Camp Desserts: Beyond S’mores

S’mores are the go-to dessert for most campers. But if you’re ready to try something different, there are tons of easy and scrumptious desserts you can make in the woods.

S’mores are a favorite, but switch it up by adding baked apples.

One of our favorites is Bananas Foster in Foil Packets. Traditionally, the dessert is doused in rum and then ignited, but we keep it simple. We’ve got plenty of pyrotechnic action with the campfire. You can also sauté the bananas on your camp stove if you don’t (or can’t) have a campfire.  Bananas Foster is customarily served with vanilla ice cream. That’s a little tougher in camp, but doable.

Making ice cream in the woods requires ball handling skills but doesn’t require electricity.

We have an ice cream ball that you allows you to make ice cream without electricity. You put rock salt and ice in one end and an ice cream mixture (say heavy cream, sugar and vanilla) in the other end and then roll the ball around for about a half an hour, and voila, ice cream! (There’s a science lesson here about the impact of salt on freezing temperature.)  The ice cream comes out a little soupy, like slightly melted soft-serve. My kids love the novelty of making their own ice cream, especially when the contraption looks like a space age soccer ball.

Camp ice cream is a little soupy, like extra-soft soft serve. But you’re eating homemade ice cream while camping, so that’s cool.

Another camp dessert favorite for us is baked apples. We bake the apples in foil packets on the campfire’s hot coals. Sometimes we’ll sub the apples for chocolate in s’mores. We call them Apple Pie s’mores (baked apples and roasted marshmallows sandwiched between two graham crackers). It’s delish.

Apples, ready to go into the campfire.

We’ve also done crustless peach pies (aka, baked peaches) while camping. It’s the same approach as the baked apples (above), but the peaches go a bit quicker in the fire.

Baking is a challenge when you’re camping, but a pie iron can get you there.  My husband loves to make cinnamon buns for dessert by cooking them inside a pie iron. It’s a little tricky because the bake time totally depends on how hot the campfire coals are. Invariably you’ll burn the first one before you get the bake time dialed in.

Read on for campfire recipes for Bananas Foster, Baked Apples, Baked Peaches, and Cinnamon Buns.

Bananas Foster

Serves 4

Ingredients

• 4 bananas
•2 tablespoons of butter
• 4 tablespoons brown sugar
• ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
• ½ teaspoon vanilla
• Heavy-duty aluminum foil

Directions

1.       At home, combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a small baggie.

2.       At camp, lay out four squares of heavy-duty foil.

3.       Peel bananas and slice lengthwise, setting each banana on a piece of foil.

4.       Dab each banana slice with butter, then sprinkle with the cinnamon-and-brown-sugar mixture. Dribble a little vanilla on each.

5.       Fold the foil to create airtight packets, but leave a bit of airspace around each banana, so the packets function like small ovens.

6.       Let the campfire burn down to hot coals. Carefully set the banana packets into the fire and let them cook for around 5 minutes, longer if the fire’s not too hot.

7.       Use tongs to remove the packets from the fire, and watch out for escaping steam when you open them.

 

Baked Apples

Ingredients

·   2 Granny Smith apples

·   2 tablespoons of butter

·   4 tablespoons brown sugar

·   ½ teaspoon cinnamon

·   Heavy-duty aluminum foil

Directions

1.       At home, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small plastic baggie.

2.       At camp, peel, core, and slice the apples into half-inch wedges.

3.       Place the slices on a large square of foil and sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mix. Wrap the foil into an airtight packet.

4.       Once the fire has burned down, place the foil pack on hot coals and cook for 5–10 minutes. (Cook time varies depending on the temp of the coals.

 Turn the baked apples into Apple Pie S’mores:

5.       Place a few cooked apple slices on a graham cracker square.

6.       Roast a marshmallow.

7.       Set the roasted marshmallow on the apples, top with second graham cracker square, and gently squeeze while removing roasting stick.

Apple pie s’mores, just like your grandmother never made them.

Baked Peaches

Ingredients

·   2 Peaches

·   2 tablespoons brown sugar

·   1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

·   Heavy-duty aluminum foil

Directions

1.       At home, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small plastic baggie.

2.       At camp, slice the peaches in half or in wedges. Remove the pit.

3.       Place the peaches on a large square of foil and sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mix. Wrap the foil into an airtight packet.

4.       Once the fire has burned down, place the foil pack on hot coals and cook for 3-10 minutes (cook time varies depending on the temp of the coals).

Cinnamon Buns in a Pie iron

Ingredients

·       Vegetable oil

·       Package of cinnamon buns with frosting

·       Pie Iron

 

Directions

1.       Oil or butter the pie iron

2.       Place a cinnamon bun in the pie iron.

3.        Place pie iron in the hot coals of the campfire and cook till done. You’ll need to check often as the time it takes to cook the cinnamon bun varies greatly depending on the heat of your coals.

5.       Drizzle on the frosting

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