Thursday, December 29, 2011

Baking: Smores Bars

This holiday season, I've been trying to bake a bit more. I'm definitely trying to move out of my comfort zone and attempt new recipes. I've been making a lot of cookies and cakes recently but there are so many other delicious baked goods out there. So when I saw a recipe for Smores Bars recently, I was immediately hooked. These graham cracker, brownie, and marshmallow desserts would please almost anyone.

The first thing that I needed to do is wrap a pan with foil. This helps remove the bars from the pan later.

And now the crust. Take some graham crackers and pulse it in a food processor until it forms fine crumbs.

Like so.
Then add melted butter to make a nice rich crust that will form when pressed.
Take the crumbs and press them into the pan in an even layer. I like to use the bottom of a measuring cup to help even things out.
And then the brownies. I melted some chocolate and butter over a double boiler until smooth.
To the melted chocolate, I added the rest of the ingredients and mixed them in well.
Then I poured the brownie batter on top of the graham cracker crumbs. Now into the preheated 350oF oven for about 30 minutes. The brownie layer should be soft and moist while the graham cracker layer should be buttery and crumbly.
And now the last step: the marshmallows. I used 1 bag of small/mini marshmallows.
I added the fluffed sugary puffs on top of the brownies in a single layer. Then into the oven under the broiler. But don't walk away! They'll brown up in seconds.
Remove from the oven when use marshmallow has charred just slightly.
Let the whole pan cool down to room temperature. Then lift the baked good out of the pan using the foil. Slice into individual bars and serve!
I really enjoyed the flavor combination of this smores bar recipe. The crunch and butteryness of the graham crackers. The brownies are soft and chocolatey while the marshmallows are soft, sticky, and sweet. The only change I would make is to the brownie layer. I would like more chocolate brownie to marshmallow and graham cracker. I think the balance of the flavors would work better that way.

My recipe is adapted from this Serious Eats recipe:

S'mores Brownie Bars
Notes: Marshmallows can be very sticky. For the neatest bars, use a clean, sharp knife to cut the bars, rinsing and wiping the knife thoroughly between cuts.

Ingredients:
* 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (made from 10 rectangular crackers)
* 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
* 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
* Salt
* 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
* 2 large eggs, at room temperature
* 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
* 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
* 3 cups mini-marshmallows

Procedures:
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Cut two 16-inch pieces of foil and line an 8-inch square baking pan, allowing excess to hang over sides. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Break graham crackers into small pieces and pulse in food processor until they become fine crumbs. Melt 4 tablespoons butter. Add melted butter, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to crumbs and pulse to combine. Press into bottom of prepared pan.
3. Melt chocolate and remaining 8 tablespoons butter in medium bowl in microwave, 1 to 2 minutes, stopping every 20 seconds to stir with rubber spatula. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and cool, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
4. With a wooden spoon, mix in the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, eggs, espresso powder, vanilla, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add the flour and baking powder and mix until smooth.
5. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with moist crumbs attached. Do not over-bake. Transfer to cooling rack and top with marshmallows.
6. Adjust oven rack to upper third position and heat broiler. Broil until marshmallows are golden brown, 1 to 3 minutes. Cool in pan 1 hour. Using foil sling, transfer directly to wire rack and let cool completely, at least 1 hour. Cut into 2-inch squares and serve.

2 comments:

  1. Ooh, that looks good - when I was at Cracker Barrel on Monday, we picked up mini 'smores treats' which were graham cracker topped with a slightly hard marshmallow then covered in chocolate which was good. I might try making these... yum! Thanks!

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  2. Cool. Nice browniez. Z'morez.

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