Killer s’mores brownies (Gluten-free recipe included!)


The series of bans on front-yard fires this hot, dry summer cramped my s’mores-making style so hard that I started looking for “s’mores alternatives” on Pinterest a couple weeks ago. And that is how I stumbled on this super decadent dessert idea: the s’mores brownie. Tommy and I worked on a gluten-free recipe. I made it and brought it to a barbecue. It was gone in about ten minutes. It hits all the s’mores notes but kind of better. Just make sure to cut it into small pieces.

Here are the ingredients:

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You can use whatever brownie mix you want. I happen to be a fan of King Arthur gluten-free everything and Tommy made the special trip to Natural Pantry to find the mix. I also have had good success with the Krusteaz. If you aren’t gluten free, then use whichever mix you please. I suggest one with chocolate chips.

And a note on marshmallows. You can use regular marshmallows or even minis. You might notice that these are “S’moreMallows.” They are thinner than your average mallows and square, making them kind of perfect for this recipe. As far as I can tell, they are only available at Walmart. Here’s what they look like (side view):

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Preheat your oven to whatever temp is on the brownie box. You’re going to want to start with graham crackers or GF graham-ish crackers. (You can also skip them altogether if you can’t find or don’t have them).

Put them in a ziploc and crush them finely.

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They should look like this when you’re done:

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Meanwhile, melt butter in your 8-inch square glass pan. Tommy says no more than 30 seconds in the microwave or the butter gets weird.

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Now add the butter to the crumbs and sugar. Here is the look Tommy gave me when I questioned whether they would be too sweet.

IMG_1975Now, combine everything in your pan, so the crumbs absorb all the butter.

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Press the crust into the pan.

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(You can, at this point, sprinkle a little salt on it, if you’re into that kind of thing.)

Now, make your brownie mix according to the box directions. Tommy thinks that most GF brownie mixes are too dense, so he ads extra baking powder. I like dense brownies. It’s up to you. (If you add extra soda, your mix could puff up like a soufflé and then fall. It actually makes a pretty great crater to fill with marshmallows, with a nice gooey center, so don’t freak out if that happens.) Pour the mix on top of your cracker crust.

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If you’re Tommy, now you sprinkle it with chocolate chips.

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Now put it in the oven and bake it. Set your timer for the time listed on the box, but know that it will take longer because of the crust underneath. Ours needed 10 extra minutes. You’re going to have to keep an eye on it.

Once the brownies are done, pull them out and immediately put your marshmallows on top. And, turn on the broiler. Try not to get brownie batter fingerprints on them like we did.

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Now put the pan under the broiler, and broil, with the oven door open, maybe two minutes, until the marshmallows get perfectly toasty brown. And viola.

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 S’mores Brownies

Crust: 
8 S’moreables GF graham crackers, or 12 regular graham crackers; enough to make one cup of cracker crumbs.
2 tablespoons salted butter
2 tablespoons sugar

Filling:
One box good quality GF (I like King Arthur brand) or regular brownie mix. Whatever that mix requires. (In this case it was two eggs, a stick of butter and water.)
Optional: 1/4 to 1/2 cup of chocolate chips. (Or buy mix with chips in it)
Optional for GF versions: 2 tsp baking powder (Makes it lighter.)

Topping:
15 Jet-Puffed S’moreMallows or other marshmallows

Pre-heat oven to 350 (or whatever temperature your brownie mix calls for.)

Put the graham crackers in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin until uniform. Place melted butter in a 8-inch square baking pan, dump in the crumbs and add the sugar. Mix until the melted butter is distributed and press crust into the pan. If you want, sprinkle a tiny bit of salt on top.

Make the brownie mix. If you like a lighter brownie, add baking soda. And, if you want, sprinkle chocolate chips on top or mix in. Bake as directed. (These brownies will take longer than it says on the box. And, GF brownies always take longer than you think they will. Make sure you cook them all the way through. )

As soon as the brownies come out of the oven, turn on the broiler. Carefully place a layer of marshmallows on top of the baked brownies. Place pan back under the broiler. Broil, turning pan, until the marshmallows are a golden brown.

Cut into TINY PIECES. Serve.

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Julia O’Malley is a journalist who lives in Anchorage. She writes about culture, family, home, the environment and food in Alaska.

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