I don't even know how to introduce these s'mores bars to you because let's face it... what more is there to say?! Dark Chocolate Cherry S'mores Bars! We're talking all of the very best things packed into a portable (if slightly gooey - never a bad thing!) cookie bar. This is actually my first foray into the world of cookie bars and I don't know what took me so long! Especially as my love for regular chocolate chip cookies is strong. This is the first of many, let's put it that way. (On that note, if you have any cookie bar suggestions, let me know in the comments!)
But this isn't just any old cookie bar, nope, these are made with s'mores-esque cookie dough that is just downright addictive. It's a pretty basic cookie dough recipe with graham cracker crumbs mixed in. Being from the UK, I used digestive biscuits instead of graham crackers - I think that's a pretty good substitution, as far as I'm aware. It certainly tasted amazing anyway! I also added some ground up almonds to my cookie dough because almonds and cherries are of course best friends. That's totally optional though, just replace with more digestives/graham crackers if you don't want to use the almonds.
Can you actually believe that I have never eaten a traditional s'more before?! I KNOW. Crazy huh? This definitely needs to change ASAP. But trust me, I have now eaten my fair share of s'mores bars! Oh my goodness, they're so delicious. Of course, I had to update these to include my favourite summer fruit - cherries! It just wouldn't be summer without a cherry-filled dessert. And it had to be dark chocolate, too, to offset the sweetness of the cherries and the marshmallows. No milk chocolate allowed here! (But of course you can do whatever you please in your own kitchen!)
These dark chocolate cherry s'mores bars are seriously easy to make! I whipped up the cookie dough in my stand mixer (though you could use a hand mixer) and then it's as simple as layering all the good stuff up on top and baking it to golden, melty perfection. I would definitely advise letting these cool in the tin before slicing them but you must definitely eat at least one (or three) whilst they're not yet fully set, but the tops are a little crisp. These are some of life's simple pleasures, enjoy them! And whilst not totally necessary, a drizzle of melted chocolate on the top just takes these over the edge!
These bars are as easy to eat as they are to make, so it might be wise to share these with some friends so that you don't end up accidentally on purpose eating the whole pan to yourself. Maybe. Either way - enjoy! And! I won't be held accountable when you make another pan of these a couple of days later because you just happen to have the ingredients lying around anyway... no, that definitely didn't happen in my house...
Dark Chocolate Cherry S'mores Bars
- 115 g (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 125 g (⅔ cup) soft brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ - 1 teaspoon almond extract, optional
- 160 g (1 ¼ cups) all-purpose flour
- 115 g (1 heaping cup) digestive biscuit/graham cracker crumbs, (8 digestive biscuits or about 6 graham cracker sheets, I think)
- 30 g (¼ cup) almonds, ground into crumbs
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 120 g (¾ cup) dark chocolate chips
- 75 g (1 ½ cups) mini marshmallows
- 12 cherries, pitted and halved
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Line a 9"x9" baking pan with baking parchment - leave enough overhang that you will be able use the paper to pull the s'mores bars out of the pan later.
- In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer) cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.115 g (1 stick) unsalted butter, 125 g (⅔ cup) soft brown sugar
- Beat in the egg, vanilla extract and almond extract (if using) until well combined, pale and creamy.1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, ½ - 1 teaspoon almond extract
- Slowly mix in the flour, digestive or graham cracker crumbs, almonds, baking powder and salt until a dough is formed and no streaks of flour remain.160 g (1 ¼ cups) all-purpose flour, 115 g (1 heaping cup) digestive biscuit/graham cracker crumbs, 30 g (¼ cup) almonds, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Press ¾ of the cookie dough into the base of the prepared baking pan. Set aside the remaining dough until later.
- Sprinkle the chocolate chips, cherries and then the marshmallows evenly over the top of the dough.120 g (¾ cup) dark chocolate chips, 12 cherries, 75 g (1 ½ cups) mini marshmallows
- Finish by dotting the remaining cookie dough over the top. This doesn't have to be neat! You won't be able to cover all of the toppings.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden on top. Leave to cool before cutting into 16 bars.
Recipe adapted from Food Network.