What’s better than a gooey marshmallow wedged between two graham crackers and a wedge of Hershey’s chocolate? One in the form of a thick and chewy dessert bar, of course, and in the middle of the winter too, I might add.
It’s Winter Week at my school–the week after midyear exams where we’re all supposed to relax and have a rejuvenating week as we begin the new quarter–so my stress levels have been low, which means it’s the perfect time to test out a new recipe!
I chose a day when I was sure that I’d see all my buddies, so they’d be able to try my baked goods, without me having to chase them down around between classes and lunches.
These s’mores bars are officially my new favorite recipe. Honestly, they’re much tastier, more aesthetically pleasing, and impressive than your average cookie or blondie (even if I stuff those with Nutella).
The process is really more about using a stove and mixer than it is about baking. There are only 10 minutes of real baking time in total. The rest is a teensy bit complicated, but I had learned how to heat sugar correctly and whip a meringue with egg whites in culinary school, so it wasn’t too hard. Hopefully my recipe will be easy to follow though! Also, because it’s cold out, I just stuck my pan outside instead of the refrigerator for the cooling steps, which is a pro because my family’s fridge is always packed to the max.
These s’mores bars are a definite crowd-pleaser, even for people who aren’t fans of chocolate (gasp) or real campfire s’mores. They’re a sophisticated version of the original, and who doesn’t like that?
Recipe (adapted from Handle the Heat) – makes 32 small bars
- 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 cups chocolate chips
- 2 egg whites
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350°F with a center rack. Line a 9×9-inch pan with aluminum foil hanging over the sides.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and salt. Using a fork, slowly stir in the butter until fully incorporated.
- Using your fingers, press the crust mixture firmly into the bottom of the pan in an even layer. Press down hard.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.
- In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips, stirring constantly with a spoon until completely smooth. Immediately pour over the baked crust and refrigerate the pan.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, place the egg whites and cream of tartar. In a medium saucepan, thoroughly mix the sugar, light corn syrup, water and salt until everything is wet.
- Begin to whip the egg whites on high speed until they form soft peaks. If you reach this point before your sugar is ready, switch to low speed. Simultaneously heat the sugar mixture over the stove on medium-high. When it reaches the hard-ball stage (or hits 240°F using a candy thermometer), turn the mixer on low and drizzle the hot sugar mixture into the egg whites. Increase the speed to high and beat until thick, glossy and sticky.
- Spread the marshmallow topping over the chocolate layer using an offset spatula.
- Use a kitchen torch to lightly toast the top, or stick the pan under a broiler for about 1 minute.
- Refrigerate for at least an hour and slice into bars.