This is pretty much all I've been baking lately . . .
One of my labmates told me about this cartoon, and I couldn't resist. If you've ever done lab research before (Kerstin!), you probably enjoyed this cartoon!
Our lab had a potluck dinner two weeks ago, and I decided to bring dessert. While I have about a million dessert recipes just waiting to be made, this one popped into my head. It just screams summer to me - anything S'mores makes me think of camping, and we've actually made S'mores several times this summer while waiting for our charcoal briquets to burn out. Bars are a great dessert to take to a party because people can just grab them.
These bars were pretty simple to make and definitely worth the effort. I'm convinced that placing the marshmallows on by hand in perfectly aligned rows will fulfill the OCD tendency in anyone! Everyone at the party who tried these really liked them, and they were so impressed with the presentation. This is one of those desserts that looks much harder that it is, which is always a nice surprise. The original recipes makes an 8 x 8-inch pan, but since there we going to be about 20 people at the party, I doubled it and used a 13 x 9-inch pan. The bars slice very cleanly as long as you wipe off the knife (or pizza chopper) between cuts.
I promise another post this week!!! :)
S'mores Cheesecake Bars
For the crust:
2 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the cheesecake:
8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup marshmallow cream
4 teaspoons cocoa powder
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
For the topping:
3 cups mini marshmallows
Milk chocolate chips, melted (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 13 × 9-inch baking pan with foil; spray lightly with cooking spray.
2. To make the crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter in a small bowl. Stir together with a fork until well combined. Press the mixture in an even layer into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Bake 10 minutes; transfer to a wire rack while you prepare the filling. Reduce the oven temperature to 325F.
3. To make the filling, place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Heat until melted and smooth, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, sour cream and marshmallow cream. Beat on medium-high speed until smooth and well combined, 1-2 minutes. Blend in the cocoa powder, vanilla extract and eggs until incorporated. Stir in the melted chocolate until well blended. Pour the filling over the graham cracker crust and smooth the top with a spatula.
5. Bake about 25 - 30 minutes, or until the center is just set (does not jiggle when shaken gently.) Remove from the oven.
6. Evenly top the cheesecake layer with the mini marshmallows. Return to the oven for 2-3 minutes, just long enough so the marshmallows begin to melt into each other. Watch carefully! They brown very quickly. I just parked myself in front of the oven window.
7. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool. Once the cheesecake has reached room temperature, drizzle with melted milk chocolate if desired. I simply melted chocolate chips carefully in the microwave, transfered them to a resealable sandwich bag with a tiny bit of the corner cut off, and made diagonal stripes each way on the marshmallows. Very simple technique that looks impressive!