S'more Bars


 
When I was younger, there was nothing I looked forward to more than the Summer. Besides the fact that it meant three months without school, Summer also meant warm weather, lazy days at the beach in Narragansett, RI, and occasionally, if I were lucky enough, the release of a new Harry Potter book to devour while at aforementioned beach (pure bliss!) Me being me of course, the season was/is also linked to certain foods -- grilled corn on the cob, pasta with basil pesto, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and last but definitely not least, s'mores

Ahh, s'mores. For those of you who don't know what a s'more is, I am first of all very sorry that you have been deprived this treat, because there are few other things as delicious, easy to make, and genius as the s'more. Essentially you need only sandwich a piece of milk chocolate and a toasted marshmallow in between two graham crackers, wait for the chocolate to melt a little, and ta da -- you have a s'more. (This is usually where the Italian/non American I'm describing these to says something like "That sounds too sweet!" or "Isn't that heavy?!" and the answer to both of those questions is yes, in the best of ways).

S'mores are traditionally eaten around a campfire where the marshmallow is toasted over the fire, but when I was little I always made these by heating the marshmallow and chocolate in the microwave. It was probably one of the first "recipes" I ever made, and I remember there was nothing better than making s'mores with my friends after a long day at the beach, preferably consumed in front of an episode of Gilmore Girls. 

If you ever wanted to make s'mores for a crowd, this dessert is essentially one big s'more baked in a pan, but made even a little more delicious because of the buttery, brown sugary crust. I was expecting these to be good but can confirm that they were over the top good (just ask my colleagues who enjoyed these in the office today,) and would be perfect for a 4th of July party or any summer get together. Enjoy!

S'MORE BARS

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup of graham cracker crumbs
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large (around 4 oz. each) milk chocolate bars
1 (7 oz.) jar marshmallow creme (otherwise known as Fluff)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 8 by 8-inch baking dish and set aside.

In a mixing bowl whisk together the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda and salt until graham cracker crumbs are evenly distributed, set aside. If you can't find graham crackers where you are (like I couldn't) you can also substitute digestive biscuits which work fine.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or using electric beaters, blend together the butter, and two sugars together until creamy. Mix in the egg and vanilla extract. With the mixer set on low speed, slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until combined.

Divide the dough in half and press one half of the dough into an even layer in the bottom of prepared baking dish. Place the chocolate side by side over dough layer (you might not used all of the chocolate -- feel free to eat the squares that don't fit). Top the chocolate with a generous layer of marshmallow creme, spreading evenly. Note that the recipe says a 7 oz jar but I didn't end up using that much.

Take about tablespoons of the remaining dough and flatten it into small rectangles, layering them side by side over the marshmallow creme so that all of the creme is covered.

Bake the S'more Bars for 27-30 minutes, or until the top is lightly golden brown. Cool the bars completely before cutting into squares -- as hard as it is to wait to cut these, they'll be too messy to cut and eat if you cut them while still hot. Makes 10-12 squares.

Slightly Adapted from Cooking Classy








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