The dessert in jars craze won’t die. I guess it’s because they are cute, but, when it comes to holidays, they are also quite handy as they are imminently portable. For the 4th of July, when so many of us are outside and getting together at potlucks, desserts-in-jars just make sense. And what dessert is more associated with grilling than s’mores?
This s’more variation combines a milk chocolate pudding with graham crackers and a melted, toasted marshmallow topping. The crackers can be classic or cinnamon and when it comes to the topping you have a choice as well. I like the smooth texture of the marshmallow crème topping, but if you try to put a top on a mason jar with this ladled on top, you end up with it sticking to the underside of the lid, which means less in your mouth!
This version is great for your own backyard or anytime the dessert won’t be traveling. If you are packing the dessert for on-the-go, use the mini marshmallows. Either bring along a cooking torch or simply melt a marshmallow over the fire and slather it on top!
For the pudding and jar
- 2 Cups coarsely broken graham crackers
- 1/3 Cup sugar
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 Tablespoons sifted natural cocoa powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 Cup whole milk
- 1/2 Cup heavy cream
- 4 Ounces milk chocolate, chopped, such as Callebaut or Hershey
- 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 ½ Cups mini marshmallows or large marshmallows
- 3 to 4 Cups marshmallow crème or Fluff
For the pudding and jar
Have six ½ pint Mason jars ready. Scatter about one-third of the graham crackers on the bottom of each jar and have the rest in reserve.
Whisk sugar, cornstarch, cocoa, and salt together in large saucepan to blend (a pan with a rounded bottom is very helpful). Slowly whisk in milk and cream. Whisk over medium heat just until mixture comes to boil. Add chopped chocolate and bring back to a low boil, whisking all the while until chocolate melts and pudding thickens, about 1 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in vanilla. Immediately scrape into a large 4-cup measuring cup with spout. Pour a layer of pudding into the jars just to cover the crackers. Add another layer of crackers, repeat with rest of pudding, and top with rest of crackers. Puddings may be covered and refrigerated overnight at this point or chilled for at least 2 hours.
Open jars and top the puddings with nice big mounds of mini-marshmallows. If you are using large marshmallows, skewer each marshmallow and roast over the fire. Slide off the skewer and place on top of the pudding. If you are using the marshmallow Fluff, I like to place it in a piping bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe a nice big swirl on top of each pudding. (You can use two teaspoons, but it is very sticky and unwieldy). Right before serving brown the marshmallows or fluff with a torch until it is as carbonized and gooey as you like. Serve immediately.