Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Toffee S'mores Bars: Because You Don't Have to Be the Only Thing Roasting This Summer

So June 1 came, and the second it did, Mother Nature hit preheat on her oven. Seriously, we spent all day Sunday sitting on our back porch enjoying a cool breeze, cooler adult beverages, and a couple good books. Come Monday morning, I was sweating like a hooker in church when I walked the dogs at 8 in the morning. Summer is here. My least favorite of the seasons, especially since the closest body of water we had decided it didn't want to pay rent for the month of June and totally dried up in a day thanks to the heat. Farewell, Predator Pond. It's also never really made sense to me that summer is a big season for campfires and bonfires in the later evening. I guess when you spend all day roasting in the heat yourself, you just really need to set something else on fire so you can spread the pain. I guess the one potentially good thing that could come from a backyard fire pit extravaganza is that you accidentally set your yard on fire, in which case, firetruck! Those babies have a hose on them that could turn your entire backyard into one glorious slip-n-slide. I can get behind the backyard fire pit for one reason: S'mores. I've already regaled you with how to make cupcake S'mores, but I needed some roasted marshmallows to help me deal with this sweltering grossness, so I came up with an idea for some deluxe Toffee S'mores bars so I could take the sweetness with me anywhere I wanted without making a mess and bringing ants along with me.
" it me your looking S'mores?"
 Ooey. Gooey. Sweet. Salty. In short: Amazing. These are the best part of camping without actually having to be nature. She's a cruel beast, but these S'mores toffee bars can take the sting out of just about anything. The added bonus is that they are unbelievably easy to make. Seriously...the hardest part about all of this was waiting for them to cool so I could cut them into bars. So if you'd like the summertime taste without the summertime heat, these are for you. If you're a crazy person who loves the summertime heat, I suppose you can still eat these, too, just know I think you're a sweaty weirdo.
I think these are even the simplest ingredients I've blogged about in ages as well.
If you keep chocolate chips and marshmallows on hand during the months of June-August, you already have everything you need to make these bars waiting for you in your pantry. How nice of them.

For the bars:
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of butter
For the toffee:
  • 2/3 cup of butter
  • 1/3 cup of brown sugar
For the topping:
  • 1-10 ounce bag of mini marshmallows 
  • 1-12 ounce bag of chocolate chips
Now be prepared for instructions so easy I'm fairly certain a well-trained dog could follow them. I wouldn't let my dogs make these because Freyja is a rather charming idiot and Hank a rather charming glutton (plus, where would that leave me, the baker?!), but you may have more luck with your dogs.
If you want thin bars, line a 9x13 pan with foil and spray the foil with non-stick spray. If you want really thick bars, place these in an 8x8 with foil and spray. Preheat the oven to 350.
Nuke your butter in the microwave for 20 seconds. You want it goopy, but not melted. Mix it in with 2 cups of flour and 1 cup of packed brown sugar. Take two forks or a pastry cutter (I've yet to meet anyone that actually owns a pastry cutter) and blend all the ingredients together. This should form something with consistency similar to Gak. You're welcome for the 90s reference.

Take the edible Gak and press it into your pan. I took a handful at a time and pressed it firmly into my pan until the pan was full. Pay close attention to the edges- be sure to press these areas down firmly as well so your edge pieces don't crumble like a dainty flower in a storm...or me in over 80 degree weather.
Now, let's make some toffee. Once you realize how easy this is, you're going to put toffee on EVERYTHING. I just wanted to eat it straight out of the saucepan. So, on medium-high heat, place 2/3 cup of butter (this is 10 1/2 tablespoons, let me save you the Google search) and 1/3 cup of packed brown sugar and melt together in a small saucepan. Keep mixing thoroughly until it begins to boil. Once boiling, stir like hell for one minute and then remove from heat. You need to use this stuff right away or it will be thicker than syrup and impossible to spread, albeit still delectable, so have your crust at the ready.
Pour your toffee on top of your crust. I moved my pan back and forth to get an even coverage. Now place on the top oven rack and bake for 17 minutes.
Not gonna lie, ate quite a few marshmallows while waiting for this crust to come out of the oven. Your entire house will smell how I imagine the inside of the Keebler Elf's tree house must smell, and it will make you hungry. But once the 17 minutes has passed and your toffee is nice and bubbly, things get even better.
Spread your entire (what's left of it after snacking anyway) bag of chocolate chips on top of your toffee crust. Place back into the oven at 350 for 3 minutes.
One your chocolate chips are melted, take a spatula and spread them evenly over the crust. If you don't like marshmallows, you could always call it a day here or top with crushed walnuts and still have an amazing dessert. But when it's so hot outside I could bake cookies on the dashboard of my car, I need roasted marshmallows on top of this chocolate to make my soul stop hurting. Sweating like a pig doesn't seem so bad when S'mores are involved.
Top the chocolate layer with your marshmallows. Doesn't have to be perfect because these will spread out and get puffy as they roast. Marshmallows, what can't you do? Stick this under your broiler for 2-3 minutes depending on your roasted marshmallow preference.
This was a full two minutes under the broiler, and it was perfect. Mouth watering yet? If it isn't, it's probably just because it's so damn hot outside your body refuses to use any more moisture than necessary.

Let cool in your pan until room temp. I placed in the fridge for 1 hour before removing from the pan, and then I waited another hour before removing the foil from the sides and cutting into bars.
Once slicing, enjoy a bar or two. I mean, I'd say you (or your dog) earned it after making them, but they're just so damn easy to put together that this isn't one of those moments resulting in hard work earning a reward. Instead it's a chance to eat something so delicious it makes you forget you may or may not be sweating to death. I suppose that's the magic of the S'mores bar--making summer tolerable since some Girl Scout decided she was tired of eating twigs and berries on a camp out and went with it. God Bless her...and whoever came up with toffee, but I'm too lazy to look that up because I'm hungry and I hear my pan of bars calling my name. Maybe the heat is making me delirious, y'all...'Til next time, my fellow eaters!
I can and will have S'more. I promise I'm done with my terrible puns now.

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