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Photo by Anne Braly / You don't need a fire pit to make s'mores when you have an air fryer in your kitchen.

I've used my air fryer for so many things, but s'mores are a special treat I've always relegated to my fire pit come summertime. No more, s'mores. There's just something about gooey marshmallows smothered with melting chocolate inside a crunchy graham cracker that's so simple, but so perfect.

I'd never thought about making one in my air fryer, though. I mean, they're a great machine for heating things up. So much better than a microwave and so much faster than a toaster oven. And I've cooked foods ordinarily fried in the frying pan with lots of bad-for-you oil. Air fryers, as they were intended to do, do a great job frying foods.

But now, I've learned they make s'mores so amazing you'll want more and more because within 3 minutes — maybe more, maybe less, depending on your air fryer — you'll have s'mores.

I experimented with a couple of recipes and times, and found for my air fryer, an older Black & Decker 2-liter capacity Purifry model, it took 2 minutes for the marshmallow to melt and 20 seconds for the chocolate. But one trick that you must do is to cut a small sliver off the bottom of the marshmallow before putting it on the graham cracker, then press gently to make sure the sticky part sticks and doesn't get blown away by the powerful fan inside the air fryer. Take my word for it, you'll have a sweet, sticky mess on your hand if you don't.

So without further adieu, and now that your mouth is watering, here's the recipe.

 

Air Fryer S'mores

2 graham crackers, halved

2 large marshmallows

1-2 chocolate bars (such as Hershey's)

Heat the air fryer to 350 degrees. Place 2 graham cracker halves in the air fryer basket. Snip the end off the marshmallows, and gently press the sticky side into the graham cracker half. Air-fry for 2 minutes, then check to see if the marshmallow has started to melt. If not, air-fry in 30-second increments. You want the marshmallow to retain its shape, but be soft and mushy to the touch. When it is, top each marshmallow with a piece of chocolate bar and air-fry for 20-30 seconds or until the chocolate has a sheen and has softened. Top with remaining graham cracker halves, and take a bite of yum!

 

24 HOURS IN THE BIG APPLE

It was a whirlwind trip, but I couldn't imagine being two hours from New York City and not walking the streets after so long. It'd been 14 months since I'd been there, and my what a difference it made. I was there in late January 2020, just weeks before the coronavirus shutdown. Everywhere you looked there were crowds, parties, so much going on. The streets and restaurants were packed from Hell's Kitchen to Lower Manhattan. No surprise.

Fast-forward a year, and the streets were almost bare in comparison on my recent return. I'd never been driven so fast through Manhattan. Many businesses were still boarded up, and my favorite hotel, The Omni at Berkshire Place on East 52nd Street, is closed for good.

Things aren't all doom and gloom, however. Restaurants have started to open again, though reservations are hard to get, particularly on weekends. We had dinner on a Saturday night at STK Steakhouse, and never before had I been told that we had 90 minutes to eat. But with seating limits due to COVID, and so many people wanting to eat out again, the restaurant needed to accommodate as many people as possible. The meal was amazing — the best Chilean sea bass I've ever had.

The next morning we popped into Starbucks in Times Square for a quick coffee, then walked over to Cafe Un Deux Trois, where I had quiche that put me smack dab back on the streets of Paris. If only. New York never ceases to offer amazing tastes. It was like visiting a long-lost friend.

Contact Anne Braly at abraly@timesfreepress.com or annebraly.com.

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