Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: S'mores Brownie Bars

The summer is drawing to an end. The days are getting shorter, the temperatures cooler. What better way to savor these last few days than with s'more brownies? These brownies are the very essence of our favorite campfire treat - the crunch of the graham cracker, the richness of the chocolate, and gooeyness of the roasted marshmallow.

And if you just can't bring yourself to make these (because trust me, you'll want to eat the whole batch and know you shouldn't since you don't want to look like a marshmallow), know that today is National Toasted Marshmallow Day. And that, my friends, makes it totally worth it. 

    3 cups graham cracker crumbs                     1 batch of brownie batter
    ¼ cup granulated sugar                                 1 bag mini marshmallows  
    ¼ teaspoon salt                                             Additional graham crackers, broken into pieces
    ¾ cup unsalted butter, melted
   1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the pan with foil, leaving some overhang, and then butter the foil; set aside.
   2. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and salt, mixing well. Add the melted butter and, using a fork, toss until the entire mixture is moist. Dump the graham cracker mixture into the prepared baking pan, pressing it into an even layer. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
   3. Meanwhile, prepare your brownie recipe. Pour the brownie batter over the cooked graham cracker crust, spreading it into an even layer. Bake the brownies according to the directions.
   4. As soon as the brownies come out of the oven, switch the oven to broil. Pour the bag of mini marshmallows onto the brownies, covering it in an even layer. Pop the pan back in the oven for a few minutes. Keep a close eye on them – you want them to start to char so you get that s’mores flavor, but don’t want to completely burn them.
   5. As soon as the pan comes out of the oven, top the marshmallow layer with the pieces of graham cracker, pressing down slightly so that the pieces of graham cracker get nestled into the marshmallow.
   6. Cool completely and then cut into squares. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.

We made the crust entirely in the food processor in just minutes. (Have I even mentioned recently how much I love that thing?) Then, we used a box mix for the brownies (dark fudge with chocolate chunks, to be exact.)

Alyssa licked every last bit of the brownie bowl, while Jacob . . . 

enjoyed the buttery graham cracker crumbs.

The real fun was trying to keep the kids from eating the marshmallows before we tossed them on top to broil. As it turned out, we used only half the bag. Guess I could have let them sugar up after all. Hindsight is always 20/20.

And this is what they look like if you can bring yourself to take a picture before slicing and devouring. (We were able to use self-control only because the marshmallows stuck to the sides of the foil. Of course, we couldn't let it go to waste. We just had to eat it!)  

Broiling the marshmallows really is what puts this recipe over the top. That charred flavor is what elevates melted marshmallow to toasted marshmallow.

But let me tell you, these babies are messy. Ooey-gooey-messy. Crumbly-falling apart-messy. Making a mess on your counter and floors . . . and children's faces messy. But they are oh-so-good! The only thing I would change is cutting down on the graham cracker crust. It's so over-powering that you almost lose the flavor of the rich chocolate brownie. Next time, I'll try 1 1/2 - 2 cups of the cracker crumbs, but leave the butter about the same in order to hold it all together better. 

Regardless, none of that stopped us from eating. And eating. And eating.

So, before the coolness of autumn and the crispness of ripe apples creep upon us, take advantage of the last few days of summer . . . and make these brownies.
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  1. Oh my! These look so rich. My kiddos do enjoy smores, so we will have to try this. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Yum. That looks absolutely delicious.