S’mores Bars are the perfect summertime treat, and my version of S’mores Bars includes a crisp, buttery, graham cracker cookie crust, a dark chocolate filling and chunks of toasted marshmallows with a gooey center. Plus, I add some vanilla and a little extra salt to these S’mores Bars for the perfect sweet balance.
I have a few s’mores recipes on The Crafting Foodie – like these killer S’more Sandwich Cookies and these S’more Cupcakes. But this summer, I was looking for an easy, quick s’mores recipe that elevated that elevated the treat into to a well-balanced, multi-textured dessert. And ta-da these S’mores Bars were born.
That meant the sweetness in these S’mores Bars had to be toned down – way down. While I love dessert just as much as the next sweet-toothed baker, if something is too sweet, it can taste like nothing but sugar. And let’s be honest, plain old sugar can be bland. Very bland.
My solution was to swap out the milk chocolate for dark chocolate. I like to use chocolate that is at least 70% cacao. The bitterness in the chocolate balances out the extreme sweetness from the marshmallows.
And to bring out the flavor of the cookie crust and topping in these S’mores Bars, I added vanilla and a little extra salt. I always bake and cook with kosher salt. I prefer the larger grains for a burst of saltiness.
Wanting to break up the soft, gooey texture of these S’mores Bars, I added extra graham cracker crumbs to the cookie dough base and topping so that as it cooked, the edges browned and got a little crisp.
Putting it all together, these S’mores Bars feature all the traditional flavors of a s’more, but with an amped up cookie dough base (thanks to the vanilla and extra salt) and a darker, richer chocolate filling from the 70% cocoa chocolate. And all of the deliciousness in these S’mores Bars is accomplished while still featuring a variety of textures – the gooey marshmallows, rich, silky chocolate filling, and the crisp, buttery graham cracker cookie base and topping.
These simple S’mores Bars are quite near perfection.
If you follow me on Instagram (which you really should, and you can do so right here: @thecraftingfoodie), you know that these S’mores Bars have shown up on my Instagram stories almost half a dozen times in the past 2 weeks. Each batch was the product of a specific request. And those requests keep on coming.
I brought a huge tray of these to a 4th of July picnic, and they were gone within half an hour. To say they’re beloved by my friends and family is an understatement.
Once you make these S’mores Bars, I promise they’ll be a regular in your summer dessert rotation. They are an easy, delicious, well-balanced crowd pleaser!
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup fine graham cracker crumbs
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- about 10 ounces dark chocolate, chopped (I used bittersweet chocolate chips)
- 10 ounces mini-marshmallows (I used an entire 16 ounce bag of regular marshmallows cut into quarters)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
- Line an 8x8 inch square baking sheet with parchment paper and grease the paper. *You can easily make a large batch of these bars by making 1½ times the recipe and using a half-sheet pan. It works perfectly.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together until fluffy (about 2 to 3 minutes on medium).
- Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined.
- Add in the dry ingredients, and mix until just combined.
- Half the graham cracker cookie dough.
- Working with one half of the dough, press it into an even layer covering the surface of the pan.
- Once smoothed, sprinkle over the chocolate.
- Next sprinkle the marshmallows in an even layer over the chocolate.
- Using the reserved graham cracker cookie dough, pinch off pieces of the dough, and nestle the pieces among the marshmallows.
- Bake for 27-30 minutes or until the marshmallows are toasty and brown.