Baked Sunday Mornings: S’more Nut Bars

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I take my s’mores very seriously. Today it became apparent that maybe I need to take it down a notch, seeing as how I almost set a fire in my living room… yeahhh. See, we all know that “s’mores” is a very specific combination of ingredients: graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallow. But not just any marshmallow– TOASTED marshmallow. I mean, am I taking it too literally? The whole point of making s’mores-flavored things is to emulate the flavor of the iconic campfire treat that is toasted over a fire, so correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the “fire” part is important. This week Baked Sunday Mornings is making one of the best bar recipes in the book: S’more Nut Bars. I made these a few months ago as written and absolutely loved them– suuuuper chocolaty and decadent, with a salty kick from the peanuts. The only thing that I felt was missing– and I was being nitpicky here– was that campfire toastiness. So I made a note for myself that when I remade them for this blog post, I would add some marshmallows on top and toast them. I felt that this would not only taste (even) better, but also look smashing.

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This recipe has a great taste-to-effort ratio; in others words, very easy and quick with excellent tasty results. You’ll first make the crust: Combine the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and melted butter, and press this mixture evenly into your pan. (I may increase the crust by 25-50% next time because I like a thicker crust on my bars.) Bake it for about 15 minutes until it’s golden brown. The crust was a touch crumbly when I cut the bars– I may bump up the amount butter just a bit next time.

While the crust bakes, chop the chocolate (half milk/half dark) into rough pieces. Once the crust has cooled, heat the heavy cream to a boil. I stirred the corn syrup into the cream, rather than pouring it over the chocolate. Pour the hot mixture over the chopped chocolate and after letting it sit for a few minutes, whisk the chocolate and cream together (starting in the center and working your way out to the edges) until smooth and shiny. The recipe then calls for folding in 10 large cut-up marshmallows, but I’m a firm believer in mini marshmallows, so I was going to fold in 75 grams (same weight as the jumbo ones). But since I decided to add more on top, I cut the chocolate-covered ones to 55 grams. Also fold in the whole salted peanuts at this point. This beautiful satiny mixture will then be poured and smoothed over the graham crust. On top of this, I scattered about 50 grams of additional marshmallows and the chopped peanuts, and into the fridge it went to chill…

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Sooo that fire I mentioned up above? After chilling the bars, I fired up my trusty kitchen torch… but the cold marshmallows on top had a hard time toasting as easily as they normally would, which meant that the flame lingered in each spot longer than usual, whiiiich meant that the parchment paper lining my baking pan didn’t hesitate to ignite! Mostly I was able to blow it out, but a couple of times it got a little scary with embers flying around and I had to run the pan over to the sink. (*laughs nervously*) Probably right now is an even less convenient time than usual for a home fire, what with emergency services being a bit preoccupied, so next time I would make sure to line the pan with foil rather than parchment. Although… to be honest, and I’m surprised to be saying this, I don’t know that the toasty marshmallows added the touch that I thought they would! I certainly liked how the bars looked, but I might have liked the first batch better (with the marshmallows simply folded in). Another thing I might try next time is toasting the marshmallows *before* folding them into the chocolate, which means they would be gooey and would create marshmallow ribbons throughout the chocolate… YES, I do believe this would be an excellent life choice.

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My, how the world has changed since wrapping up 10 Ten Days of Hamantashen earlier this month. For those of us lucky enough to work at home during this global pandemic (and I fully recognize how lucky I am), there’s never been more time or a better reason to bake. Wanna give these a whirl? You can find the recipe for S’more Nut Bars at Baked Sunday Mornings— I think we could all use a hefty dose of chocolate decadence to get through these dark days!

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© Dafna Adler & Stellina Sweets, 2020.


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