Campfire S'mores Brownies

Digging through the pantry cupboards this weekend, I spotted exactly three boxes of graham crackers and two bags of marshmallows (one mini and one full-size). S'mores, I reminisced. Sweet, sticky s'mores. In my home, these ingredients are rarely used for another purpose. Certainly the graham crackers are used for a lovely tart crust now and then, and the marshmallows fit perfectly atop a mug of steaming cocoa, but these ingredients will always be two components in what should be a trio of three.

With summer's heat long gone, it seemed a shame to keep these ingredients safe until the next warm summer's eve. I pulled them off the pantry shelf and set to work.

If you've been with me for a short while, you might imagine that I love the occasional s'more now and again. However, if you've been with me for some time, you know the sticky, messy truth. The word love may be not be enough to describe how I feel. I've shared S'mores Pie and S'mores Sundaes with you. I've even entered my original S'mores Cupcakes into a cupcake baking competition.

There may have been even more recipes, but I didn't want to scare you off. There is a fine line between fun and fanatic.

It's true that my love for s'mores lies partly in the unique flavor combination of chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers, but the majority of it is rooted in memories. Sweet, sweet, memories of hot summer nights. Of blazing campfires, folk songs, and sticky fingers. Of deep conversation, giggling, and cool summer breezes. Of warm faces, crackling logs, and marshmallows lost to the flames.

In the midst of winter's wind and ice, dreams of summer feel just right.

These Campfire S'mores Brownies are ooey gooey, sticky, and unbelievably fudgy. A pound of chocolate is melted, graham crackers are mixed in the batter, and mini marshmallows are broiled on top. The key to delicious brownies is knowing when to take them out of the oven. Leaving them in too long can result in dry, crumbling brownies, while taking them out at just the right moment produces thick and fudgy results. I drizzled my brownies with extra chocolate because, well, it just tastes better that way.

One Year Ago: Chocolate Frosted Yellow Cake (love this recipe!)

Campfire S'mores Brownies

Yields 1 8x8-inch pan

2 1/2 cups (1 lb) dark chocolate, chopped in pieces
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter
4 large eggs
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup crushed graham crackers (large chunks are okay)
1 cup mini marshmallows
Chocolate, melted (for drizzling)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).

In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt together dark chocolate and butter, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla extract. Stir in the melted chocolate until combined. Fold in the flour, baking powder, and crushed graham crackers. Pour brownie batter into a 8x8-inch baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until brownies do not jiggle when the pan is shaken (even when baked completely, a toothpick may not come out clean). Do not overbake! If using a larger pan, decrease the baking time; likewise, if using a smaller pan, increase the baking time.

Remove brownies from oven and turn oven onto broil. Spread mini marshmallows evenly over the top of the brownies and place on the top oven rack to toast marshmallows. Do not turn away from the oven! The marshmallows will brown in 1-2 minutes. Remove from oven and drizzle with melted chocolate, if desired.