As the end of summer approaches, my family can’t help but think of our evenings under the stars. School may be starting but that’s no reason to end the fun!
With ingredients in hand, and ready to roast, we created the “Don’t Let Summer End S’more Bars.” Best of all, you can make these all year long in your kitchen.
PS: We prefer to make our own marshmallows but don’t let that dissuade you. Store bought marshmallows are perfectly delicious!
Graham Cracker Crust
- 3 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup hot water (115ºF)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 (14-ounce) bag caramels, unwrapped (about 50)
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
To make the crust:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13-inch baking dish (or use nonstick spray).
Place the graham cracker crumbs and butter in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse several times until the mixture forms moist crumbs. Press the mixture firmly and evenly in the bottom of the baking dish. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the edges turn slightly golden the aroma begins wafting through your kitchen. Remove from oven to cool and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the gelatin and cold water. Set aside to soften. When softened, gently stir.
Place the sugar, corn syrup, hot water, and salt in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking without stirring until the mixture reaches about 240ºF on a candy thermometer (the soft ball stage when syrup dropped into ice water may easily be formed into a soft ball with your hands). Remove from the heat. Stir in the dissolved gelatin and set the mixture aside.
Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 1 1/2 minutes. Slowly add the gelatin mixture. Add the vanilla and continue whipping for 10 minutes, or until the mixture looks like marshmallow.
Use a spatula to pour the marshmallow into the baking dish and spread evenly. Coat a piece of parchment paper (the size of the dish) with nonstick cooking spray and cover the marshmallow. Let the marshmallow set at room temperature for eight hours or overnight.
Once the marshmallow has set, make the caramel and/or chocolate toppings.
Place the chocolate and butter in a glass or other microwave safe dish. Microwave on high power for 30 second intervals until the chocolate is melted. Stir the chocolate mixture until it is smooth. Allow to cool 5 minutes. Stir vigorously and proceed with drizzle.
Place the caramels and evaporated milk in a glass or other microwave-safe bowl. Heat on high for 2 minutes. Stir and repeat in 1 minute increments until the caramel has a smooth consistency. Stir in the vanilla and allow to cool 5 minutes. Stir vigorously and proceed with drizzle.
When the toppings have cooled slightly, drizzle over the marshmallow. You don’t want the topping too hot or it will melt the marshmallow. Cut and serve.
1. If you don’t care to crack eggs and potentially make a mess in the quest for egg whites, use liquid egg whites found in the refrigerated section of your grocer or powdered egg white product.
2. If you don’t want to make caramel, use a pre-made sauce or use the caramel tub that comes in a Caramel Apple kit, and proceed with the melting instructions.
3. Use pre-made chocolate sauce in lieu of making your own.
If you don’t have a food processor or just want to relieve some stress, put the graham crackers in a large, re-sealable plastic baggie and pound them with a mallet or other blunt object.
Sass it UP! Add sliced bananas, walnuts, or cookies on top of your S’more creation.
*Momma Reiner’s Marshmallow recipe from Sugar, Sugar: Every Recipe has a Story, (Andrews McMeel) 2011, pages 267-270.