When I was looking for a dessert for our last Moveable Feast, I found the answer in a recent issue of Food & Wine magazine – a delicious riff on a campfire favorite, the s’more.
I love s’mores – gathering around a fire, getting the perfect toasted crust on a marshmallow, smooshing everything together in a sticky, delicious treat. And while I live in an apartment with an electric stove, I’ve been known to pop everything in the microwave when the craving hits. It only takes about 10 seconds to achieve melty, gooey heaven.
Last year I made several batches of s’mores ice cream and “I Want S’more” ice cream sandwiches. These bars are the perfect addition to my dessert repertoire and I’ve already made them several times this summer.
The recipe takes a little time but it’s worth it. A crunchy, crumbly graham cracker crust with a rich brownie layer. And while every layer is delicious, one of the best parts is the marshmallow meringue on top. I briefly considered using Fluff as a shortcut and I’m glad I didn’t.
You may feel that it’s a lot of work for just a 9″ square pan of these treats – that’s how I felt the first time I made them. But the bars a quite rich and will definitely satisfy any sweet tooth. I keep saying this, the effort is worth it.Print
These upscale s’mores bars take a little time but are well worth the effort (from Food & Wine, April 2015)
For the crust
3 cups (approximately 12 ounces) graham cracker crumbs
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
For the brownie layer
1 stick (8 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cubed
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
For the marshmallow meringue
3 large egg whites
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
To make the crust
Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Line a 9-inch-square baking pan with foil, allowing 2 inches of overhang on two sides. (I also spray the foil to make sure nothing sticks.)
In a medium bowl, using a fork, mix all of the ingredients until evenly moistened.
Press the crumbs evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, just until lightly browned. Let cool completely. Leave the oven on.
To make the brownie layer
While the crust cools, in a heatproof medium bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the butter with the chocolate over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth, about 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat and whisk in the sugar, vanilla and salt. Whisk in the eggs until smooth, then stir in the flour until just incorporated.
Spread the batter evenly over the cooled crust. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the edge is set but the center is still slightly jiggly. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely.
To make the marshmallow meringue
Preheat the broiler.
In a heatproof medium bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, whisk the egg whites with the sugar until the whites are warm and the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes.
Transfer the egg whites to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk. Add the vanilla and cream of tartar and beat at medium speed until firm. Increase the speed to high and beat the meringue until stiff and glossy, 5 to 7 minutes.
Mound the meringue on top of the filling, swirling it decoratively. Broil the meringue 8 inches from the heat until lightly browned at the tips, about 1 minute. (Watch carefully, the meringue will brown very quickly.) Cut into bars and serve.
The bars can be refrigerated for up to 2 days (if they last that long).
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Inactive Time: 2 hours
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
- Category: Dessert, Dessert Bars
- Cuisine: American
- Calories: 480.94
- Sugar: 40.66 g.
- Sodium: 191.72 mg.
- Fat: 27.09 g.
- Saturated Fat: 15.54 g.
- Carbohydrates: 54.50 g.
- Fiber: 2.28 g.
- Protein: 6.22 g.
- Cholesterol: 81.80 g.
Keywords: chocolate, marshmallow, graham crackers, s’mores, meringue