Super Simple S'mores Bars

When I get home from the grocery store, I empty all of my bags and organize things into piles according to where they go (fridge, freezer, upstairs pantry, basement pantry). The upstairs pantry is just a tiny cabinet in our dining room where I try to store the stuff we’ll use in the next week along with the most frequently utilized staples (peanut butter and brown sugar, for example). That cabinet has been driving me crazy lately though because it also seems to be the place where half-empty jars of “stuff” accumulate. I could have banished them to the basement pantry (which is really just a few wire racks in the unfinished half of our basement) but the odds I’d remember to use them before they went bad were slim to none.

Super Simple S'mores Bars

So, instead, I made it my mission to find ways to use these miscellaneous ingredients and clear some space asap. First up was a partial jar of fluff, leftover from the oatmeal creme pies project. I really had no idea what I was going to do with it until I also came across a package of Hershey Bars in the basement. I was convinced there had to be a way to turn them into some variation on s’mores, and I found one :)

Super Simple S'mores Bars

I have a ton of s’mores treats on the blog, but these are definitely the easiest! The only thing you have to make is the base, which is a simple cookie dough that incorporates graham cracker crumbs. This “crust” is covered with whole chocolate bars and then a layer of marshmallow creme, and finally some of the reserved crust mixture crumbled over the top. In the oven, the cookie base stays soft and chewy while the fluff puffs and becomes more marshmallow-like in texture. And surprisingly, the chocolate bars don’t melt into a giant puddle! I absolutely loved these, and I wasn’t alone – they were met with rave reviews at Shane’s office too. They’re the perfect little afternoon snack or late-night dessert, and luckily for me, a great way to use up half a jar of fluff. I’d never give up classic campfire s’mores but this portable, less messy version is a very nice substitute!

Super Simple S’mores Bars
adapted from Taste of Home

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (from about 5 whole crackers)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 milk chocolate candy bars (1.55 oz each)
1 cup marshmallow creme

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on opposite sides to lift the bars out afterward. Spray the foil and pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat to combine. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients gradually, beating just until the dough comes together.

Transfer the dough to the prepared pan, reserving 1/2 cup to use for the topping. Gently press the dough into an even layer over the bottom of the pan. Top the crust with the candy bars (you’ll probably have to break them up and shingle them to create a single layer). Spread the marshmallow creme over the chocolate bars. Top with the reserved dough, crumbling over the marshmallow creme.

Bake the bars for about 25 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely. Lift from the pan using the foil “handles” and cut into squares for serving (I found these cut easily if I refrigerated them for a little while first).

Makes 16 bars