Even though we’re inching closer to September and a bounty of apples, pumpkin, fall baking, jeans and hoodies, and football, there are still quite a few days of summer left to enjoy. And nothing is better on a warm summer evening than a s’more. Spearing a big marshmallow on a chiseled stick, holding it over an open flame until it’s engulfed and blackened, and then smashing it between chocolate bar-lined graham crackers. Then taking that first ooey, gooey, sticky, charred and smokey bite. It’s the essence of summer and makes us all feel like we’re carefree kids again. Running through the cool evening grass barefoot, chasing after lightning bugs and not having a care in the world.
I’ve been wanting to make s’mores brownies for quite some time, and finally got around to it recently. I started (as I usually do) by checking out some recipes that I had saved and seen online. By and large they consisted of brownies that either had graham cracker pieces and marshmallows mixed in, or had marshmallows and graham crackers sprinkled on top. Neither was what I was looking for. I wanted the classic s’mores setup: graham cracker, chocolate, marshmallow, graham cracker.
So I fashioned these after the Marshmallow Crunch Brownie Bars, except that I added a graham cracker crust to the base, then instead of merely melting the marshmallows in the oven, I broiled them so that they got that nice characteristic s’mores char, and finally topped everything off with big pieces of graham crackers nestled into the marshmallows.
Now, be warned. These are not all neat and fancy. They are messy. Just like s’mores. Ooey, gooy and oh-so-good.
What’s your favorite summer memory this year? I think mine is sitting outside on summer evenings with my boyfriend, cool beverage in hand, and battling each other at Risk (yay board games!).
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9x13-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.
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.