Too Hot for A Campfire? Try S’mores Bars!

Lordy.  It’s been FIVE months since my last post?  I am surprised I get any hits at all, and thank goodness for search engines!

So I’m back…again because I’m already sick of the campaigns–and I’m a native Washingtonian (DC, that is).  When I was a kid, my ardently Democratic parents hauled out their collection of donkeys, signaling the start of the campaigns.  The presidential election was a big deal to us; the capital of the free world did not yet have Congressional representation!  The DC license plates read “Taxation Without Representation.”

I digress.  Again.  Call me Dory.

Let’s talk about S’mores.  If you have never had the experience of toasting marshmallows skewered on a branch over an open fire in the woods or even today’s sanitized, non-camping equivalent of using fire pits and manufactured “marshmallow” sticks, I feel bad for you.  Go get a fire pit, a box of graham crackers, a couple of Hershey bars, bag of marshmallows and sticks.  Toasting marshmallows is a competition in our family– finding the best coals in the fire, how often to turn the marshmallow on its spit, praying that some stray ember doesn’t cause your project to go up in flames.  Nothing is more satisfying than that little graham cracker sandwich stuffed with gooey toasted marshmallow and gently melting milk chocolate!

With the rising heat wave across our country, who wants to light a fire and stand around that kind of heat?  Ken, who is still obsessed with fire at 16, loves s’mores so much that I searched for a baked version.  I tested a recipe I found online here, and modified it slightly.

It’s a winner.  I’ve made these for bake sales, music recitals and potlucks.  They disappear.  Instantly.

Don’t worry too much about the amounts of chocolate or marshmallow fluff.  You want enough chocolate to cover the graham cracker crust and enough fluff to cover the chocolate.  I buy one of the 6-bar packs of Hershey bars; they work great and you’ll have a bar leftover to share (or not).

S’mores Bars (adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything blog)

Dough:

  • 1/2 c butter (1 stick), room temperature
  • 1/3 c light brown sugar
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 1 extra large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 c AP flour
  • 1 c graham cracker crumbs (about 9-12 full crackers)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Topping:

  • 5 regular Hershey bars (milk chocolate, 1.55 oz bars)
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups marshmallow cream (e.g., Fluff)

Here’s what you need:

IMG_5177

All available at the grocery store!

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Coat an 8-in square baking pan with cooking spray. Unwrap the chocolate bars and set aside on a plate.

Place graham crackers in a large zip lock bag.  Seal and pound with a rolling pin or other heavy object to pulverize crackers into fine crumbs.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

Cream butter, brown and white sugar until light and fluffy in a bowl with a hand mixer.  Add egg and vanilla, beat until fully blended.

Add the flour-graham mixture to the butter mixture and mix by hand.  You can use the mixer, but I think the dough texture is better if you stir it together by hand.

The dough should be soft, but hold together.  Roughly divide dough in half, and place one half into the greased baking pan.

Flour your hands and press one half of the dough in the baking pan.  Make sure the dough is pushed into the corners and touches the sides of the pan.  Re-flour your hands as needed.  (I keep a measuring cup of flour on the counter).

Fit the Hershey bars over the dough, breaking the bars into pieces as needed.  I place the bars face-down, slightly pressing them into the dough, because I think the marshmallow cream spreads more easily on the smooth side.

IMG_5206

Fit the pieces just like a jigsaw puzzle.

Place the marshmallow fluff on top of the chocolate bars in the center of the pan.  Using an off-set spatula, gently spread the fluff.  Go slowly and try to fill any cracks between the bars/pieces, then continue to the corners and sides.

Take the remaining half of the dough, and with floured hands, pull off a bit of dough, flatten it to about 1/4 inch, then place over the marshmallow fluff.  Keep pulling off bits of dough, pressing them flat and fitting them over the fluff.  (I guess you could be more mathematically precise, but I am happy with the free-form tiles and cracks).

Bake for 25 to 35 minutes.  The top will be golden brown, possibly spotted with shiny melted fluff that has oozed out between the cracks of dough.  Let cool completely before cutting into bars– 9 or 18, depending on your crowd.  (The teens will definitely eat a large square).  Store at room temperature or in the fridge (but let them come to room temperature before serving).

s'more bar

DANGER, Will Robinson!

For my fave cellist and all-around stellar senior, Megan!

Ken will miss you and the rest of the original DJO Orchesquad.

 

 

 

 

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1 Comment

Filed under Baked Goods, Cookies and Bars, Desserts, Family, Food, Friends

One response to “Too Hot for A Campfire? Try S’mores Bars!

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