Thursday, June 2, 2011

Gimme s'more!!

I suppose it was my early years spent in the midwest where summer evenings are cool and camping is an acceptable summertime activity. Or maybe it was all the Girl Scout camps of my youth when we wore bandanas in our hair and stayed outside for days {and nights} on end. 

Whatever reason, summer reminds me of and makes me crave s'mores. 

This may not strike all of you as odd, but I live in Texas now and no one in Texas is considering lighting a fire anytime in at least the next six months. It may be longer before the burn bans are lifted and temps again dip below 80 {yes, even at night}.  

Suffice to say, s'mores are not so much a Texas summertime treat. But I miss them. And I want my kids to enjoy some some of the simple summertime pleasures of my youth: chasing fireflies and eating s'mores. Preferably on the same evening while the adults sit on a deck drinking tea {or was that tea in their glasses?} and discussing politics or the weather or possibly, how cute the kids are running amuck eating s'mores and chasing fireflies.

Good summer memories. 

Before Nintendo, Wii, the internet and even cable {gasp, yes, I'm that old and lived in the midwest as a tot}. 

Until we retreat to the mountains later this summer, we'll make do with this s'more bar recipe that requires only 4 ingredients and can be made in the comfort of your air conditioned kitchen. 

I have not tried it yet, but given the list of ingredients, I see little room for error! 

Toasted Bittersweet S’more Bars

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

Heat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch-square baking dish with foil, leaving about 1 inch hanging over 2 edges. Lightly coat the bottom and sides with cooking spray. Make room in the fridge.

Put 3 Tbs. 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.

Recipe and photo via Fine Cooking

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