everyone’s childhood summer favorite gets a major update in this recipe for s’mores bars. these s’mores bars sandwich a thick layer of fluffy homemade vanilla bean marshmallow in between graham cracker crust & salted dark chocolate ganache. your favorite campfire treat will never be the same!
so i made you something that i’m *pretty sure* you’re going to love. 😍😍😍
i’m absolutely certain you’re going to love these s’mores bars.
there is nothing not to love about these bad boys. by definition, they are pretty much everything you could ever want out of a dessert: buttery graham cracker crust, fluffy homemade vanilla bean marshmallow, & a thick layer of salted dark chocolate ganache.
i’ve had this recipe concept in my mind for almost a year now, ever since i tried the omg bars at baked & wired in georgetown. we went to d.c. last september because chris was running a ragnar. (aka a 200-mile team relay race – doesn’t that sound like absolutely the most horrible thing imaginable?!) being the supportive wife i am, i accompanied him to cheer him on.
but in actuality, i spent the time he was running perusing georgetown & eating cupcakes by mahself (#wifeoftheyear).
the omg bars at baked & wired are basically a fancied-up s’more: layers of graham cracker crust, homemade marshmallow, & fudgy ganache. eating an omg bar at baked & wired was borderline life-changing. they’ve been on my mind ever since, & i knew i had to take a crack at them for pwwb this summer.
& guys? these s’mores bars are SO good. like, SO good.
the combination of graham cracker + marshmallow + chocolate is pretty tough to beat, but these pretty little s’mores bars take s’mores to the next level.
but in true pwwb fashion, the best part of these s’mores bars (um, other than the fact that they’re s’mores bars!) is that they’re actually really easy to throw together. majorly impressive on the presentation front, but majorly easy – a surefire combo for a winning recipe.
let’s break it down:
- graham cracker crust: aka melting some butter & stirring it into some graham cracker crumbs. this recipe is written to yield a pretty thick layer of graham cracker crust, because i like these s’mores bars to have a sturdy base. i think they’re easier to eat that way. but you could reduce the amount of crust if you’re looking to make s’mores bars with proportions more closely to that of traditional s’mores.
- homemade marshmallow: admittedly it sounds super fancy & intimidating, but marshmallow is really the simplest candy to make. plus, you will not believe how much fluffier homemade marshmallows are than store-bought. the difference is astounding, & well worth the minimal work. you do need a candy thermometer, but aside from that if you can boil some sugar water & set your stand mixer to whisk at its highest setting, you’ll be able to make homemade marshmallow no problem. i throw the beans of 1 vanilla pod into mine (because why not!), but you could get totally crazy with flavors here. some cocoa powder for chocolate marshmallow would be fab. as would swirls of raspberry preserves (omg) or salty caramel (omg omg).
- salted dark chocolate ganache: you’ve seen it already once this summer in my turtle sundae ice cream pie, it’s my go-to topping. microwave up some chocolate & cream, & stir, stir, stir for the fudgiest layer of dark chocolate ever.
so the moral of this story? if you’re ever in d.c., you need to grab an omg bar at baked & wired. if you’re ever in minneapolis, consider this your official invitation to give me a call & come over for some s’mores bars.
but in the meantime, you need to take a crack at this recipe yourself.
& then you need to try your hardest not to eat the entire pan of s’mores bars.
i triple dog dare ya. 😎
so, tell me: what’s the most outrageous dessert you’ve ever tried while you’ve travelled? have you been to baked & wired in d.c.? have you ever made homemade marshmallow?? let me know in the comments below…i’d obv LOVE to chat!
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- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs, finely crushed
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 2 tablespoons (2 packets) gelatin
- 2/3 cup light corn syrup
- 1 vanilla bean, split & beans removed
- 5 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter, graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Stir to combine thoroughly.
- Transfer the graham cracker crumb mixture to the 8x8 baking dish. Spread the crumbs, so they cover the surface of the bottom of the pan. Firmly press the crumbs down, forming a compact layer.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, until crust is slightly golden and fragrant. Remove from the oven and set aside, allowing the crust to cool completely.
- In the mixing bowl of your stand mixer, add the gelatin and 1/3 cup water. Stir to combine and set aside.
- In a medium pot fitted with a candy thermometer, combine the remaining 1 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, corn syrup, and 1/3 cup water, whisking to combine. Heat the mixture over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, for about 7 minutes, until the candy thermometer reaches 240 degrees.
- Carefully transfer the hot sugar mixture into the stand mixer mixing bowl with the gelatin. Beat, using the whisk attachment of your stand mixer, on high.
- The mixture will gradually become opaque and beautifully glossy. Add in the vanilla beans and continue to mix, until the mixture forms soft peaks and gently pulls strands away from the side of the bowl as it mixes. This will take a little bit of time - about 10-15 minutes!
- Using a nonstick spatula, transfer the marshmallow to the pan, on top of the graham cracker crust. Use the spatula to spread the marshmallow into a smooth layer.
- Rest uncovered for 8 hours, or overnight, so the marshmallow sets & dries.
- Melt dark chocolate in the cream with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt in the microwave, heating in 30 second intervals and mixing thoroughly between each interval. Once the chocolate is completely melted, continue to stir for an additional minute or two so the chocolate takes on a beautiful sheen. The texture should be glossy and smooth.
- Pour the chocolate ganache over the top of the marshmallow layer, forming a uniform chocolate layer, about 1/4 inch thick.
- Rest for another 4 hours, or up to overnight, so chocolate sets completely.
- Lift the bars (using the parchment paper) out of the pan. Gently pull the parchment away from the bars. The marshmallow will stick, but you can use your fingers or a sharp knife to help pull it away from the parchment. Once you get a small part of the marshmallow to unstick, the rest should pull away relatively easily.
- Using a sharp knife, cut into 16 bars. Enjoy!