S’mores. I love chocolate and a gooey marshmallow stuffed between two graham crackers – not to mention just about any dessert that incorporates this combination.
Brownies? Woe to the pan of brownies that comes across my path…
S’mores and ( or should I say in? ) brownies? I’m in!
Last week, knowing about a jar of unused marshmallow crème sitting in a cabinet, I decided to look for a brownie recipe that used this. To be more specific, I was looking for a brownie with a layer of marshmallow crème inside. So you can imagine my disappointment and being somewhat surprised to not find such a recipe ( unless there’s one out there that I am missing ). However during my search I did come across a few recipes for s’more brownies. So, as one search led to another, the way searches always do, I found some delicious looking (s’more) brownie recipes. Unfortunately though, I didn’t have this or that ingredient for some of the recipes I was interested in. But all was not lost, remembering that jar of marshmallow crème sitting in the cabinet and some leftover graham cracker crumbs that I had used for my Valentine’s Day dessert, I left the internet to go make my own idea of a s’more brownie.
Next came the hard part: deciding whether to use the marshmallow crème ( I know, you’re thinking that after mentioning it that many times how could I not use it, right? ) or to just top them with some marshmallows for more of a s’more effect. Finally, after much debate, I decided to go with the marshmallows. Now, before I had reached my decision on the marshmallow aspect, while looking in the cabinet to get the jar of marshmallow crème I did not use, I came across an unopened jar of hot fudge topping – it’s amazing what hides itself in the cabinet, is it not? – and had a moment of inspiration. I thought, why not add a fudge swirl in the brownies for the melted chocolate effect? I liked where this was heading. So the next thing was to stop debating and discovering lost items in the cabinet and start baking!
Here are the results in a nutshell. ( I ended up trying two variations – not mention the few slight variations on the second variation. Right now I am one large walking brownie… )
The first: Graham cracker crust, brownie, fudge swirl, and toasted marshmallow topping.
Result: An okay brownie with a crust that crumbled, and a sticky top.
The second: Graham cracker crust, brownie, fudge and marshmallow swirl.
Result: Success! A crust that better held together, a nice fudge texture with just the right amount of marshmallow – and not too sticky!
So, my friends, if you are like me and like s’mores and love brownies, or vice versa, then this is a brownie you won’t be disappointed in!
> Why so much butter? Adding a little more butter than one might normally use when making a crust, really helps it to stick together better, and withstand the weight from the brownie batter. However you still want to be careful when distributing the batter on top of the crust.
> Egg white. I have used a recipe before that incorporates egg white into the crust mixture, so I decided to as well and all though I do not know the exact reason for doing so, it really made a nice, firmer crust.
> Usually when a recipe calls for 1 cup of chocolate chips, I just dump in the whole bag – can you tell I am a total chocolate lover? So if you are like me and tend to do the same, you actually don’t want to with this recipe. With the hot fudge in there it really makes up for it – plus, it can be hard enough to tell when they are done as it is!
> Try to spread the batter around as gently as you can ( you can’t be in a hurry :)) so as not to upset the crust. If you don’t, the crust will come up with the batter and you will probably end up with graham cracker crumbs in the brownies – although if that’s what you want, it might not be too bad… let me know!
> I used two different types of butter knifes and a small offset spatula for spreading the batter. I personally think the spatula is the better choice, but if you don’t have one, no worries, the knives worked just as well, the spatula just made it a little easier.
Marshmallow & Fudge swirl
> The only thing to really note on this step is that you really want to be careful – again – when swirling so the knife ( or whatever you use ) doesn’t go through to the crust.
> My oven is weird, plain and simple. So you might have to full around a little bit with baking temperatures, but since I think the problems I had with baking times lay with the oven ( it cooks at a hotter temperature than it is supposed to ) I think you will be fine at 350° f. Depending on your oven, just start with 30 minutes and go from there. But if you do have a problem with baking, just leave me a comment so I can try to help you. The last variation I did on these, I baked them for 33 ( I know, why the odd number? As I said before, my oven is weird and fickle ) minutes. When I tested them, they weren’t quite done, so I lowered the temp. to 325° f. and baked them for 8 more minutes, which did the job.
> This is a dense brownie. Due to the hot fudge topping it is also a very moist brownie. In fact so much so, that it will probably never seem fully baked. But again, this is just the affect of the hot fudge inside. If it seems to complicated to add the hot fudge sauce and you are not keen on the underdone fudge effect, then just omit it and add ( or don’t ) the whole bag of chocolate chips – it will be a good brownie either way!
Again, if you have any questions concerning this recipe, leave a comment below and I will try to answer any questions you might have. Also, as I am still experimenting with this recipe, let me know if you did any thing different – or even if you didn’t – and how they turned out, I would love to hear some feedback!
For the crust
2 C. graham cracker crumbs
1/2 C. ( 1 stick ) butter
1 egg white, lightly beaten
For the brownies
1 C. ( 2 sticks ) butter, melted
3 C. granulated sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 C. all – purpose flour
1 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. salt
1 C. semi sweet chocolate chips
Hot fudge topping ( about 6 tbsp. )
Marshmallow creme ( about 6 tbsp. )
For the crust
Preheat the oven to 325° f. Lightly grease the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish with butter.
In a medium bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs and butter. Add the beaten egg white.
Press mixture evenly in the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
Bake for 10 minutes.
While the crust is baking, prepare the brownie batter.
Remove the crust from the oven and increase the heat to 350° f.
For the brownies
In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar, and vanilla.
Using a whisk ( or mixer ), add in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, and salt.
Gradually, using a spatula, add the flour mixture to the egg mixture using a little bit of a folding motion until thoroughly combined.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Pour batter on top of the crust and, using a small offset spatula or butter knife, gently ( so as not to disturb the crust ) spread until evenly distributed.
Next, using no more than 6 tbsp. total, drop the fudge by tablespoonfuls evenly on top of the batter. Then, using a knife, swirl until just lightly incorporated. Repeat with the marshmallow creme.
Bake until moist crumbs stick to a toothpick when inserted, about 30 – 40 minutes.
Let cool before cutting and serving.
Brownies adapted from Brookes Best Bombshell Brownies