Sunday, February 12, 2012

Weekend Cooking; S'More Brownies

I made these brownies last weekend under the ruse that they were for Teenage Boy.  If he remains relatively respectful all week I make him a sweet treat.  It is tough to keep any teenager happy and this seems to work for him.  He loves to eat, needs to gain weight, and we get to see him smile.  It's not like he gets to eat the whole pan by himself; I ate one or two (three or four) myself and they were out-of-this-world delicious.  I'm thinking about making them again real soon.  I miss them.

This was a spur-of-the-moment recipe and some substituting occurred.  Graham crackers aren't a regular feature in my pantry except during the summer and early Fall s'more high season.  Club crackers on the other hand are a  staple plus I like that salty/sweet sensation.

Brownie S'Mores Bars  (makes 36 treats)
adapted from So Sweet! (Sur La Table p. 30-31)

1 1/2 cups fine graham cracker crumbs (Club Crackers)
1 T. sugar
6 T. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter

Brownie Filling
6 ozs. semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup sugar
2 large farm fresh eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows (I used regular-sized and groovy girl cut them into fourths)

1. Position an oven rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 350*F. Turn a 9-inch square baking pan upside down and mold a piece of aluminum foil to the outside.  You should have about an inch of aluminum foil overhang.  Slide the foil off the pan bottom, and turn the pan over. Slip the foil inside the pan.  Fold down any foil that extends past the top edges over the outside.  Lightly butter the foil or use spray.
2. Place the crackers crumbs, and sugar in a medium bowl.  Pour the melted butter over the cracker crumbs and stir with a silicone spatula until the mixture is evenly moistened.  Smash any lumps (groovy girl's job)
3.Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and use your clean fingers to press it into an even layer over the bottom of the pan.
4. Bake for 10 minutes.  Using oven mitts, transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let cool for 15 minutes.  Leave the oven on.
5. Put the chocolate on a cutting board.  Using a serrated knife, chop the chocolate into small pieces.  Put the butter in a medium saucepan, place over low heat, and heat until it melts. turn off the heat, and move the pan to a heatproof surface.  Add the chocolate to the pan, let it sit for 2 minutes, then whisk until blended.  The chocolate should be very smooth.  If it is still lumpy, let it sit for another minute or two, then whisk again.  Scrape the chocolate mixture into a large bowl.
6. Whisk the sugar into the chocolate mixture until fully blended.  Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, blending well after each egg is added.  Whisk in the vanilla.  Finally, whisk in the flour and salt.  Whisk slowly at first, then fast until batter is smooth and shiny.  It will be thick.  Stir in the chocolate chips.
7. Using a spatula, scrape the batter into the crust and smooth the top.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Using oven mitts, remove the pan from the oven, set it on a heat proof surface.  Carefully sprinkle the mini marshmallows evenly over the top.  Gently press on the marshmallows so they mush into the brownies a bit.
8. Return the pan to the oven and continue to bake for another 15 minutes, or until the brownie mixture feels firm when lightly pressed, or do the clean toothpick trick.  Transfer to the cooling rack and let cool completely.
9. To remove brownies from the pan, lift the foil out from opposite corners.  Set brownies on cutting board and peel back the foil.
10. Spray a chef's knife and cut into 6 equal strips. Then repeat across the other way to make even bars.  Store in an airtight container or resealable zip-lock for up to 5 days.

Taste test:  We waited for them to cool (almost) and sliced them with no problems.  They were delicious and my husband (the only one in the house lacking a sweet tooth) went back for seconds.  I would make them again using Club Crackers-I thought it added a different twist and graham crackers might make it over sweet for us.  I hardly ever use milk chocolate chips preferring dark or semi-sweet.  My environmentally-friendly self would use parchment paper in the pan instead of foil next time I make them.  I think it would work just the same since I am not a fan of cooking with or in tinfoil.

I like it when I can create something this yummy with supplies I already have on hand.  Too often recipes call for two to ten odd ingredients that I have to shop for which is fine sometimes but it is always nice to whip something up without that added shopping trip.  As I grow as a "chef" I've learned what will make good substitutions, even in baking.

This post is linked to Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking meme.  Click the link to see other food-related posts.  I posted about So Sweet!
for another Weekend Cooking post about whoopie pies.


Janssen said...

Oh, STOP! Those look amazing.

Beth F said...

OMG. These do indeed look amazing. I want some .... NOW! And good for you for finding a way to make them with what you had on hand. I'm definitely trying these for the next pot luck I'm invited to.