You may have noticed in earlier posts that I have this curiosity about all things food. Point of fact, I’ve been wondering where the name “S’Mores” came from. Well, I’ll tell you all about that in this post, plus I’ll give you a kitchen recipe for S’mores bars that are good enough to bring summer in all its glory right into your very own dining room! In fact, I wish I could imbue this blog with the sweet, smoky and wonderful smell of the bars I just baked. I can't, darn it, you’ll just have to make them yourself!
There are several stories about where the name came from but they all share the same basis- that the name is a contraction of “Some more!” because kids always wanted more of them. Actually, can you picture any kids you know around a campfire and not wanting more of them?
The best story I can find is from Wonderopolis, a great website for families. While no one knows for sure who invented them, an early recipe was called “Some Mores” and was published in 1927 in Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts. It credited Loretta Scott Crew for the recipe. They were referred to in Girl Scout publications as “Some Mores” until at least 1971. There’s more information at National Geographic’s “The Plate” and at The Dirtbag Journal.
Although, I have to admit that my family called them S’mores long before the 1970s! Maybe we were just lazy speakers. But we did like our S’mores!
So I’ve been talking about a kids’ campfire treat, right? Well, not really. Let’s face it, the combination of childhood memories reengaged with the appeal of comfort foods like graham crackers, gooey marshmallows, and melted chocolate tempt me more now than they did when I was a child. I think the added factor of memories brings out all those sweet and toasty flavors, sending me into summer heaven!
Just a little tip for this recipe: I always use parchment paper and make “handles” when I prepare my pans. You do this by using parchment that’s longer than required, so the ends hang over the sides of the pan. Of course, you butter and flour the pan before adding the parchment and then you butter and flour the parchment paper as well. But it makes it very easy to lift the cookie out of the pan after baking, and then it cuts so much easier! Here’s a pan that just came out of the oven so you can see my “handles” (which don’t have to be very long at all!).
I also cut the bars and put them in pretty cupcake papers, making them look as summery as they actually are!
Here’s the recipe, now enjoy it! I’d also love to hear how it comes out for you.
Yield: (Base recipe) 8” X 8” pan; 16 pieces when cut 2” X 2”
1/2 cup (1 cube) unsalted Butter at room temperature plus additional for greasing pan
2/3 cup Brown Sugar
1 ½ tsp Vanilla
1 ¼ cups unbleached Flour
1 ½ cups Graham Cracker Crumbs, finely ground
½ tsp Cinnamon (ground)
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Sea Salt (fine)
1 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/3 cup to 1 cup Mini Marshmallows
Note: I use nearly a cup of marshmallows on each pan of S’mores bars because I want to have the really over the top indulgent taste of campfire S’mores. If you’re not a marshmallow lover or prefer treats a bit less sweet, just decrease the amount of marshmallows you use!
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Butter and flour an 8” square baking pan. To make it easy to remove the cookies, add a sheet of parchment paper and butter and flour it. After baking, hold the edges of the parchment to lift the entire ‘cake’ out of the pan for ease of cutting.
- Blend butter, brown sugar and vanilla until fluffy (about 2-3 minutes with stand mixer).
- Add eggs one at a time, mixing and scraping the bowl between additions. Mix until well blended and fluffy.
- Whisk flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt until blended.
- Add the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture and run mixer on 1 until the flours are just barely blended in. Stir by hand if necessary to finish it off.
- Transfer the dough to the prepared pan and pat out evenly.
- Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top.
- Sprinkle the marshmallows over the top of the chocolate.
- Bake at 350 until dough is baked and marshmallows are browned, about 15 minutes. (It’s hard to tell when the dough is baked, but usually there is one small area on a side or corner where the dough is exposed. You can test that spot with a toothpick.)
- If necessary, raise the oven to 375 for up to an additional 5 min or so (watch carefully) to get a nice dark brown on the marshmallows.
- Remove from oven to a cooling rack and cool to room temperature.
- Cut, serve and enjoy!
- These cookies can be stored in an air-tight container for up to a week, but taste best in the first 1-3 days.
Altitude Notes: I bake at over 5,000 ft elevation, and this recipe works well with just the following changes- Cut the Baking Powder in half, raise the oven to 360F, and start checking for doneness after 10 min of baking time.