Don’t just stand there at the edge of my fingertips. Get in my mouth.
A dense chocolate fudge brownie sandwiched between buttery graham crumbs and a pillow of gooey toasted marshmallow. Shorthand: Legalized crack.
I only wish you were inside my head to hear the monologue that goes on when I decide to bake. It usually starts as a really strong conviction: I need to bake. I bake therefore I am. Really bold like that. Then it turns to a frantic search through my mental rolodex to see whose birthday is coming up. When I realize that the closest one is my friend Melissa from 8th grade, I realize that ten years is slightly too long to show up at her doorstep with a cake. For the sake of maintaining boundaries. My mind switches to holidays. Damn U.S. doesn’t have any right now. What about Canada? They’ve always got something festive going on, don’t they? What’s the deal with Boxing Day? Anything that might call for layer cake? Inevitably when the birthday/holiday plan flops, I regain composure and decide baking just for the sake of baking is a good enough reason to check into the sugar motel for an extended stay. Room for one. Stock the mini-bar.
The next step is deciding what to bake. This task feels similar to walking cross country. Not gonna happen. In fact, I almost need a cookie just to think about which type of cookie to bake. To cope.
Oreo in hand, I faintly remember a Smitten Kitchen recipe I saw sometime within the last few months. Wasn’t there a key lime custard meringue-ish tart or something? Hmm. Oooo what about that German chocolate cake that Dave Lebovitz baked? Too much? Yeah. Go simpler. Six-tiered wedding cake? Focus. We’re trying to be practical here.
I could really use another cookie. Which reminds me…chocolate. Fudge. Brownies. With graham crackers. Crumbled with butter. Oh and marshmallow. Fluff? No the real kind. Please? No, but we can use the baby mallows. And you can eat sixteen of them while we’re baking. Seventeen? Don’t push it.
So a S’More is born. I remember camping. I remember how much I dislike camping. Specifically, big moths and having to walk what feels like nine miles to pee during the night. Did I mention big moths? Sorry. Back to the s’more. That was the redeeming part of sleeping in tents in the wilderness, wasn’t it? The thing that made the mosquito bites bearable. Or at least the only time when I wasn’t asking which day we were heading home again.
I should really give camping another go. Maybe I like it now at age 25. But for today let’s stick to what we know and love: marshmallows and open flames. Preferably together. S’Mores.
And wouldn’t you know, seventeen lucky little marshmallows later…this brown beauty is gracing my palm.
S’Mores Bars (adapted from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody)
Graham Cracker Crust
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (15 cracker sheets)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
Fudge Brownie Filling: (recipe from Baker’s One Bowl Brownies)
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
Toasted Marshmallow Topping:
- 4 cups (packed) miniature marshmallows
Preheat the oven to 350°. First, make the graham cracker crust. The best way to crush your graham crackers into a fine grind is by using your food processor. I, however, made these treats at 7am and therefore didn’t want to wake the dead.
So I consulted a hammer. Thought twice. Not quite the noise reducer I was looking for.
Solution? Place crackers in a large bag (preferably sealable) and stomp away. Sanitary? Only if you’re wearing your favorite purple socks.
Combine the cracker crumbs with the sugar in a large bowl.
Pour in melted butter. Mix well- until all crumbs are uniformly coated in butter.
You should be able to squeeze the crumbs with your hand and have them stick together momentarily, then crumble.
Line a 13×9″ pan with foil, allowing for an overhang for easy removal, and coat it with nonstick cooking spray.
Set the crust aside. Chop your chocolate so that it melts more evenly.
Place the chocolate and the butter in a large bowl. Microwave for 2 minutes on high heat, until the butter is melted. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted.
Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until well combined, about 1 minute.
Turn on your oven’s broiler. Spread the marshmallows over the cooled brownies.
Broil for 1-2 minutes, or until the marshmallows begin to brown. Watch them carefully because once they begin to brown, they can burn very quickly.
Let the pan cool. Lift the foil overhang to remove the bars from the pan. Peel down the foil sides. Cut into squares using a sharp knife. For a clean edge, wipe the knife down after each slice with a damp towel.