The following “Chew This!” column originally appeared in “The Courier-Times” and / or “The Shelbyville News”. Check their websites for further information and dates.
Smores For a Crowd
Most of my life, I have never really been a fan of smores. I think maybe, looking back, it was because of the mess that they usually always made! Later on in my life, I started using different types of cookies in place of the graham crackers and I liked them a little better. I mean, have you tried making smores using those circle fudge stripped cookies!? Yum! Anyways, I always wondered to myself if there was a way you could somehow make smores less messy and make them in a large batch instead of one single smore at a time. Well, I experimented with a few different concepts over the years, but nothing ever really worked. I tried just layering the ingredients into a pan and baking them but that was a disaster because once you tried to cut and serve it, everything just sort of fell out and made a terrible mess! I put the idea on the backburner for a while and even experimented with air fryer smores. That was a mess too!
Well, a few weeks ago, there was a recipe sent to me through Facebook, suggesting that if you make a graham cracker base, sort of like the base to a cheesecake, you may be able to create some type of smores bars! Why did I not think of that? Of course! If you would line a pan with some type of base, the filling would stay put and not fall out and leak. So, I did some research and tried a few recipes and came up with something that was not only simple but extremely delicious as well! Now, in the perfect world, these would also have some type of graham cracker on top, so that the overall dessert would not be as sticky,but it is impossible with these because if you covered the marshmallow, it would not brown and if you covered them after, the overall dessert would be thrown off in texture. So, the following recipe is about as close to perfect as you can come when it comes to turning smores into bar form.
These are sticky and need to be chilled up until time for serving.
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
½ cup powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
9 Hershey bars
1 package mini marshmallows
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted unsalted butter, powdered sugar and salt. Pour this into the prepared pan and pat down firmly to create an even base.
Bake, in preheated oven, for 12 minutes.
Remove and lay the Hershey bars evenly all over the top.
Place back into the oven for 3 minutes.
Remove and pour on top the mini marshmallows. Spread evenly.
Turn oven to 475 degrees F. Bake bars until the marshmallows turn brown, about 8 minutes.
Remove and wrap with aluminum foil. Place into the refrigerator to chill for 4 hours.
Remove, gently lift the bars from the pan and cut with a sharp knife. The bars are sticky, so run your knife under hot water between making cuts into the bars.
Leftovers should be kept covered and chilled or at room temperature.
Ask and Answer: I have been getting a few questions about quick dinner ideas. My website has tons of menu options for quick dinners that include slow cooker dinners and sheet pan dinners. There is nothing simpler than throwing your favorite cuts of seasoned chicken onto a sheet pan, surrounding the cuts with some of your favorite seasoned vegetables and baking everything in the oven. One pan, one meal and not hardly any mess at all! I love that idea! I also love the idea of fixing a large turkey, or roast chicken and eating it for leftovers for several days. Saves time!