So apparently, s’mores are a very American thing. Every Australian who I asked had no idea what the concept of a s’more was unless they had in fact experienced one in America. When I lived in Boston, making s’more themed baked goods was one of my absolute favourite baking activities. There are endless variations on this chocolate marshmallow graham cracker creation – but they all require graham crackers, which is something that Australia just doesn’t have. I found an adequate substitute in Marie biscuits, but my signature s’more creation, the s’more bar, also requires a jar of marshmallow cream – something incredibly easy to find in America but non-existent here. That is, until I learned about the little American section of the David Jones food hall, one of my favourite food destinations in Sydney. They have things like pop tarts (haha such a novelty), and also little jars of this toasted marshmallow cream that I decided would be an adequate substitute for what I needed here. I also make a mean s’more cookie if I do say so myself that merely requires regular marshmallows, so that will be on my s’mores to-do list next.
If you’ve never had a s’more before, this is a upscale casual version of the treat that in my opinion is far better than the actual thing. It captures the texture and flavours without being overly messy. If you can’t find this marshmallow cream stuff, just wait until I post a s’mores cookies recipe, because this will really only work with the jar of marshmallow cream. I had an intense craving to make these for ages and once I found the stuff at David Jones I decided a great occasion to make it for was a farewell to a colleague at work. It’s really just like making a cookie dough with a few extra steps involved at the end. I’d like to think I brought a classy version of American campfire culture to the office…
S’mores bars (adapted from Let’s Dish)
Ingredients – makes about 20
1/2 cup / 110 g butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 cups flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs or Marie biscuits crumbs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 ounces dark chocolate chips or chunks of a chocolate bar (I suppose you can use milk chocolate if you swing that way)
1 (7 oz.) jar marshmallow creme, or if you are in Australia, find a jar of toasted marshmallow spread at David Jones Food Hall – not quite the same, but it will do
Preheat oven to 180 C / 350 F. Lightly grease a square baking pan or line with parchment paper. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar and then add eggs and vanilla; beat until combined. Make sure the graham crackers / Marie biscuits are pulsed in a blender or crushed finely, and add them to the bowl along with the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix until combined – it should form a dough that you can handle.
Press half of the dough evenly in the pan. Spread marshmallow cream over the dough. I ended up only using about half the jar which was honestly a mistake because the marshmallow flavour was overpowered by the dough layer and the chocolate. So use all of it! Then evenly spread all the chocolate over the marshmallow layer. Spread remaining dough over the chocolate bars. This is a bit tricky but stretch it as thinly as you can, and it’s ok if there are a few gaps. Bake for 25-30 minutes, and test with a knife or toothpick – it should be nicely browned around the edges and golden on the top. Cool completely before cutting into squares.
I really must emphasise that making this baked good is extremely worth the bit of extra effort beyond just making cookies. I made these in Boston when I really wanted to impress a person because they are basically mind-blowing. I mean, the s’more combination of flavours is called that for a reason – you are not going to be able to have just one of these!