Everyone loves S’mores. They just make folks happy. I noticed this when everyone scarfed down my S’mores Stuffed Cookies before I knew what was happening. One of my husband’s bands was coming around for rehearsal one evening and I wanted to make them something to snack on. As I was going through my list of possible sweet creations with my husband, the second I mentioned S’mores Brownies, he stopped me. No need to mention any other treats, he was sold on the S’mores. I’m glad I listened to him. These S’mores Brownies were just fantastic. The Fudge Brownie Recipe from King Arthur flour makes a very moist, decadently chocolaty brownie that still has some rise to it so that it is a cross between a fudge-like and a cake-like brownie. They never disappoint all on their own. But when I added some crunchy graham cracker to the batter ( I actually used cinnamon grahams, but feel free to use plain grahams) and topped the whole pan with gooey, toasted brown mini marshmallows, they were just to die for!
One important note. This brownie recipe calls for Dutch Process Cocoa Powder. I’ve come across many recipes that call for this type of cocoa powder before and, silly me, I just thought it was regular old unsweetened cocoa powder. Well, guess what? It isn’t. For some reason, this time I decided to look up Dutch Process Cocoa powder. Boy was I surprized. According to the Joy of Baking article of cocoa powders, Dutch Process Cocoa powder is “…treated with an alkali to neutralize its acids. Because it is neutral and does not react with baking soda, it must be used in recipes calling for baking powder, unless there are other acidic ingredients in sufficient quantities used. It has a reddish-brown color, mild flavor, and is easy to dissolve in liquids. Its delicate flavor makes it ideal in baked goods like European cakes and pastries where its subtle flavor complements other ingredients. Droste, Lindt, Valrhona, Poulain and Pernigotti are some popular brands.” Whereas “Natural Unsweetened Cocoa Powder tastes very bitter and gives a deep chocolate flavor to baked goods. Its intense flavor makes it well suited for use in brownies, cookies and some chocolate cakes. When natural cocoa (an acid) is used in recipes calling for baking soda (an alkali), it creates a leavening action that causes the batter to rise when placed in the oven. Popular brands are Hershey’s, Ghirardelli, and Scharffen Berger.” Hmmm…so my baked goods which had needed Dutch Process Cocoa but got natural unsweetened cocoa due to my oversight have probally not risen as much as they ought to of because my cocoa powder has been cancelling out the baking powder. The good news is don’t fret if you only have unsweetened cocoa powder in the house and you really want to make these brownies. You don’t have to run out to the store in your jammies. (maybe it’s just me who sits around looking at recipes in her jammies….) You can use the cocoa powder you have on hand, according to Whats Cooking America, just add 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda for each 3 Tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa in the recipe. For example, in this recipe I added 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda to the cocoa. My brownies rose like a champ! No problem. And I leave this recipe much wiser about cocoa powder. They aren’t all the same and if a recipe says Dutch-Process Cocoa powder, it isn’t a suggestion!
But back to the S’mores Brownies…once again, they were awesome! Wonderfully moist and chocolatey, with a bit of graham cracker crunch, followed by that gooey marshmallow topping. I think next time I make these fellows, and yes, I’m sure there will be a “next time” I will use the big marshmallows on top, rather than the minis and maybe add some tiny squares of hershey chocolate bars on top as well, just to visually give it that traditional S’mores vibe. So why not get campfire nostalgic today and give these a try. You won’t regret it!
yield: 24 brownies – depending on how you slice them 🙂
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups Dutch Process cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups All-purpose flour (I recommend King Arthur unbleached all-purpose flour)
- 2 cups chocolate chips – I used mini chips, but regular size would be fine
- 1 cup of roughly crumbled graham crackers
- 12 big marshmallows or a couple handfuls of mini marshmallows
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ pan
In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, or in a saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir to combine. Or simply combine the butter and sugar, and heat, stirring, until the butter is melted. Continue to heat (or microwave) briefly, just until the mixture is hot (about 110°F to 120°F), but not bubbling; it’ll become shiny looking as you stir it. Heating the mixture to this point will dissolve more of the sugar, which will yield a shiny top crust on your brownies.
While the sugar heats a second time, crack the 4 eggs into a bowl, and beat them with the cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, and vanilla till smooth.
Add the hot butter/sugar mixture, stirring until smooth.
Add the flour and chips, again stirring until smooth. Note: If you want the chips to remain intact in the baked brownies, rather than melting in, let the batter cool in the bowl for about 20 minutes before stirring in the chips.
Stir in the graham cracker pieces.
Spoon the batter into a lightly greased 9″ x 13″ pan.
Place the 12 large marshmallows or scatter the mini marshmallows over the batter.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs sticking to it.
Recipe for Fudge Brownies from King Arthur Flour (the only flour I use!)
S’mores Idea from Sugar Cooking