These S’mores Bars are extra gooey and extra chocolatey, with a graham base and a chewy middle that’ll make you fall in love!
So I had a little hiccup with Facebook just recently involving a mistaken URL block, and now that it’s been resolved, these S’mores Bars feel like an appropriate celebratory post. The experience was a bit stressful especially since I also scared myself quite a bit by reading all the horror stories in the forums about how some people never managed to get Facebook to unblock them, but I am so relieved that my issue got resolved faster than I anticipated. That means a little treat is in order!
I decided to make these S’mores Bars for two reasons: First, after the utter deliciousness of the S’mores Cookies in my previous post, it felt only fitting to make a bar form. Not only is this for all the brownies and bars lovers out there, the s’more is also something that you can fittingly translate into a delicious bar dessert. (I was right of course. This was SO GOOD!) Second, after making said cookies, I had quite a handful of extra marshmallows and Dark Hershey’s Miniatures to spare. I also needed to finish the last bit of graham cracker crumbs from the pack I bought. The stars all aligned!
[READ ALSO: S’mores Cookies Recipe— A fave!]
I had to read through a bunch of recipes on the web before finally picking this one from House of Nash Eats blog. It was a recipe that felt like my kind of reinterpretation. Now I’m sure by now you’re wondering whether you should make these S’mores Bars or the S’more Cookies I love so much, and here’s my answer: Rather than forcing your brain to decide which of these recipes is worth making, give yourself some time to make both. I think they are so very different from each other. Sure, they are basically made up of the same ingredients and flavors, but the experience of eating one and the other are quite different.
Why choose one if you can make both?
I made these S’mores treats while we were placed under Enhanced Community Quarantine, so I had to settle with getting some of my ingredients from the convenience store at the corner of my street. Annoyingly enough, they didn’t have any marshmallows that were purely white, so I had to make do with the colored variety. I don’t know if it’s just me, but using pink, yellow, and green mini marshmallows makes the S’mores Bars look kind of weird. Maybe I’m just too used to seeing s’mores with white marshmallows. It’s just that the melted green marshmallows remind me of a different kind of goo. I don’t know why I’m making a big deal out of it when these S’mores Bars are so good anyway.
These S’mores Bars have a choco chip cookie type of bar base that’s super chewy, so I think they will appeal to choco chip lovers as well. It’s an addictive kind of chewy that’s verging on melt-in-the-mouth as well. I love that the graham crust is super crunchy, contrasting nicely with the chewy base, gooey mallows, and delightful chocolate. You add some chocolate chips into the base to get a bit of bite in the middle, while the semi-melted Hershey’s chocolate on top add a smooth, melty mouthfeel. These are basically an almost over-the-top bar version of the amazing S’mores Cookies.
If you’re wondering why my crust seem a bit crumbly, it’s because I spilled some of the butter while making the crust. Don’t be clumsy like me, because it’s quite a hassle to be super excited to devour these babies but then get all those bits falling off when you pick one square up. The taste makes up for it though. Surprisingly, these are not too sweet. Majority of the sweetness comes from the marshmallows, especially when you use the Hershey’s Dark Miniatures or the Dark version of their bars. More about these things below!
I halved this recipe from the original version because I wasn’t sure how these S’mores Bars would turn out. Half of me regretted the decision (the other half is thankful because I’m perenially on a “diet” lol), so please feel free to double this recipe should you feel the urge to. I’m using an 8×8-inch pan for this, but if you want to double the recipe, that will call for a 13×9-inch pan.
The first thing you want to do is to preheat your oven to 350ºF (180ºC), then prepare your graham cracker crust as you usually would. Mix all the crust ingredients together and evenly pack into the bottom of the parchment-lined pan. Press it in as tightly as it will go, and as evenly as you can. By the way, make sure your parchment has some overhang on the sides to make unmolding this easier later on. Bake this crust for about 7 minutes to firm up then remove from the oven.
Now it’s time to make the cookie base. Just like you would a chocolate chip cookie, cream together the butter and sugar until light and creamy.
I ran out of superfine sugar so my white sugar crystals are quite big. It’s a fascinating sight on macro. Add in the egg and vanilla.
You’ll get a beautifully fluffy mixture once you’ve combined everything.
Now add in the dry ingredients and use a spatula to fold everything in until JUST combined. We don’t want to overmix anything here! I usually like to leave a few streaks of flour in my batter at this stage.
The reason why we want to have a roughly but not completely mixed dough at this stage is because we will add in our chocolate chips and majority of the mini marshmallows. The other marshmallows will be for pressing on top. If you’re wondering about the irregular shape of my chocolate, it’s because I used Trader Joe’s semisweet chocolate chunks. Don’t worry, you’re not missing much. It’s not a very good kind of baking chocolate. I bought them because I was curious while shopping at Trader Joe’s in San Francisco, but I’m not about to buy them again lol. I mean, they’re not horrible, but so many other brands are better and more worth it.
Fold the last ingredients in distributed. Again, DO NOT go overboard with the mixing. Working the dough too much will make this hard and dense. Now you want to transfer your dough on top of the baked and slightly cooled graham cracker crust. I like to use an ice cream scoop to evenly portion out the dough side by side on top of the crust. You want to try and spread this layer out without ruining that crust underneath. This seemed like the most effective way to do that.
Now that you’ve got your cookie layer on, you want to bake these S’mores Bars in two parts, just like with the S’mores Cookies. The first bake will go for 15 minutes, and at this stage, the cookie base will bake up until nearly cooked through.
Once the base is all puffed up and looks about halfway set, take it our of the oven and work quickly to press in the remaining marshmallows, plus the chocolate bars. I only used 9 chocolate Miniatures in a crisscross pattern because I didn’t want to overload my S’mores Bars. Just press them into the soft half-baked dough. For the chocolate, I used the Hershey’s Dark Miniatures again. This variety is still sweet, but significantly less so compared to the Milk version. Nonetheless, I’ll leave the choice of chocolate up to you.
Now we return the pan for a final 8 to 10 minutes, baking until the base is completely cooked through. It’s hard to tell underneath all the toppings, but the edges should look and feel set when poked slightly while the center still looks soft. The entire thing should look golden brown. You don’t want to bake these S’mores Bars to a firmness that’ll take away that addictive chewiness, so I think it’s better to underbake just a little if you’re not sure. It’ll continue to cook as it cools.
You want these to cool completely before you unmold so it isn’t too soft to move out of the pan. Use the parchment wings to lift the whole thing out, then slice to whatever size you desire. Like I mentioned above, my crust is a bit crumbly because I spilled some of my butter, but the measurements in the recipe box are accurate so you don’t have to worry about that. As long as you don’t spill your butter that is.
These S’mores Bars are quite a delightful treat in their own right. I’m not sure if I even though about the woods or camping while eating these, as the idea of s’mores often induces me to. I just kept putting these bars into my mouth and thinking about how delicious they are. That super chewy center adds to the illusion of gooeyness that the marshmallow and melted chocolate topping brings.
I’ll leave you with the recipe now because I’m positively craving for chocolate after writing this post!
Makes one 8x8-inch pan
For the crust
- 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons, 105 grams graham cracker crumbs
- 1/3 cup 75 grams salted butter, melted
- 2 Tablespoons 28 grams granulated sugar
For the base and toppings
- ½ cup 113 grams butter, softened at room temperature
- 6 Tablespoons 75 grams white sugar
- 6 Tablespoons 75 grams loosely packed brown sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- ½ teaspoon 2.5 mL vanilla extract
- 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons, 145 grams all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon 1.25 grams salt
- ½ teaspoon 3 grams baking soda
- 1 cup 45 grams mini marshmallows, divided use
- ½ cup 80 grams regular or miniature semisweet chocolate chips
- 9 to 12 pieces Hershey's Miniatures, I recommend the Special Dark variants
Prepare the crust
- Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line an 8x8 inch pan with parchment paper, making sure you have some parchment overhang on two sides of the pan.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar using a fork until evenly moistened. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of prepared pan as tightly as you can. Bake in preheated oven for 7 minutes, then remove from oven and allow to cool as you prepare the base.
Make the cookie base
- In a large bowl, beat together the butter and both sugars until creamy. Add in the egg and vanilla, then beat well until light and fluffy. Using a spatula, fold in the flour, salt, and baking soda just until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and 3/4 cup of the marshmallows, just until distributed. Avoid overmixing.
- Use a scoop to transfer the mixture over the fairly cooled graham crust. Place the dough side by side as closely as possible to make the next step easier. Use a spatula to carefully even out the cookie dough using a spreading and pressing motion, until even. Try not to disturb the crust underneath as you do this.
- Bake for an initial 15 minutes in preheated oven, then remove from the oven. Gently press the remaining 1/4 cup marshmallows onto any bald spots on the surface of the cookie base, then press the Hershey's Miniatures in desired pattern. (I pressed 9 pieces on top in a tic tac toe pattern.)
- Return to oven to finish baking, about 8 to 10 minutes more, until the cookie base looks golden brown beneath all the toppings. It can be a bit hard to tell, but the center will still look kind of undercooked while the edges will look and feel set when you gently poke it with a finger. Do not overcook. You want these chewy and gooey.
- Allow to cool completely inside the pan, then use the parchment overhangs to unmold. Slice into desired size and serve. I made 16 bars out of this.
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