put together, marshmallows are sweet enough to make up for it.
Saltine and pretzel crisp s’mores each came in at 5 SmartPoints value per, and both tasted great, but I preferred the pretzel version. The exact formula:
- 2 pretzel crisps
- 1 square of Lindt Excellence 85% Cocoa
- 1 marshmallow
Sounds like a lot of effort to shave off 1 SmartPoint, no? But look at the difference in sugar content: A single traditional s’more packs in 14 grams of sugar, but one of my bittersweet chocolate–pretzel s’mores takes it down to 5.25 grams. I’d say that’s a pretty huge savings.
And if you just want the toasting-over-the-fire experience, I also found that a chunk of pineapple roasted on a stick turns out pretty darn awesome — for 0 SmartPoints value.
Follow Debbie on Connect @debbieskoenig.
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