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Gooey marshmallow bars carry flavors of summer — no campfire required

  • NEW YORK TIMES

    These s’mores blondies are messy-in-a-good-way and capture the essence of s’mores — toasted marshmallows, gooey chocolate, malty graham cracker flavor — in a home oven.

These messy-in-a-good-way blondies capture the essence of s’mores — toasted marshmallows, gooey chocolate, malty graham cracker flavor — in a home oven. The blondie base replaces some of the flour with graham cracker crumbs and is studded with large chunks of chocolate and marshmallow.

Use chopped bar chocolate rather than chocolate chips, which contain stabilizers and don’t fully melt (though substituting chips will still result in a delicious blondie).

As the blondies finish baking, they’re topped with a layer of marshmallows and another round of chocolate; messy and delicious, just like the real thing.

S’MORES BLONDIES

By Erin Jeanne McDowell

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 9 whole graham crackers (about 135 grams), or store-bought graham cracker crumbs (about 1 cup)
  • 1-1/4 cups (160 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup (225 grams) unsalted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
  • 1 packed cup (220 grams) dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) white sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces (225 grams) bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped into chunks
  • 2-1/2 cups (150 grams) mini marshmallows

Heat oven to 350 degrees and arrange oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven. Coat a 9-by-13-inch pan with nonstick spray and line it with baking parchment, leaving 2 inches of excess parchment on the long sides of the pan. (The excess will help you remove the blondies later.)

If using whole graham crackers, grind them in a food processor to a fine powder. Combine crumbs in food processor bowl with flour, baking powder and salt; pulse a few times to combine.

Cream butter and sugars with a mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes.

Add eggs one at a time, mixing on medium speed until well incorporated, scraping sides of bowl after each addition.

Mix in vanilla. Turn mixer to low and add graham crumb mixture; mix just to combine. Add about 3/4 of the chocolate; mix to incorporate.

Transfer dough to prepared pan. Use damp hands to press dough into an even layer.

Bake on lower rack until bars are golden at edges and surface has a crackly appearance, 30 to 32 minutes.

Remove pan from oven and sprinkle marshmallows evenly over surface. Return pan to top rack of oven and bake until marshmallows have softened and begun to turn golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes.

Remove pan from oven. If any of the marshmallows have puffed up, use a toothpick or skewer to puncture them. Sprinkle reserved chocolate on top of marshmallows and return pan to top rack of oven until chocolate is melted and gooey, and marshmallows are lightly toasted, about 2 minutes.

Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool, 45 minutes.

Use a thin knife to release blondies from pan on the short sides, then use the parchment sling to carefully lift the blondies out. Let cool another 10 minutes, then slice into 12 even pieces.

BROILING MARSHMALLOWS right to the brink of charred gives these bars a smoky taste. Keep an eye on the marshmallows through the oven door as you would with marshmallows over a fire — charred is good, burnt is bad.

CAMPFIRE MARSHMALLOW BARS

By Genevieve Ko

  • 6 cups crisped rice cereal
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, sliced
  • 1 bag (10 ounces) mini marshmallows

Put cereal in a large bowl.

Position an oven rack 6 inches from broiler element. Heat oven to broil, on a medium setting if possible, and turn on oven light.

Scatter butter in a 13-by-9-inch cake pan and place in oven until butter melts and its milk solids turn light golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Watch it carefully. Immediately remove pan from oven and carefully tilt it to evenly coat bottom with butter. Quickly spread marshmallows in a single layer in pan.

Return pan to oven and broil, watching the whole time, until tops of marshmallows are puffy and very dark golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes.

Carefully and immediately slide marshmallows into bowl with cereal. Leave behind any butter left in pan; don’t scrape anything out.

Carefully fold marshmallow mixture until cereal is evenly coated. Scrape mixture into cake pan and press it in an even layer. Cool completely, then cut into 24 bars. May be kept in an airtight container up to 3 days.

>> To make s’mores bars: After pressing marshmallow treats into pan, arrange 24 squares of milk chocolate in a 6-by-4 grid on top. Return to oven to soften chocolate, about a minute. Press a graham cracker into each piece of chocolate.

Nutritional information unavailable.

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