Wednesday, March 2, 2011
S'mores bars...and looking forward to lunch
Forgive me if you've heard this story before. It made quite an impression on me, so I tell it often.
Once, I went to a work training where the speaker was talking about job satisfaction. She asked everyone to write down something they could remind themselves of when they were having a rough day.
I wrote down:
This doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.
But I liked another woman's answer much better:
I'm bringing a better lunch tomorrow.
She explained it this way - even if everything is going terribly, you'll still have something to look forward to, a bright spot in your day. She revealed one of life's great truths to me. That's why I always, always pack a dessert with my lunch.
These s'mores bars would certainly brighten any day.
The bars are pretty sweet. I don't really have a sweetness threshold, but I'm told that some people do. So, if that description fits you, consider yourself warned. However, it's not just the taste I like. What elevates these to a favorite is the blend of textures. They are simultaneously gooey, melty and crumbly.
(inspired by The Sweets Life)
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs + a couple of extra handfuls
1 teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of salt
1/2 bag (6 ounces) chocolate chips (I used half semi-sweet and half milk chocolate)
2 cups mini marshmallows
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a square baking pan with cooking spray.
Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add an egg and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, stir together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Mix into the butter mixture until combined.
Press half of the dough into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove and spread chocolate chips over the crust. Top with marshmallows. Press the remaining dough over the marshmallows. Scatter a couple of handfuls of graham cracker crumbs on top. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool before cutting.
Notes - I used a mixture of semi-sweet chocolate chips and milk chocolate chips, but I'd like to try dark chocolate next time. To give it a little texture, I sprinkled extra graham cracker crumbs on top of the bars before baking. I also reduced the number of marshmallows, because I didn't want the bars to be too gooey.