I'm Elyse. Some of my most vivid and cherished memories are around a table with friends and family, and I want that for you, too.
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‘Tis the season for s’mores! Whether you were an avid camper, or just loved watching marshmallows blow up in the microwave, s’mores tend to be one of the first “composed” desserts kids learn how to make. Milk chocolate and marshmallow sandwiched between graham crackers? 5-year old culinary masters we were!
While s’mores were EVERYTHING when I was a kid—seriously, I could eat half a dozen in one sitting—as an adult, they fall a little flat. Now, I need to well and truly torch the marshmallow to add a touch of bitterness to an otherwise sweet explosion, and I crave more texture and more salt. That is where these brownies come in. They have all the classic components of s’mores—Hershey’s chocolate, graham crackers, and marshmallows—but with a deeply chocolate (and not too sweet) brownie sandwiched in between. These have become my go-to treat for summer potlucks and BBQs, or for when I’m craving the classic camping treat but don’t have my campfire handy.
How to Make S’mores Brownies
Don’t sleep on the abundance of toppings! This brownie recipe is not meant to stand alone and it benefits from the sweetness and texture that the chocolate, toasted marshmallows, and bits of graham cracker offer. I add instant coffee to a fairly classic brownie batter to intensify the chocolate and up the bitterness, but this is totally optional, and fair warning, the crystals will not fully melt into the batter until baked. If you are like me, and taste test the batter before baking, it might seem too bitter. But remember, we are piling on a layer of milk chocolate and marshmallows, so things will balance out in the end.
Another thing not to skimp on is the nonstick cooking spray. Normally, I would say parchment is plenty, but because the marshmallows come out of the broiler at maximum stickiness, having some nonstick spray on top of the parchment will make cutting them much easier.
Because we are putting the brownies under the broiler, I like to slightly underbake them before adding the marshmallows. This ensures that you are left with a perfectly sliceable, but still fudgy, brownie. Once these puppies go into the broiler, watch them like a hawk! Marshmallows are almost pure sugar, so they can catch quickly—going from perfectly gooey and toasted to burnt in the time it takes you to eat a graham cracker (Learn from me!)
The layers should look like (from bottom to top):
Graham cracker crust
Extra graham crackers and chocolate pieces
Last thing! While I am not here to tell you how to eat your sweets, I really recommend waiting until these brownies are fully cooled before digging in. In fact, I think they taste better the next day. Covered, they last about 3 days before things start getting a little soggy on you.
We’re pairing the most nostalgic camping dessert with a rich and chocolatey brownie for the perfect summer treat.
For the graham cracker crust:
1 1/2C graham cracker crumbs (9–10 crackers)
1/4C + 2T unsalted butter, melted
1/4t kosher salt
For the brownie:
1/2C unsalted butter, melted and still warm
1C brown sugar
1/4C unsweetened cocoa powder
1t vanilla extract
2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
1/2t kosher salt
3/4C all-purpose flour
3 Hershey’s milk chocolate bars
1 graham cracker
Make the crust:
Preheat your oven to 350F. Line an 8×8 square pan with parchment paper (ensuring the sides are covered as well). Spray the paper with nonstick cooking spray.
In a bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs and salt. Pour the melted butter over top and work it into the crumbs until you achieve a crumbly, wet sand consistency.
Dump the mixture into your prepared pan and press it down with the bottom of a cup or your hand. Make sure it is pressed into the corners and that the mixture has a consistent thickness throughout. Set aside.
Make the brownie:
In a large bowl, whisk the melted butter, instant coffee, and brown sugar together. Whisk for a full two minutes, or until the mixture looks more homogenous and slightly fluffy.
Add the cocoa powder and whisk to incorporate.
Add the vanilla, 2 eggs, and the egg yolk, and whisk to combine. The mixture will look glossy and loose at this point.
Finally, add the salt and flour. Use a rubber spatula to fold in these ingredients until you can’t see any more white.
Dump the batter on top of the graham cracker crust—smoothing it out until it touches every corner of the pan.
Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the center of the brownie feels firm, but with a little give, when pressed. We want our brownies set, but not dry.
Remove the brownies and set your oven to broil. Break apart the Hershey’s bars into individual pieces and carefully lay them down on top of the still-hot brownie. I leave about a finger width’s space between each piece. If you have extras, no worries, save them for decoration later (or eat them, no judgment).
Now, place your marshmallows in a single row on top of the chocolate, gently pressing them into place. Use a towel, or oven mitts, to carefully put your brownies into the broiler. Leave them in there for just a minute or two, or until you achieve your desired toastiness. Keep an eye on them!
Pull your brownies out and let cool completely before removing them from the pan. Top with leftover chocolate and broken pieces of graham cracker for extra crunch.