Max and Eli Sussman's S'mores with Maple-Bourbon Marshmallows

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S'mores with Maple-Bourbon Marshmallows [Photograph: Alex Farnum]

Marshmallows are one of the most rewarding confections to make at home. The process is easy once you get over the fear of cooking sugar, and the transformation of syrup to pillowy treat is incredible to watch every time.

Throw in some bourbon and maple syrup as Max and Eli Sussman suggest in This is a Cookbook, and you've got an even better adult-style treat. The brothers take their marshmallows one step further by incorporating them into a year-round take on s'mores (with ganache instead of Hershey's).

These are no girl-scout dessert. They're boozy, sweet, and just look at the sheer size.

Why I picked this recipe: I love making marshmallows and equally love s'mores. This was a must-make in my book.

What worked: I'd never made marshmallows sans corn syrup and the maple syrup substitute here worked surprisingly well. The flavor of the bourbon and maple was subtle but delightful in the final 'mallows, and the presentation really couldn't be beat.

What didn't: The marshmallows are a teensy bit on the soft-side, but that's par for the course when you're stirring in extra booze at the end. In addition, the recipe doesn't specify a speed for beating the marshmallows; I had the best luck beating on the highest speed of my stand mixer.

Suggested tweaks: You could certainly play with flavoring the ganache (make it doubly-boozy with extra bourbon!) and switch up boozy additions at will. I'd also like to try going totally DIY with homemade graham crackers.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of This is a Cookbook to give away.

About the author: Kate Williams is a freelance writer out of Berkeley, CA. She is a contributor to The Oxford American and blogs at cookingwolves.wordpress.com.

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