Sometimes, I can be a big pain in the butt.
Scratch that. Most of the time, I can be a big pain in the butt.
The good news is, I realize this, and I try to remedy it when I can. For example, I recently got some some bright purple highlights underneath my hair, and I was a little difficult for my hairdresser to deal with. You see, I’m a perfectionist, and I wanted it just right. My hairdresser, however, is so unbelievably patient and sweet. She made my hair perfect, and she was nothing but kind throughout the process. I think she may be the nicest hairdresser on the planet.
So, in an attempt to make amends, I did what I do best: I made her food. My hairdresser has been extremely supportive about my website, so I figured it was about time she got to try some of my eats. I whipped up these Peanut Butter S’mores Bars and presented them as a means of saying, “Thank you for dealing with me.” There are only a few people in this world who do deal with me, and I very much appreciate all of them.
It’s not an easy job.
I may be difficult and complicated, but these bars sure aren’t. They’re super simple to put together but, my god, are they good! The base is a softy, chewy layer of peanut butter-swirled graham cookie. I absolutely love the texture. It’s sturdy enough to hold, but soft enough to melt in your mouth. You get that hint of graham cracker flavor plus the salty peanut butter, and that alone is incredible. But then, the cookie layer is topped with pure milk chocolate. It’s creamy smoothness pairs perfectly with the salty, chewy cookie layer. Next, the bars are adorned with ooey, gooey marshmallow Fluff, which bakes up to the exact texture of a toasted marshmallow. Finish the bars off with a final crumble of the cookie dough, and you’ve got yourself something magical.
Combine all these wonderful layers, and you get the irresistible flavors of a s’more, plus salty peanut butter, all in one delicious bar. So many textures come into play: chewy, gooey, smooth…and it all works together perfectly. If you like s’mores, you will love these bars. They’re so good, you won’t be able to eat just one!
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
- Leave out the peanut butter to get classic s’mores bars.
- These are great for parties, get-togethers, or picnics.
- Here’s another way to get peanut butter flavor in these bars: instead of adding PB to the cookie dough, leave it out and replace the Hershey bars with Reeses Cups.
- 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
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, frozen
- 5 milk chocolate candy bars, 1.55 oz each (like Hershey’s)
- 1 cup marshmallow creme (like Fluff)
- 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. Drop the peanut butter in in spoonfuls. Turn the mixer on low speed just until peanut butter is distributed.
- 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 have to break them up and shingle them to create a single layer). Gently pread 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. (note: bars are easier to cut after refrigeration). You can pop the bars into the microwave for a few seconds before eating to achieve ooey gooey goodness.