Memorial Day (and, for those of us north of the border, May 2-4 weekend) has come and gone, which means one thing… it’s officially unofficially Summer! And after that winter, everyone’s favourite season is even more exciting than normal.
Beaches, barbecues, steamy long days and gorgeous warm nights– Summer has a lot to offer. And while we now know we can acceptably wear white all year-round, one of my favourite parts of summer– S’mores— seem to only show up between Memorial Day and Labour Day.
And even when they do show up, its only on the rare occasion that you have a campfire! Big fat bummer– s’mores are way, way too good to only have a few times a year…. which is exactly why my No Campfire Required S’mores Bars are great.
Let’s be upfront about this: these are not healthy. They are most definitely an indulgence, but they’re also most definitely worth an indulgence. Milk chocolate and vanilla marshmallow cream sandwiched between a graham cracker/brown sugar cookie hybrid? It’s worth the extra run. They’re also a really fun treat to bring to any summer get-together, or to surprise your kids with when marshmallow roasting is definitely not on the agenda. Plus they keep unbelievably well, and pack a lot easier than a traditional s’more. Of course, the old standard will always occupy a special place in my heart… but these bars give ’em a run for their money.
- 1/2 cup butter, slightly softened
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (crumbling your own is easy in a blender/food processor)
- 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 large high quality milk chocolate bars (I went with Cadbury's)
- 2 cups marshmallow cream (you can get it at the store, but I HIGHLY recommend making your own-- its easier, cheaper, much tastier, & vegetarian-friendly)
- Preheat your oven to 350F/175C and thoroughly grease a square baking tin (either 8x8 or 9x11, depending on how thick you want your bars to be).
- In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
- Add egg and vanilla, mix thoroughly.
- Add flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix well.
- Finally, add graham cracker crumbs. If you're mixing by hand, it might get a bit tricky here (I ended up actually using my hands).
- Roughly divide your dough in half. Smoosh one half of the dough into an even (or even-ish, anyway) layer on the bottom of your pan.
- Place chocolate bars on top of the dough. I broke them into squares for cutting ease, but it isn't required-- just make sure not to layer them too thick, or your bars will be hard to eat.
- Layer marshmallow fluff on top of chocolate. This stuff is sticky and a complete pain to work with-- be sure to use a wet spatula (way less likely to stick), and try piping it out of a ziplock bag to avoid getting messy hands.
- Layer the remaining half of the dough on top of the marshmallow fluff, and bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown.
- I know it's hard, I know it's tempting, but wait until they're at least room temperature to cut them into bars. You'll thank me later.
- I've served these warm, room temperature, and cold, and they're good no matter what. I'll say, though, that warm has the added benefit of melty chocolate, which is a real bonus.
- If you're interested in making your own marshmallow cream, the recipe I used is here: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/homemade-marshmallow-creme/ I added more vanilla, but kept it the same otherwise, and it worked out great.
My final word of advice is to keep these little gems in the fridge to avoid any unforeseen meltyness on hot days. Heat ’em for about 30 seconds in the microwave, and you’ve got yourself one tasty summer dessert.