Burnt Sugar

S'mores with a shelf life

Summer always says s'mores. So by the end of August–when the truly hot days of the season are numbered–fans of the campfire favorite begin to despair.

But this year, pastry chefs and bakers are upending the sweet sandwich, giving the graham cracker, marshmallow and chocolate triumvirate a newfound longevity.

The campfire runs headlong into Grandma's kitchen at Los Angeles's Nickel Diner and New York's First Prize Pies. On weekends at the former, Sharlena Fong layers devil's food cake and ganache on a house-made graham-cracker crust, then tops the tower with meringue and torches it.

The s'mores pie from Allison Kave of First Prize Pies, with its stunning milk chocolate center and marshmallow crown, is New York's dessert of the moment. It's addictive, so plan to get busy in your home kitchen by making it yourself.

In San Francisco, Prospect pastry chef Elise Fineberg slicks her s'mores with a Syrah reduction, while Knead Patisserie's Shauna Des Voignes fills jars with fudge and bronzed marshmallow, then packages them with homespun graham crackers.

Bite-size addicts should consider Chicago's truffletruffle. Enrobed in chocolate, the s'mores squares resemble petit fours, but the marshmallow fillings stray from the norm. The gooey centers draw from a flavor palette that includes lemon-rosemary and black truffle. Order some to have on hand when the craving strikes, all year long.