Sometimes I get a little overzealous about the whole “everything-must-be-made-from-scratch-or-else-it-isn’t-authentic” attitude. I even considered making the marshmallows from scratch on this one. But then I looked at the time (8:30 PM), got a grip and went to the grocery store to get all the ingredients I didn’t have.
Abundant culinary energy always seems to strike me at the most inconvenient times, say, when most people are winding down to go to bed. But then I see the glimmer of excitement in people’s eyes when they hear I’m baking something and I feel powerless to say no to this warmth from within (no from my heart or soul or something, really). Fast forward to three hours later, when I’m elbow deep in a made-from-scratch brownie batter and a homemade graham cracker crust, the warmth begins to fade.
Even though I’m not the biggest s’mores fan, I knew I had to try this recipe when tracked it down on foodgawker. The biggest gripe I have with s’mores is the chocolate–I’m not a big fan of Hershey’s milk chocolate by itself, and it never seems to get melty-y enough. But this recipe substitutes one chocolate (a typical bar), for another (brownies!) which could not give me greater pleasure. The brownie recipe also utilizes one of my favorite combinations, coffee and chocolate, with some espresso powder mixed in. The sharp espresso flavor really gives the very dark, rich chocolate batter an edge and depth of taste that’s incredible.
We were all excited, with everyone in my house peeking in until these beauties came out of the oven at 10:40, and no one was able to enjoy them.
Because they had to cool completely. Despite all my ill-planning, they came out pretty darn good (even if in all the commotion I forgot to pre-bake the crust, and I substituted the last 1/2 cup granulated sugar for brown sugar …eeeek!). S’mores brownies and strawberry lemonade is an exceptionally summery treat, even if not exactly breakfast-appropriate (I just couldn’t wait).
But if I thought my late-night baking sesh was the real adventure, my uber-type-A creative side had another thing coming. I’m still not 100% thrilled with my first food photoshoot, but considering I have about zero photography experience, I think it’s a pretty good start, no?
Yield: 32 brownies
Prep Time: 30 minutes | Bake Time: About 45 minutes total
For the Graham Cracker Crust:
3 cups graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup granulated sugar(This genius, ME, ran out of sugar and substituted approx 3/4 teaspoon equal parts cinnamon/sugar)
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup unsalted butter, melted
For the Brownies:
Chewy Brownies recipe (I also substituted 1/2 cup of the sugar in this linked recipe for brown sugar)
1 bag mini marshmallows
Additional graham crackers, broken into pieces
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9×13-inch baking pan. Line the pan with foil, leaving some overhang, and then butter the foil; set aside.
2. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and salt, mixing well. Add the melted butter and, using a fork, toss until the entire mixture is moist. Dump the graham cracker mixture into the prepared baking pan, pressing it into an even layer. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
3. Meanwhile, prepare your brownie recipe. Pour the brownie batter over the cooked graham cracker crust, spreading it into an even layer. Bake the brownies according to the directions.
4. As soon as the brownies come out of the oven, switch the oven to broil. Pour the bag of mini marshmallows onto the brownies, covering it in an even layer. Pop the pan back in the oven for a few minutes. Keep a close eye on them – you want them to start to char so you get that s’mores flavor, but don’t want to completely burn them (and try not to let it get to the point where your smoke alarm goes off and your dogs go bizonkers at 10:30 at night. My B, neighbors).
5. As soon as the pan comes out of the oven, top the marshmallow layer with the pieces of graham cracker, pressing down slightly so that the pieces of graham cracker get nestled into the marshmallow.
6. Cool completely and then cut into squares. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.
One final note- all the crumbs from slicing and eating these babies would make an awesome topping for some vanilla ice cream…you’re welcome. Well, that’s all for now kids, happy baking!
…and some more pictaaaas, for your persuing pleasure.