This past week was teacher conferences. Our PTO provides dinner for the staff both nights of conferences, knowing that they’re constantly running. They absolutely appreciate it, and they adore that we make everything homemade for them rather than catering it. I signed up to bring a dessert and wanted to bring something creative. There are always a ton of brownies and cakes. So I decided to make s’mores bars.
I had no idea how I was going to do it, but I had marshmallows, chocolate, and tons of graham crackers in my house, so there had to be a way, right? I finally decided to do a takeoff of a shortbread bar recipe, and my luck held – it worked.
I brought a sample to a friend before conferences, and she ate the whole thing in one sitting. After conferences, there were no leftovers even though desserts are usually overboard. I made them again to bring to the Chicago Food Swap this past weekend. My husband requested that I just trade with myself. And they went over nicely at the food swap, too. Even Mister Man liked them. This was his reaction to them after he’d finished his sample.
3/4 c butter at room temperature
2/3 c sugar
1 egg at room temperature
1 t vanilla
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
20 graham crackers
1/2 c flour
1 1/2 c chocolate chips
20-25 large marshmallows
Crush your graham crackers. I love pulsing them in my blender, because it’s easy and not messy. I’ve found that the best way is to break the graham crackers in their quarters and do half, pulsing until they’re just about crushed, then adding the other half and proceeding the same way. Otherwise, that large bag and a rolling pin or can works well, too – and helps get rid of frustration.
Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. It doesn’t get light and fluffy if the butter is cold, so make sure it’s at room temperature. Add the egg and vanilla and beat again. until well combined. Add the baking powder and mix once again.
Add the graham crackers and flour and stir until just combined. Grease a 9×13 pan and put the graham cracker mixture into the pan, reserving around a cup or a little more for a topping. This is a press with your fingers exercise. I tried to be dainty and use my spatula, but it didn’t work.
Pour the chocolate chips over the crust into a nice, even layer. You can use chocolate bars (it takes about 7), but the chips taste better and are cheaper. The marshmallows are the next layer. Take the marshmallow in your fingertips and use your other fingertips to twist and pull it apart so you have two non-smushed marshmallow halves. Place the halves sticky side down in rows over the chocolate. I did five halves per row, but do what works for you. Crumble the last of the graham cracker mixture over top that, and voila!
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. Let them cool fully before cutting. By using the large marshmallows instead of mini-marshmallows, you’ve given yourself room to cut without your knife getting stuck in marshmallow and the topping pulling off. See? I’m thinking!
Once they’re ready, you can serve them at room temperature and store them in a sealed container for three or so days. If they last that long….
|Mister Man decided he needed a fork to eat these. Smart kid.|