Make homemade marshmallows then turn them into adorably cute Starfish S’mores. This fun twist on a summer classic will add a touch of whimsy to any pool party or day at the beach.
When I did a Google search on S’mores, I was astonished at all of the ways you can use the basic combination of chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows.
I found s’mores pies, cakes, cupcakes, lollipops, bars, cake pops, cookies, caramel apples, truffles, ice cream, pizza, trifles, parfaits, breakfast pastries, pudding, fudge, whoopee pies, cereal treats, crepes, sundaes, cheesecakes, brownies, tarts, and moon pies. I even found recipes to make s’mores in a jar.
Fancy restaurants even make their own versions of s’mores using homemade graham crackers topped with chocolate ganache or mousse then topped with a beautiful piped meringue.
I challenged myself to find a new and exciting way to make s’mores and came up with these Starfish S’mores. Aren’t they cute?
To make my little starfish s’mores, I whipped up a batch of homemade marshmallows, cut them out with a star shaped cookie cutter (affiliate links,) dipped them in some melted chocolate, sprinkled on crushed graham crackers and added two silly little edible eyes. You don’t have to be an expert candy dipper to make these, as the more lumpy and messy they are, the better they look. You could use a starfish cookie cutter to make your treats, but I thought the plain star cutter worked just fine, and I had one on hand.
You will have lots of extra scrap pieces of marshmallow once you cut out all of your stars. I saved some to eat and dipped some in chocolate.
If you create a beach scene to display your starfish, you can use some of the chocolate dipped scraps as big rocks. I didn’t mind having scraps, but if you need a lot of starfish and don’t want any scraps, you can put your marshmallow in a large pastry bag and pipe out stars on a cornstarch/powdered sugar lined baking sheet. Just be sure to pipe a few layers of marshmallow, so your starfish are thick. I created my beach scene using brown sugar sprinkled with a bit of white sugar – a bit messy, but it looked great.
To make these Starfish S’mores you’ll need some equipment…
stand mixer or super heavy duty hand held mixersmall saucepan with lidcandy thermometer9″ x 13″ panrubber spatula and/or an offset spatulastar cookie cutter (I used the 3″ cutter)
dipping fork or kitchen fork
parchment paper or wax paper
baking sheet or cutting board
Make marshmallows (recipe adapted from Alton Brown’s Good Eats) OR use click on this link to see how to make this recipe using store bought marshmallows
Pour 1/2 cup of water into the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle gelatin over top of water and allow to soften for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, pour remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt into a small saucepan. Stir just to combine ingredients. Cover saucepan, place over medium heat, and cook for 4 minutes.
Remove lid, and clip the candy thermometer onto the side of the pan. Continue to cook, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 240 degrees Fahrenheit (about 7-8 minutes.) Be very careful not to touch or spill any of this hot syrup on your skin – it will burn badly!
Place the whisk attachment on your stand mixer. Turn the stand mixer onto low speed. Very carefully and slowly pour the hot sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the softened gelatin. Once all of the sugar syrup is in the bowl, increase the mixer speed to high. Whip until the marshmallow becomes very thick and cools to a lukewarm temperature, about 12-15 minutes. Add the vanilla and whip just to combine.
While the marshmallow is whipping, prepare your pan. Butter (or spray with non-stick spray) the bottom and sides of a 9″ x 13″ pan. Combine the powdered sugar and cornstarch in a bowl. Sprinkle evenly over the bottom and sides of the pan. Tap pan to remove excess. Save remaining mixture for later.
Butter or spray a rubber spatula and use it to remove the marshmallow from the bowl. Spread the marshmallow evenly in the pan. Use a buttered offset spatula to smooth the surface.
Dust the top of the marshmallow with enough of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover. Cover bowl of powdered mixture for later use. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
Set a large cutting board on top of the pan of marshmallows. Turn both the board and pan upside down. The marshmallow should fall right out of the pan onto the board. If it doesn’t, help it along.
Dust a star shaped cookie cutter with some of the powdered sugar/cornstarch mixture. Press the cookie cutter into the marshmallow, remove, and press marshmallow out. Dust cutter again, and continue to cut stars until you can’t cut any more.
As you can see, you will have a lot of marshmallow scraps. Either dust them with more powdered sugar/cornstarch or dip them in any leftover chocolate (be sure to leave some chocolate to attach your candy eyes.)
Pour chopped chocolate into a microwave safe bowl. Heat on high power for 30 seconds. Stir. Heat on high power for 20 seconds. Stir vigorously. Heat on high power for 15 seconds. Stir vigorously. If not melted, continue to heat for 10 second increments, stirring after each, until melted. For more detailed melting instructions, read my chocolate making tutorial.
NOTE: you don’t need to temper this chocolate because the graham crackers will completely coat the chocolate, therefore you can use good quality pure chocolate for this recipe. You can, if you prefer, use confectionery coating/candy melts. You do need to make sure, however, your melted chocolate is between 90 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit, so you don’t melt your marshmallows.
Pour graham cracker crumbs into a shallow dish.
Place one marshmallow star in the melted chocolate. Use a fork to press the marshmallow into the chocolate, covering the top and all sides of the star.
Place the fork on the underside of the marshmallow and use it to lift the marshmallow out of the chocolate. Shake the marshmallow to allow any excess chocolate to fall off.
Flop the marshmallow over into the bowl of graham cracker crumbs. Remove fork.
Sprinkle and push the crumbs over and up against the marshmallow star. Completely cover the star with crumbs and allow to dry for 1-2 minutes in the crumbs. Remove from crumbs and set on a parchment paper lined baking sheet or cutting board.
I originally added some chocolate to the candy eyes and pressed them onto the starfish. Most stayed in place, but a few fell off. So, although this method is pictured, I would suggest you do things as mentioned below.
Use a toothpick to dig out small circles of the graham cracker crumbs where the eyes will be on each starfish. Add a dab of chocolate to the holes and place an eye on top. Once I did this, none of the eyes fell off.
Store your marshmallow starfish in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Package individual starfish in cellophane bags to give as party favors or gifts.
- 1-2 teaspoons butter or non-stick cooking spray
- 1/3 cup powdered (confectioners) sugar
- 1/4 cup corn starch
- 1 cup water, divided
- 3 packages unflavored gelatin (2 1/2 tablespoons)
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 50 squares of graham crackers crushed into fine crumbs
- 16 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted
- 24 candy eyes
- Grease the bottom and sides of a 9" x 13" with butter or cooking spray.
- Combine the powdered sugar and corn starch and dust the inside of the pan.
- Sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup of water in the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Let sit 5 minutes.
- Stir together remaining water, sugar, corn syrup and salt in a small saucepan set over medium heat.
- Cook, covered for 4 minutes.
- Remove lid and cook, without stirring until the mixture reaches 240 degrees Fahrenheit (about 7-8 minutes.)
- Slowly pour hot liquid into the gelatin with the mixer turned on low speed.
- Increase mixer speed to high and whip until the marshmallow becomes very thick and cools to a lukewarm temperature, about 12-15 minutes.
- Add the vanilla and whip just to combine.
- Spread the marshmallow into an even layer in the pan.
- Dust top with powdered sugar/corn starch.
- Let cool for 4 hours.
- Turn out onto a cutting board, cut into star shapes.
- Dip in melted chocolate and coat in crushed graham crackers.
- Decorate with two candy eyes.
If you are hosting a pool party or having a fun day at the beach, you might also like to make some of these other fun summer treats and food crafts…
Veggie Pizza Fish, Fruit Pizza Beach Ball, Goldfish Marshmallow, Peanut Butter Fudge Starfish
S’mores Starfish (made using store bought marshmallows)
Ice Cream Cone Goldfish, Rice Krispie Treat Sand Castle, Beach Ball Pie
If you recreate these Starfish S’mores with Homemade Marshmallows
be sure to link to this tutorial and send a picture to firstname.lastname@example.org,
so I can share it in my Readers’ Gallery.