Variety Flour Thursday: S’mores Cookie Bars

May 26, 2011

This post begins with a warning. My roommate (bless her heart and soul) came home from work the other night with three bags of whole wheat flour and gave me full access to them. What does that mean? You’ll probably be seeing a whole bunch of recipes using whole wheat flour, on Variety Flour Thursdays and beyond. “Warning” was perhaps too strong a word. Consider this a “heads-up” then.

As much as I appreciate all flours, as they provide the basis to some of my favorite things in the entire world, whole wheat flour is definitely in my top two favorite flours to use (the other being buckwheat). Not only does using whole wheat flour make it easier for me to pretend what I’m making has some sort of health benefit other than being delicious, but it also lends a more interesting, earthy flavor. Your baked goods have a bit more oompf. There are even options to use whole wheat flour in fluffy cakes and delicate pastries – whole wheat pastry flour and even white whole wheat flour to a certain extent.

My preferred way to use whole wheat flour? Cookies. I love the chew factor and nutty flavor that whole wheat flour can give to cookies without being overpowering or ruining the texture. This week I was feeling like something extra gooey and ridiculous melty, so I decided to make a s’mores treat and substitute some whole wheat flour in for all-purpose to see what happened. Much to my delight, adding whole wheat flour to these bars was a success. However, I didn’t follow the instructions and used marshmallows instead of marshmallow fluff, even though it was clearly stated in the original recipe. I was way too lazy to go back to the store and paid for it. The bars were great, don’t get me wrong, but the marshmallows kind of evaporated (as they tend to do when baked) and left the bars with the occasional white puff and a thin layer of sweet. So, word to the wise, follow the instructions and use marshmallow fluff to get optimal gooey-ness.

S’mores Cookie Bars

(Adapted from Crepes of Wrath)

Yields one 8 inch square pan of bars, between 16 and 20 bars

Ingredients:

½ cup, or 1 stick, unsalted butter, room temperature

¼ cup light brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/3 cups all-purpose or whole wheat flour

¾ cup, about 8 whole crackers, graham cracker crumbs*

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

2 king-size milk chocolate bars, or about 1 ½ cups chopped milk chocolate

1 ½ cups marshmallow fluff (not marshmallows, as we’ve learned!)

*If you have a food processor, you can pulse the graham crackers to get crumbs. If you, like me, lack this marvelous kitchen tool, you can crumble the crackers by hand or with an appropriate kitchen tool (like a potato masher). It takes longer and you don’t get as fine a crumb, but it works!

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and either grease or line with parchment an 8 inch square baking pan. Lining with parchment is nice because you can just pull the bars out of the pan when cooled.

2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and both sugars until light and fluffy.

3. Beat eggs and vanilla into butter mixture until fully incorporated.

4. In a smaller mixing bowl, whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, and salt.

5. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture and stir until all ingredients are combined. Divide dough in half.

6. Press half of the dough into the bottom of pan. Next layer chocolate over dough, then marshmallow fluff over chocolate, and, finally, press remaining the half of dough on top. It’s okay if there is some marshmallow visible through pressed dough on top.

7. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes until top is lightly browned. If corners brown too quickly, as mine did, cover edges with tin foil.

8. Let bars cool completely before cutting into squares.

Keep bars covered, at room temperature, up to three days.

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2 Responses to “Variety Flour Thursday: S’mores Cookie Bars”

  1. Sydney Says:

    What a great way to make these a bit better for you – I love it! 🙂


    • Thanks so much for dropping by and leaving a comment! The whole wheat flour does make it easier for me to believe these bars have some benefit other than being contented smile-inducing! I’m still kicking myself, though, for using marshmallows instead of marshmallow fluff. Next time!


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