Friday, August 26, 2011

S'mores Bars

Some days, I love volunteering at a summer camp. It’s a great way to involve myself in the community and to gain work experience. And it’s definitely more productive than staying at home all day (although, in all fairness, I would say that I’ve been overly productive this summer with Summer Co-op).

Most of the kids at camp are so amiable and fun to be around and seeing their faces light up makes me want to give them the world.Of course, there are always a couple troublemakers in the group who try to push boundaries. Disciplining kids who don’t listen or keep forgetting is frustrating at times, but I take it as another life experience. I’m practicing for the real world, where I’ll encounter the grown-up version of these kids.


On Monday, my group went to Edwards Gardens to enjoy and photograph the variety of nature there. As we hiked through the trail, we admired various trees, plants, and bugs surrounding us. After lunch, we stopped at a creek to collect some clay. My heart warmed as I saw everyone wade into the water excitedly, jabbering about the clay they were going to collect. It is moments like those that remind me of what it is like to be a kid and to just lose oneself at the task at hand. I may be the older and wiser one (apparently to some of the kids, I look like I’m twenty-eight years old) to these eight to ten year olds, but every now and then, I learn something from them as well.


Another thing that I love about the summer camp I volunteered at is the wonderful atmosphere. Interspersed with all the duties and tasks are fun contests and mock awards and staff socials. One of the contests in this session was the Bake-Off, which happened on Tuesday. Coincidentally, it was also my older brother’s birthday on Monday, so I decided to kill two birds with one stone and to divide a batch of S’mores Bars.



Everyone has heard of the classic s’mores sandwich and S’mores Bars are comprised of all those essential components: the graham crackers, the marshmallow, and the chocolate. In this rendition, chocolate chips are stirred into a bar batter made using graham cracker crumbs. Halfway through baking, marshmallows are placed on top of the bars and they melt and brown in the oven. Although these bars do not contain a lot of sugar, they come out ooey and gooey with all the deliciousness of a s’mores sandwich. 
 

These were a hit with the family and judging by the empty container I retrieved at the end of the day, the people at camp liked them as well. No matter how delicious these bars are, I still think that nothing beats the tried and true childhood classic of fire-roasted marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate.
Click below for the recipe.


S’mores Bars

Note: You will want to use good quality marshmallows for these bars. The ones I used were of the no name variety so they did not taste as good when they melted.

Adapted from: Chocolate Cake by Elinor Klivans
Yield: 18 squares

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • 1 pound (16 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 18 marshmallows

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325F. Line the bottom and sides of two 8x8-inch pans with aluminum foil long enough to extend over the sides of the pan.

Put the graham cracker crumbs in a medium bowl and sift the flour, baking powder, and salt over the crumbs. Stir to combine.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla. On low speed, add half of the dry ingredients, mixing just to incorporate. Mix in the milk until blended. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.

Bake for 25 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven. Arrange the marshmallows on top of the bars, placing them in three rows across the length of the bars, each row containing three marshmallows. Rotate the pans. Continue baking until the marshmallows are light, golden, and puffed and a toothpick inserted into the center of the bars comes out with just a few crumbs clinging to it, about 10 minutes.

Immediately use a small sharp knife to loosen the bars from the sides of the pan. I skipped this step and trust me, it’s a lot harder to do that when the bars are cooled. Let the bars cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. The bars can be served warm or at room temperature.


I'm linking up with:: Something Swanky - EKat's Kitchen

6 comments:

  1. What a trip down memory lane ... summer day camp and s'mores! Your post is so wise, Kyleen. You WILL run into adults that act more like children (and sometimes in a bad way ...)as you make your way in life! Good practice working with children! Besides, looks like it has been a fun summer and topping it with a bake-off is just the icing ...

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  2. Thank you Kyleen for a great post. I have been making S'mores recipes all summer long. There are so many variations all over the internet, and all the ones I made tasted great.I can't wait to make yours. They look wonderful. I linked to you from Fat Camp Friday. Thanks

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  3. wow, i am so impressed at your cooking/baking/photography at 16 years old!! scrolled thru your blog posts, and you hv delicious and beautiful recipes on here!

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  4. I can't believe you are 16. You are so young it reminds me I'm an old panda o_o kudos on finding passion at such young age, glad u found me :) sharing this recipe on my FB page.

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  5. S'mores are definitely the ultimate summer food. I love them in any form and these bars sound just delicious, I would love to make some for my kiddos :D ....okay, and myself.

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  6. All things s'mores are great in my opinion :) Thanks for linking up to Fat Camp Friday. Hope you enjoyed your weekend, see you next time!

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