April 3, 2011

... Toasted Bittersweet S'mores

Who do you think invented s'mores?  I'd like to meet them and give them a big gooey, marshmallow-covered  high five.  It's always the simple things that are the best... chocolate, graham crackers, marshmallows... that's the stuff.

What I also love are bloggers like the very cool Carrie & Morgan of Ampersand Design Studio who lead me to great recipes like this.  Who wouldn't want a version of a s'mores that you can eat at any given time of day?

Toasted Bittersweet S'mores
makes 18 bars

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
6 ounces chocolate (bittersweet or semisweet), chopped
18 large marshmallows, cut in half crosswise

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line an 8-inch square baking dish with foil, leaving about 1 inch hanging over two edges.  Lightly coat the bottom and sides with cooking spray.  Make room in the fridge.

Put 3 tablespoons of the butter in a medium, heatproof bowl and heat in a microwave or over simmering water until melted.  Add the cookie crumbs and stir until the crumbs are moist and well blended.  Dump the crumbs into the prepared pan and, using a flat-bottomed cup, firmly press the crumbs into an even layer on the bottom.  Bake until fragrant, about 12 minutes.  Set on a rack to cool.

Put the chocolate and the remaining 5 tablespoons butter in a medium heatproof bowl and heat in a microwave or over simmering water until melted.  Whisk until smooth and blended.  Pour into the baked crust (it's ok if the crust is still warm) and spread evenly.  Refrigerate until almost firm, about 30 minutes (for faster chilling, slide the pan into the freezer).  Arrange the marshmallow halves, cut side down, evenly over the chocolate, pressing lightly.  Cover and refrigerate until very firm, about 40 minutes or for up to 2 days.

Just before serving, adjust the oven rack to the top level and heat the broiler on high.  Using the excess foil as handles, lift the s'more square from the pan and set on a cookie sheet.  Pull the foil away from the sides and slide the cookie sheet under the broiler.  Broil until the marshmallows are browned, about 20 seconds.  Set on a rack and move the foil and s'more square to a cutting board.  Cut into 18 rectangles.  Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.  Serve slightly chilled.

Taylor's Notes:

I went the semisweet route, but definitely think the bittersweet has its merits.  I'll try that next time, along with these other tweaks...

I'll leave the graham / chocolate step in the refrigerator for a shorter amount of time... maybe only 15 minutes.  Long enough to get the chocolate to harden a bit, but still have it be soft enough that the marshmallows will settle into the chocolate rather than just sitting on top of it.  

I'll also try broiling the bars on low rather than high and maybe put the rack on the second-to-highest spot instead of the highest one.  I think this will allow the marshmallows to get a little gooey-er without getting too brown too quickly.  Another option, would be to skip the broiling all together and  use a kitchen torch to brown the marshmallows.  Of course, that would only work if I had a kitchen torch... 

Other than that, these are really easy, quick, and a good substitution for the real thing when you're craving the simple things.


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