S’mores Fudge Bars

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I did it. I finally did it! I’ve made a few variations of these S’mores bars from Cookies & Cups over the last couple years in an attempt to make a graham cracker crust that wouldn’t crumble when cut. Let’s be honest. That combination of graham cracker, marshmallow, and ooey chocolate fudge is delicious enought that I just couldn’t abondon it because the crust wouldn’t stay togheter. But today, success. I honestly am not even sure if it was the crust recipe or if it was because I packed the crust into the pan with my meat tenderizer? Regardless, the bars today finally have a true crust layer!

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Crust aside, Happy 4th of July! Here’s hoping that you’ve been able to continue the weekend celebration through Tuesday. These bars scream summer to me, and beside the red, white, and blue berry desserts, seem like the perfect treat to celebrate summer!

P.S. Is there anyone who can actually manage to eat toasted marshmallows without getting it EVERYWHERE?!?  This certainly exceeds my abilities. But, that’s part of the fun, right? 🙂

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Enjoy!

(Printable Recipe)

S’mores Fudge Bars
Adapted from Cookies & Cups, crust from Chelsea’s Messy Apron

Ingredients:
Crust:
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (~10-11 full sheets)
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
6 Tbsp. melted unsalted butter

Fudge Layer:
1 bag milk chocolate chips
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

Marshmallow Fluff Layer
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp. salt
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×9 (or 8×8) baking pan with non-stick spray. In a bowl, combine the crust ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined. Press evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Pack the crumbs down as much as you can (I used a meat tenderizer to really pack them in). Bake for 10 minutes and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the chocolate chips and the sweetened condensed milk. Heat over medium-low heat until melted and combined. Pour immediately over the graham cracker mixture (the graham cracker layer does not need to be completely cool).

For the marshamallow fluff, combine the sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt in a small sacuepan. Cook over medium-high heat until a candy thermometer reaches 240 degrees F. While the mixture is boiling, beat 2 egg whites and cream of tartar together in a stand mixer until soft peaks form. Stop the mixer if needed at this point until the sugar mixture is ready. Once the sugar mixture reaches 240 degrees, turn the mixer on low speed and slowly pour the sugar mixture into the egg whites. Turn up the mixer speed to high and continue to beat the mixture for 6-8 minutes or until thick and glossy. Add the vanilla extract with about 1 minute left. Turn your oven on to low broil. Spread the marhsmallow fluff (I use the entire batch) over the chocolate. Broil for 1-2 minutes or until it begins to brown. Watch the marshmallow layer carefully while under the broiler. Once it starts to brown, it will toast (read: burn) quickly. Let cool, cut into squares, and serve.

Cake Batter Rice Krispie Treats

I am way behind the times on the cake batter trend, but I am actually okay with that. I figure that as long as I can still hop on the train that I haven’t completely missed it 🙂

I hold a special place in my heart for rice krispie treats. As simple as they are, I have always loved them. Ask my mom. Apparently I tried to “run-away” once when I was younger but decided to come home because we were having rice krispie treats for dessert. True story. They also single-handedly helped me get through college. My roommates and I would make them in a big bowl in the microwave and dig-in with a fork. No pan or set-time included. We made them quite a bit. Movie tonight? Let’s make rice crispies. Finals week? Add some m&m’s. You get the idea. 

As you may imagine, when I saw the idea for cake batter rice krispie treats on Jessica’s blog, I knew I had to make these. Were they good? No explanation needed, and they may have spurred a interest in other cake batter-flavored treats. Cake batter ice cream anyone? Enjoy!

(Printable Recipe)

Cake Batter Rice Krispie Treats
From How Sweet It Is

Ingredients:
3 Tbsp. butter
1 (10 oz) bag marshmallows
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup yellow cake mix
6 cups rice krispies cereal
assorted sprinkles

Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat and add marshmallows. Stir until the begin to melt and mix in vanilla. Add in cake mix one spoonful at a time and stir until combined. Stir in cereal so it is completely coated with marshmallow mixture. Sprinkle in half of the sprinkles and mix. Press into a baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray (I like an 8×8 or 9×9 to make them thicker) and top with remaining sprinkles. Let sit for about 30 minutes before cutting.

Final Countdown to Christmas #4: Dad’s Milk Chocolate Fudge

This is another one of those recipes that has endured years and years of Christmases in our family, however this one has always been my Dad’s thing. I can remember having to stand on a step-stool in order to see over the edge of the stove so that I could help. 

In the years since my husband has been around (which is actually quite a few Christmases in itself!), it has become one of his favorite Christmas treats. I can’t blame him. Out of all the different kinds of fudge that I’ve tried, this one is definitely my favorite. We had some trouble finding marshmallow creme this year and actually drove around to three different grocery stores to find it. The fudge is worth it. 

The recipe that we use is based of the fantasy fudge recipe that is listed on the back of the container of Kraft marshmallow creme. Our main swap is that we always use milk chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet or dark chips, and that is exactly the reason that I love it so much. The other modification is in cooking time. We never use a candy thermometer, so we usually just cook it for 5-6 minutes instead of the 4 listed on the can. Enjoy!

(Printable Recipe)

Dad’s Milk Chocolate Fudge
Adapted from Kraft Fantasy Fudge

Ingredients:
3/4 c. (1-1/2 sticks) butter
3 c. sugar
2/3 c. (5oz can) evaporated milk
1 (12oz) pkg. milk chocolate chips
1 (7oz) jar marshmallow creme
1 tsp. vanilla extract 

Grease a 9×13-inch pan with non-stick spray and set aside.

Combine butter, sugar, and evaporated milk in a 2-1/2 quart saucepan; bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 5-6 minutes while continuing to stir. Remove from the heat and stir in the marshmallow creme and chocolate chips. Mix in the vanilla.

Pour into the prepared pan. Cool and cut into squares.

Final Countdown to Christmas #2: Peppermint Marshmallows

I’m getting a little late in the day on this one, but it’s still technically Tuesday. Better late than never right? We had a marathon baking session today to almost finish out my baking list, so I should be set for the next few days. 

Marshmallows are something that have been on my “to make” list forever. I have wanted to make them for quite some time, but they seem like one of those things that need an “occasion” such as a camping trip or something along those lines. My “occasion” never came up, so there they sat on the list.

I saw this recipe on What Megan’s Making a couple weeks ago on her 12 Days of Christmas Countdown, and it was perfect. My occasion would be Christmas Eve and the destination for these little goodies was definitely going to be a steaming, hot cup of hot chocolate! 

Fast forward a couple weeks, and I’ve actually made these twice. The first time with only a hand-held mixer and the second time in Arizona with my kitchen aid. They worked well both times, but I could definitely see the mixture set up a little quicker using my stand mixer. It almost set up too much as it was really hard to get the pretty red swirls in the second batch. My only advice with this recipe would be to stop the last mixing process if you think they’re getting pretty thick. You want to be able to pour them very slowly not have to press a spatula on the goop to get it to spread out =) However, while my second batch wasn’t quite as pretty, they are still delicious. Try these out! I know that mug of hot chocolate is calling your name!

(Printable Recipe)

Peppermint Marshmallows
Adapted from Martha Stewart and What Megan’s Making

Ingredients:
vegetable oil cooking spray
1-1/2 c. warm water, divided
2 c. sugar
1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
4 pkg (1/4 oz. each) unflavored gelatin
1 tsp. peppermint extract
2 large egg whites

liquid red food coloring 
Line the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch pan with parchment paper and coat the parchment with cooking spray. Set aside. Put sugar, corn syrup, and 3/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Stop stirring and let the mixture come to a boil. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook until mixture registers 260 degrees on a candy thermometer. 
Meanwhile, sprinkle gelatin over 3/4 cup water in a heatproof bowl; let stand 5 minutes to soften. Set the bowl with the gelatin mixture over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat, and stir in extract. Set aside.  
Beat egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Whisk gelatin mixture into sugar mixture. With the mixer running, gradually add the sugar/gelatin to the egg whites. Mix on high speed until very thick, 12 to 15 minutes or until the mixture looks like it is really starting to thicken.
Pour mixture into lined pan. Working quickly, drop dots of red food coloring across surface of marshmallow. Using a toothpick, swirl the drops into the  marshmallows to create a marbleized effect. Let marshmallow stand, uncovered, at room temperature until firm, at least 3 hours or overnight. Cut into squares using a pair of kitchen scissors. Roll the cut marshmallows in powdered sugar to prevent sticking and store in a ziploc bag or airtight container.