I wanted to make something that embodied summer for our block party this past weekend. S’mores were ideal, but impractical. Unless I converted one of the many potholes in our road into a firepit for roasting marshmallows (Boy Scout-clever, but probably highly toxic), I had to come up with an alternative. Lazy Chef Me loves bar cookies for big events, because it gets a lot of cooking all done at once. I quickly found a nice recipe on About.com that seemed to do what I want.
I, however, didn’t do what the recipe wanted and made a mistake. I put aside a cup of the dry mixture of graham crackers, sugar and flour instead of mixing it all in with the eggs and butter. But what a mistake! The bottom layer, instead of being a dense graham-cracker flavored brownie, turned into a luscious, soft caramel cookie with hints of graham cracker. I turned the leftover mixture into a crumble topping, which added a nice crunch, the perfect foil to the chocolate-marshmallow goo that was underneath. (Yesterday I tried the recipe as it was written, and my tasting team of Husband, Son, Daughter and AuPair vastly preferred Mistake S’mores.)
Take my advice: don’t bother risking second-degree burns and blood-thirsty mosquitoes for the sake of s’mores, when you can make s’mores bar cookies from the comfort of your own air-conditioned kitchen.
What if this were a bed and you could sleep on it?
No Mistake S’Mores Bars
What You’ll Need:
- 18 graham crackers, crushed into crumbs (about 3 cups worth)
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 12 ounces milk chocolate bars
- 3 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
- 2 Tbsp softened butter
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
What To Do:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter a 13 x 9-inch pan and then line it with one long piece of parchment paper that overhangs the edge of the pan. Repeat this in the other direction. This is to create a sling, that will allow you to lift the s’mores out of the pan more easily.
In a medium bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, flour and salt. Set aside one cup of this mixture in a separate small bowl–this will now be known as the crumb topping mixture, so you won’t get confused in the rest of the recipe.
In another bowl, beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, and mix until just blended. Add the graham cracker-flour combination (not the crumb topping mixture!) and stir until well blended. Press this mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.
Break up the chocolate bars and distribute them evenly over the crust. Top with the mini marshmallows.
Make the crumb topping: Add the 2 Tbsp softened butter and the additional 1/3 cup of brown sugar to the one cup of topping mixture you set aside earlier. Mix this together with your fingers to make a well-blended mixture that clumps together. Crumble the mixture over the pan.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the marshmallows are golden brown. Remove to a cooling rack. After 10 minutes, cut the s’mores into bars and then let cool completely (This extra step will make cutting them later much, much easier.)
I used Hershey’s chocolate for real old-time s’mores taste. Then I read the ingredient label and was so dismayed to find they have an ingredient that is called merely “PGPB,” which turns out to be a cheap substitute for cocoa butter made from soybean oil. Next time I’ll be using Ghiradelli or similar. If you want real s’mores taste however, you’ll have to use Hershey’s…Shall we all write letters and complain? Who’s with me?