My family loves camping, and every summer, we're out exploring our beautiful national parks. One of the best parts about camping is cooking and eating out in the open, quite often with meals cooked right on a campfire. I maintain that food always tastes better when it's eaten outside anyway.
This brings me to these banana s'mores — a riff on classic s'mores that taste just like banoffee pie. I can't stop raving about them! To my mind, they are the best way to end a camping picnic. Bonus? They are a incredibly easy to assemble and cook right at the camp site.
You may have noticed a couple of beginner camping posts here at The Kitchn, and in the second one, I talk about how I pack my food while camping. I usually put together a little box of treats, like the one pictured above, and I can get quite a few desserts out of it. Plus it keeps everything in one place, which is very handy while camping.
Assembling these delicious banana boat s'mores is a cinch. I am a pretty organized camper, and I always have a camping meal plan handy. If I am making a simple campfire chili or a paella for dinner, I start assembling the bananas when dinner is cooking. By the time we start eating, they are ready to go either straight onto a grill set over a campfire (many fire pits in our national parks have grills on them). If you prefer, you can also wrap the stuffed bananas in foil and place them just off center of any glowing coals — just turn them once so they cook evenly all the way through. By the time dinner is done, dessert is sorted.
The warm banana works perfectly with the creamy chocolate, sticky caramel and squidgy marshmallow. The sprinkling of graham crackers on top adds delicious texture and when you take a warm mouthful, every aspect of this dish works just perfectly with each other and you can't help but say, "Ahhhh!" My husband reckons that it tastes just like a deconstructed version of banoffee pie. I love banoffee pie anytime, so for me, this dessert is hands down my absolute favorite parts of camping.
More Camping Tips from Michelle
Campfire Banana Boat Chocolate Caramel S'mores
4 ripe bananas
12 marshmallows (3 to 4 per banana), or a handful of mini marshmallows
12 squares dark chocolate (3 to 4 squares per banana)
1/4 cup caramel chips
8 graham crackers (2 per banana), crumbled
Cut a slit in the each banana, and open the skin up slightly. Scoop out a few small chunks of banana (and eat!).
Stuff 3 to 4 marshmallows in the scooped out sections of the banana, then tuck a square of chocolate beside each marshmallow. Sprinkle a few caramel chips over top.
Close the skin of the banana as much as you can, and place the bananas directly on a campfire grill. Alternatively, wrap the bananas tightly in foil and place directly on coals. (Be extra careful when pulling them out of the coals and opening.)
The banana skins will blacken as the bananas cook. Grill until the chocolate and caramel melt, and the marshmallows begin to look squidgy, 5 to 7 minutes.
Using metal tongs, carefully transfer bananas on plates. The bananas might release some water, if they do, use a paper towel to wipe off.
Sprinkle the crushed graham crackers over top, and serve with a spoon for scooping.
- Bananas cooked directly over the grill will have a slightly smokey flavor. When wrapped in foil, they have less smokey flavor and will take a few more minutes to cook.
(Image credits: Michelle Peters-Jones)