Fall-inspired campfire desserts are simple and family-friendly | VailDaily.com

Fall-inspired campfire desserts are simple and family-friendly

Jasmine Listou Bible
Special to the Daily
This campfire-ready apple crisp combines apples, oats, spices, almonds, maple syrup and caramels for a family-friendly sweet treat.
Jasmine Listou Bible | Special to the Daily |

School is back in session, temperatures are starting to dwindle and the feeling of fall is in the air. It’s time to embrace the last glorious weekends of summer and venture outside to play. Plan a hike, assemble your camping gear and prepare to spend a couple of nights under the stars and around the campfire. We’ve gathered four recipes to make your evenings even sweeter. These simple yet delicious desserts are fun for the whole family and can be cooked on the campfire during warmer months or on a charcoal grill in the cooler months.


(Serves 4)

2 large red apples

1 cup steel-cut oats

¼ cup flour

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

2 tablespoons crushed almonds

¼ tsp salt

4 tablespoons real maple syrup

2 tablespoons olive oil

6 caramel candies (individually wrapped)

Cooking tools

Cutting board

Sharp knife

Medium mixing bowl

Measuring spoons

Large spoon

Aluminum foil

Metal tongs

Pre-packing prep: Prepare the dry ingredient mix before you leave home to make the campsite cooking a bit easier. In a sealable jar, combine the oats, flour, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, crushed almonds and salt.

At the campsite: Tear two 12-inch-long sheets of aluminum foil. Place small amount of oil onto one side of each sheet to prevent sticking. Set aside. Core and slice the apples into thin slices. Place the sliced apples onto the oiled side of one of the foils sheets. Pour dry ingredients from your jar into mixing bowl. Add olive oil and maple syrup. Mix until combined and oats are moist. Pour mixture on top of apples. Unwrap caramel candies, and place on top of oat mixture. Place second sheet of foil over top, and fold edges in tightly to seal. To cook, find an optimal area. Either place the packet onto a grill grate placed over the coals of the fire, or directly onto a flat rock on the edge of the fire.

Be cautious to not put the packet into direct flames. Allow to cook 10 minutes, carefully take a peek inside, and then place back onto fire for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.


(Serves 4)

These doughnuts can be a delicious evening dessert or a perfect pairing with morning coffee. Using pre-made dough makes this treat quick and easy.

1 can refrigerated flaky biscuits

3 cups vegetable oil

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cinnamon

Cooking tools

Large cast iron pot

Metal tongs

Brown paper lunch bags

Soda bottle cap

Aluminum foil

Cooler to keep biscuit dough cool

Prepare a cooking area: Place a grill grate above a very hot section of the fire. Pour oil into pot. Place onto grill. Allow 15 minutes for oil to heat. Oil will be hot enough when a small drop of water is dropped into oil and it bubbles. While oil is heating, prepare sugar mixture. Place sugar and cinnamon in brown paper lunch bag, and shake to mix. Tear off 12-inch-long piece of foil. Unwrap biscuits from roll; set onto foil. Using the soda bottle cap, or a wine bottle twist cap, cut holes in each biscuit, creating a doughnut shape. Cook the doughnuts in two batches. Using tongs, carefully place each doughnut one at a time into oil. Cook 1 to 2 minutes on each side. When the doughnuts are cooked, remove from oil with tongs and carefully place into paper bag. Shake to coat in sugar mixture. Fry second set of doughnuts, place into bag, and coat with sugar.


(Serves 4)

4 bananas

1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut

½ cup crushed walnuts

Cooking tools

Aluminum foil

Cutting board

Sharp knife


Metal tongs

Using a sharp knife, cut a slit down the length of the banana. Using the back of a spoon, push the sides of the banana out, creating space. Fill the banana with your choice of toppings. Use them all, or pick your favorites. Wrap the banana in two layers of aluminum foil. Place wraps on grill grate or directly into the coals of the fire.

Allow to melt and roast for 5 to 10 minutes, carefully checking on them periodically to avoid overcooking.


S’mores are the epitome of campfire treat. While this classic dessert may be hard to beat, try these variations to change things up a bit. You never know, your new favorite may be waiting to be discovered. Pack a plethora of options, and have fun coming up with new creations.

Graham crackers

Chocolate candy bars


Mini pretzels

Peanut butter cups

Oreo cookies

Cooking tools

Long metal skewers for roasting marshmallows


2 graham crackers

1 square of chocolate

1 roasted marshmallow


2 mini pretzels

1 square of chocolate

1 roasted marshmallow

Using pretzels instead of graham crackers lends a salty, crunchy edge.

Peanut buttery goodness

2 graham crackers

1 peanut butter cup

1 roasted marshmallow

Cookies and cream

2 Oreo cookies

1 roasted marshmallow

This variation uses Oreo cookies instead of the grahams and gets the dose of chocolate from the cookie.

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