We have written a number of special round-up reviews of NYC’s “best of” desserts – from rainbow desserts, to cookies (chunky, home-style, dinner-plate-sized), seasonal interpretations of pancakes and french toast, to the wide spectrum of ice cream creativity. With the advent of cold weather season here in the Northern Hemisphere, a winter dessert round-up review seems timely. A traditional camping treat with origins in this part of the world, the dessert known as “S’mores” — toasted marshmallow, chocolate and graham cracker — has been re-interpreted into a variety of different forms in NYC. All the better, we think, for many s’mores dessert adventures! Enjoy!!
*Updated April 2022.
Skillets of s’mores
- Dessert destination: Blank Slate, Nomad, Manhattan
- Short and sweet story: Blank Slate’s Smore’s Dip ($12 + tax). Blank Slate is a coffee shop located in an area of the city somewhat desolate of dessert offerings. It offers a smores’ dessert closest to the campfire tradition: a super-sized skillet of molten chocolate and sticky marshmallow, accompanied by a bowl of graham crackers. Careful of that skillet, it’s super hot from the oven! We highly recommend bringing 2-3 fellow dessert lovers with you when you sample this one.
Pillows of dreams
- Dessert destination: Squish Marshmallows, East Village, Manhattan.
- Short and sweet story: The S’mores Sandwich ($6 + tax). A tiny spot in the East Village, Squish specializes in the squishy confectionery that is the marshmallow. We never knew a marshmallow could be more than just the pink or white variety — here, we found marshmallows of many flavours, including peanut butter, pumpkin latte, apple pie, banana pudding, birthday cake. You could choose a skewer of 2-3 cubes to be toasted, but why not be a little gluttonous, and choose the s’mores sandwich. You will need a spoon and fork for this one, unless you don’t mind chocolate lacing your fingers and wrist.
A trick on a stick
- Dessert destination: Dominique Ansel, Soho, Manhattan.
- Short and sweet story: Frozen s’mores ($7 + tax). If there is any patisserie that encapsulates the creativity and extravagance of New York, it would be Dominique Ansel. We have reviewed his more traditional cake creations before (see here), but perhaps more memorable, would be the s’mores dessert on offer. One of the first dessert that we sampled when we came to New York some years ago, it remains one of our favourite winter treats. Made to order, you receive a brick of a dessert. It consists of a toasty marshmallow outer, followed by a think layer of chocolate, then a cold, almost-brain-freeze, vanilla ice cream centre.
Going cookie crazy
- Dessert destination:
- Short and sweet story: Schmackery’s S’mores cookie ($2.75 – $3.00 + tax). One of the first cookie places that we visited in NYC, Schmackery’s was an introduction to the cookie phenomenon that one sees no where else in the world except stateside. Specializing in the classical flatter version, rather than the chunky sized cookies that flood Instagram nowadays, Schmackery’s offers a memorable s’mores cookie. Think the best of a chocolate chip cookie, with a sticky marshmallow spread on top. If you prefer a chunkier-style s’mores cookie, with strong hints of ginger and cinnamon, hit up Gooey on the Inside a meteorite-sized one (6oz, $5.00).
When π = pie
- Dessert destination: Butter & Scotch, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn.
- Short and sweet story: S’mores pie ($42 + tax). Having grown up in a former British colony in the Antipodes, pie to us means savoury. Meat pie, shepherd’s pie, etc. Life in NYC however, has introduced us to the concept of “sweet pies” — pumpkin, pecan, key lime, apple, pear, cherry. The honour of the most noteworthy sweet pie that we have sampled to date has to be awarded to Butter & Scotch’s s’mores pie. More chocolate custard pie with a toasted marshmallow layer, wonderment is the only word to describe it.
The ultimate multi-vitamin
- Dessert destination:
- Short and sweet story: S’mores cupcake ($3-4 + tax) and/or cake ($8-10 + tax). If these Dessert Correspondents were to choose between cake or ice cream as the most beloved of all desserts, one of us would without hesitation go for the cake, and the other would select ice cream. For all cake lovers, consider the deliciously moist dark chocolate s’mores cupcake from Buttercup Bakeshop, the slightly less intense, graham cookie-flavoured cake slice layered with marshmallow creme frosting and chocolate fudge from Little Cupcake Bakeshop, or the sweetest of the lot, a chunky cake slice from City Cakes. Whichever way you go, you will be assured of having sampled three of the most wonderful cupcakes/cakes in all of NYC, a city with a myriad of cupcake shops no less.
No bar on sugar
- Dessert destination: Posh Pop Bakeshop, Greenwich Village/Soho, Manhattan.
- Short and sweet story: S’mores bar ($8 + tax). If you are looking for a catastrophic overdose of sugar, look no further than the recently-opened Posh Pop Bakeshop. All apparently gluten-free, the store features a glorious array of cake slices, cupcakes, dessert bars and cookies, and all constitute extreme sugar hits (even by our standards!). The s’mores bar here features a lattice of dark chocolate and white chocolate and marshmallow over a chocolate chip cookie bar. Because NYC dessert knows no boundaries.
More and more s’mores
- Dessert destination: The Stackery, Bryant Park (seasonal opening only), Midtown East, Manhattan.
- Short and sweet story: S’mores Chimney Cone ($15 + tax). If you have reached the end of this dessert review, you will be by now, in need of a complete sugar detox (and a fresh roll of dental floss). Wait, we have one more s’mores! For a few short weeks at the end of the year, the Stackery pops up in the centre of the Bryant Park Christmas Market, and offers a dessert that is commonplace during the Christmas Market season in Eastern Europe (look out for our upcoming dessert adventure on this). In this instance however, the Stackery has injected an over-the-top NYC edge into the dessert — completely crazy, screaming to be photographed, and utterly memorable…after about a 10 minute wait for it, so be patient! A cinnamon-dusted dough cone (more a doughnut-texture, than a churro) is filled with toasted marshmallow, swirled with Nutella, topped with ginger cheesecake whipped cream (we scooped this out), another marshmallow, graham crackers and the obligatory Hersey’s Chocolate mini-block. You will need 2-3 fellow dessert lovers to share this with you, and you will also probably need very strong apple cider or tea to wash it down. But, in our opinion, it is the only true way to welcome the Christmas season to NYC.