Sunday, September 27, 2009
Today I bring you one of my favorite desserts - s'mores - in bar form! Traditional s'mores are an irresistible campsite love affair between roasted marshmallow and gooey milk chocolate, all enveloped by crunchy graham crackers. In my honest opinion, it's an essential part of the camping experience. Making them is an adventure. I always look away for a second when the marshmallow's over the fire and suddenly it's aflame! It's all good though 'cause the black ones are still yummy. By the end of the night, there's inevitably marshmallow goo on my hands, in my hair, and of course in my tummy.
Now I wholeheartedly believe that messier foods are often the most delicious. But no one wants chocolate smears on their documents, so baking for the office called for something a bit more sophisticated. These bars really fit the bill. Try 'em out for a satisfying reinterpretation of the classic that fills your craving for those s'more flavors while keeping stickiness to a minimum. Nothing trumps the original though, so especially if you've never tried a real s'more, get ye to a campsite ASAP!
Now for a quick update about my "real" world. Lord knows I sound like a broken record when I mention how busy work is, but I jest not that all but a handful of my waking hours have been spent at the office for the last few weeks. And it'll only get worse with my 4-6 week trial starting early November. Posting will be less frequent, but I'll try to make each one special. This seems like a good time to say a big THANK YOU to my lovely readers and followers so far! To show my appreciation for having you in my life, stay tuned for a little giveaway action next month.
S'more Bars [Printable Recipe]
Adapted from Hershey's via Baking Bites
Makes 16 2" squares
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp unsulphured molasses
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
(from about 8-9 graham cracker sheets broken down in a food processor)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 king-sized or 4 regular-sized milk chocolate bars
1 1/2 cups marshmallow fluff (Recipe Below)
XIAOLU'S NOTES: You can certainly use store-bought marshmallow fluff but the homemade recipe below is very simple, cheap, and superior in flavor. I also couldn't stand the idea of washing all 273 parts of the food processor just to make cracker crumbs, so I did it the old-fashioned way. Why yes, ziplocs are practically 19th century =p. Lastly, I can't read apparently and used a 9-inch instead of 8-inch pan, so my bars turned out thinner and less gooey than the original.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, including the sides. (You can also just grease the pan.) In a small bowl, whisk together flour, 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg, molasses, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and mix at a low speed until combined. Divide dough in half and press one half into an even layer on the bottom of the prepared pan.
Place chocolate bars over dough, breaking the chocolate (if needed) to get it to fit in a single layer no more than 1/4 inch thick. Spread marshmallow creme or fluff on top of the chocolate. Combine the remaining dough with the reserved 1/4 cup of graham cracker crumbs. Then flatten the dough into small pieces and spread them in a single layer on top of the fluff. There will probably be crumbs left over. Simply sprinkle these over the top, especially over any sections with marshmallow fluff still peaking out. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool completely before cutting into bars.
Kittencal's Marshmallow Fluff Clone
Reduced from from Recipezaar
Makes about 2 1/2 cups
NOTE: This is more than you need for the s'more bars, but extra fluff can easily be refrigerated for up to 1 week OR frozen for later use. Just make sure to defrost it and stir well with a spoon before using.
1 egg white
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup powdered sugar (confectioner's)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
In a large bowl, combine egg white, corn syrup, and salt; beat with mixer on high speed for 10 minutes or until thick. Add in powdered sugar, then beat on low speed until blended. Beat in vanilla until blended.