Wednesday, October 9, 2013

S'mores Bars

The first (and only) s'more I ate this whole summer was by the fire in the house Jamie rented a few weekends ago when he proposed to me

There's nothing quite like sitting by a crackling fire with the person you love most in the world.  Especially when that person asks you to spend the rest of your life with him.  It took my breath away.

I have never been one to stick marshmallows directly into the fire and quickly char them (like my sister was known to do when we were kids).  A perfectly toasted marshmallow takes more patience than that, and I'd look for the hottest bed of coals where I could gradually brown my marshmallow all around, until it was puffed and golden outside, with a creamy, melted center.

Last fall during a family get-together, my brother introduced me to his favorite way to eat s'mores - with chocolate chip cookies instead of graham crackers.  Those were fantastic, too, to say the least.

After our engagement weekend, with leftover marshmallows and graham crackers sitting in the cupboard, I decided to bake them into a cookie bar.  My first pan was a little deceptive, as it really just looked like a chocolate chip cookie bar.  The crumbled graham crackers and marshmallows seemed to just disappear into the cookie batter, and the s'mores essence was hard to detect, although the cookies tasted wonderful.

But I wanted them to look and taste like a s'more, so this time I made a crumbly, buttery salted shortbread dough, with plenty of graham cracker crumbs mixed in with the flour.  I layered fluffy marshmallow cream over the crust, then bittersweet chocolate chips, before topping it off with the rest of the shortbread.

They baked so beautifully, so perfectly gooey, so reminiscent of a s'more with the chocolate melting over a creamy marshmallow, sandwiched between buttery graham crackers.  

These may be my new favorite cookie bar ever.

One Year Ago:   Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes
Two Years AgoEgg in the Bread

Gooey S'mores Bars

  • 1 1/2 cups finely crushed graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons coarse Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
  • 1 jar (13 ounces) marshmallow cream
  • 2 cups semi-sweet/bittersweet chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate bars)

Preheat the oven to 350 and spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick spray.

In your food processor, combine the graham cracker crumbs, 1 1/2 cups flour, both sugars and salt.  Add the butter, a few pieces at a time, and process until moist and crumbly.  Measure out 2 cups of the crumb mixture and toss with the remaining 1/4 cup flour; this will be your topping.  Set the topping in the refrigerator.

Press the remainder of the crumbs firmly against the bottom of the pan.  Bake for 15 minutes.

Scoop the marshmallow cream onto the hot crust and spread out to the edges (the easiest way to spread it out is to wet your hands and spread it out with your hands; marshmallow cream will not stick to wet hands).  Sprinkle the chocolate over the marshmallow cream.  Sprinkle the reserved topping over the chocolate.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown.  If the marshmallow cream has puffed up anywhere, just press it back down with a spoon.

Let cool for several hours, then serve warm.

Yields about 35-40 bars.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen

S'mores Cookie Bars

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (or chopped Hershey bars)
  • 1 cup crumbled graham crackers
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Preheat the oven to 350 and spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick spray.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar for 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy, scraping the bowl down a few times.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking soda.  Add by spoonfuls to the dough, mixing just until moistened.  Add the chocolate chips, graham crackers and marshmallows (reserving a few of each to sprinkle over the top, if you like), and the milk.  Batter will be very thick and sticky.

Grease your hands and pat the dough evenly into the pan.  Bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown and lightly puffed.  Cool on a wire rack.

Yields about 35-40 cookie bars.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen

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