Fudgy S'mores Bars / by Chelsea Zwieg

Happy almost 4th of July! Cannot believe it is the last day of June. Can. Not. But that just means it's time for fireworks, cookouts and all around America-loving so I am all about it. I was definitely considering doing a more patriotic dessert in honor of the 4th. Maybe a blueberry/strawberry/whipped cream situation. A flag cake. A patriotic jello sculpture. But then I got to thinking, there really is nothing as American as s'mores. Am I right? 

I did a little ode to s'mores in the form of oatmeal cookies last month, this month it's bars and don't for a second think that I will let summer end without at least one more gooey marshmallow, chocolate and graham cracker filled explosion. It just makes me so happy. 

I wish that I had some great childhood s'mores story to share with you but really it's pretty simple. I ate a lot of s'mores. But one s'more variation I have always loved just as much as a campfire s'more is a s'mores bar. For me, s'mores bars have always been the no-bake kind. Kind of like a Rice Krispie treat but with golden grahams and chocolate. These are still high up on my list, but let me introduce you to a s'more bar of an entirely different nature. 

This bar has a crispy, buttery graham cracker crust, a fudgy, almost custard-like chocolate center and a top of perfectly charred gooey marshmallows. Granted, they are a little bit more work than the beloved no-bake version. But trust me, completely worth it in every way. 

Perfect for the 4th of July, a picnic or any I-really-want-toasted-marshmallows summer night, these bars a must have for the rest of summer. 

Fudgy S'mores Bars

Makes 1 8x8 pan 

| Ingredients

  • 8 whole graham crackers
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 8 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs, room temperature. 
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows

| Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325. Line an 8x8 pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on two sides. 
  • Place graham crackers and brown sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until very finely ground. Add melted butter and pulse until the mixture is combined and begins to clump together. 
  • Transfer crust to prepared pan and press firmly into an even layer in the bottom of the pan. The harder you press, the more sturdy the crust will be after baking. I like to use a mini rolling pin to make sure it's really pressed down. Bake crust for 10 minutes. 
  • Meanwhile, bring cream and milk to a simmer in saucepan over high heat. Place chopped chocolate, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Pour hot cream over chocolate and let sit for 2 minutes. Whisk chocolate and cream mixture until completely smooth. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. It is really important that they are at room temperature, or you will end up with scrambled eggs. If you forget to pull them out ahead of time, you can set them in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes for the same effect. 
  • Pour the chocolate mixture on top of the prepared crust. Bake 28-30 minutes, until the filling is glossy and just set in the center. Remove from oven and scatter marshmallows over the top, pressing lightly to partially sink them into the filling. 
  • Preheat broiler to high and place the bars under the broiler until the marshmallows are golden brown and beginning to char. Or go full on burnt, however you like your marshmallows. You can also char them using a kitchen blow torch or even a lighter. Just be sure to keep a close eye on them, whatever method you use. 
  • Let bars cool completely and place in the refrigerator. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before removing from pan and cutting. Keep bars stored in the refrigerator.