By Joe Drozda and Bob Bley
This fall, it seems as if making s’mores is becoming a feel-good item in romantic comedy movies, especially on the Hallmark Channel. That’s because there’s nothing more “heartwarming” than a fire and people snuggling together while toasting marshmallows. Also, this fall, you’ll notice that your coffee barista is serving a s’more latte and the grocery coffee aisle is becoming stocked with the s’more flavors. Our problem is that tailgating isn’t conducive to having a half dozen folks roasting marshmallows by a fire in the parking lot when vehicles are parked so closely together.
Our solution was to locate a qualified expert to help us bring the s’mores to our tailgate menu as a desert. The rest was easy. We went on line and met Michelle Lettrich, the “Brown Eyed Baker.” She was born and raised in Pittsburgh, and in the past has worked as a marketing analyst. In the kitchen, she is entirely self-taught through a tremendous amount of trial and error. Her grandmother was a fabulous home baker, and her gene and recipes were passed on the Michelle who now has one of the premier food blogs on the internet, where you can find her at BrownEyedBaker.com She has thousands of followers and is truly well respected, so we asked her how to prepare something like s’mores at a tailgate.
Just like a stroke of genius, Michelle said, “Joe, why don’t you make S’mores Bars?” The result is her recipe for s’mores at your tailgate. Michelle told us, “You’ll love how all the s’mores flavors work together – the graham crust, chunks of marshmallows, the smooth chocolate and the crunchy peanuts are special.”
S’mores Bars with nuts
2 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
2/3 cup unsalted butter melted
7 1/2 ounces milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
7 1/2ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons light corn syrup
1 cup heavy cream
10 marshmallows cut into quarters
1/2 cup lightly salted whole peanuts
1/2 cup chopped lightly salted peanuts
Directions: The night before, preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9×13-inch baking pan, or spray it with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs and brown sugar. Add the butter. Combine the mixture, then turn it out into the prepared pan. Press the crust into an even layer along the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to create a perfectly even crust. Bake the crust for 10 to 15 minutes, or until it is golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and place on a cooling rack. In a large heatproof bowl, toss the chocolates together. Drizzle the corn syrup over the chocolate and set aside. In a medium saucepan, bring the cream just to a boil. Remove from the heat and pour the cream over the chocolate mixture. Let stand for 2 to 3 minutes. Starting in the center of the bowl and working your way out to the edges, whisk the chocolate mixture in a circle until completely smooth. To evenly distribute the nuts and marshmallows drizzle about 1/3 of the chocolate into the graham crust and spread evenly. Then sprinkle the whole peanuts and the marshmallows on top, then top with the remaining chocolate. Sprinkle the top with the chopped peanuts. Refrigerate for at least three hours, or until set. Cut into squares. Store the bars in the refrigerator, covered, overnight.
On game day pack the bars into the top of your food cooler for transport to the stadium. Then, remove the bars first to allow them to warm to outside temperature for eating.
Depending on your cut and sweet tooth, this recipe can make up to 24 servings.