I can’t claim I grew loving s’mores, the All-American campfire treat. Marshmallows were never really my thing. Chocolate? Yes! But marshmallows didn’t do it for me. Aside from that, it wasn’t like I was really the “camping type”.
Far from it. I was the total opposite of outdoorsy.
While other kids spent their summers riding bikes, playing flashlight tag, and climbing trees, I could be found inside with my nose in the latest Baby-sitter’s Club book, or organizing my Lisa Frank sticker collection, or begging to spend the weekend at my aunt’s house to help her clean because I loved her feather duster.
I’m not even sure I can recall a time that I made s’mores around a campfire, but I do remember making them in our toaster oven! Not quite the same, but good enough. Truthfully, I really just wanted the Hershey’s bar. I didn’t care about the graham crackers, or the marshmallows. The ratio was all off, in my opinion: to much marshmallow to too little chocolate, which never seemed to melt enough in relation to the warm, gooey marshmallows. The graham crackers were too hard.
I never really gave s’mores much thought, until last summer when I was looking for an easy, summery dessert for a cookout. I made these bars more for the guests than myself, but ended up loving them! I have since tried many variations of s’mores bars, but I always come back to this one.
Yields 12-16 bars
Prep time: 10 minutes, Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
1/2 C butter , softened
3/4 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 C flour
3/4 C graham cracker crumbs
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3-4 milk chocolate candy bars ((1 5/8 oz., Hershey’s recommended)
3 C miniature marshmallows, or 3 C regular marshmallows, cut in half
- Heat oven to 350F. Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper, and coat with non stick spray.
- In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla. Beat until blended.
- In another bowl, add flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating until well combined.
- Add half the dough to the bottom of the baking dish, pressing down well to cover evenly. Bake for 15 minutes.\
- Arrange chocolate bars evenly over baked layer.
- Drop chocolate layer with marshmallow. “Drop” remaining dough on top of marshmallows layer, forming another “layer.”
- Bake 10-15 minutes or until just browned. Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting. They will cut easier if you let them stand overnight.
One of the joys of s’mores is the simplicity, and I like that these bars don’t stray too far from the classic. They are still quite simple to whip up and maintain the original flavor profile, just kicked up a notch. The graham cracker layer gets an upgrade thanks to a hefty dose of butter, which provides the base and a light topping for the bars. The chocolate gets its chance to shine in these, as it is not totally overpowered by the sticky, sweet marshmallows. Another bonus? These s’mores bars are much easier to eat! These babies are everything “real” s’mores wish they could be!