Cheat Day [cheet dey] – noun: The one day of the week where diet minded fitness freaks throw caution to the wind and indulge only on the most tantalizing, ridiculously calorie dense foods known to man. Often associated with the term, “carb hangover,” which occurs the morning after a particularly fruitful cheat day. Synonyms: Free Day, Fun Day, Fat Day

Saturday, May 14, 2011

S'mores Brownie Bars

Well, it's been awhile!  Last week I went on vacation- which was pretty the best experience ever.  I started out the trip with great intentions, like so many of us do, fantasizing about running on the beach in Puerto Vallarta, making relatively healthy choices, and not getting blitzed by 10am.  All of these went in the pot by 10am the first day.

But we did have a awesome time.  We hiked through the jungle, my husband found a freaking boa constrictor, we boogie boarded and zip lined and rappelled down waterfalls.  But you don't care about all that do you- we are more into the consumption of calories around here, not burning them.  So here is a collage of the reasons why my pants don't fit me anymore:
Top row: Veal mixiote, Agua Chile, Lamb with Mint and goat cheese
Middle row: Chocolate souffle, Fishmans Tacos
Bottom row: Ossobuco Lamb, Mojito, and Coconut Ceviche

Yeah- healthy wasn't so much an options.  I didn't fly to freaking Mexico to eat grilled chicken.  Wasn't. Going. To. Happen.

Oh, and here's the big reason why I'm currently such a fat pants:

One word: Tequila.  Holy god man, I tried to count it up one day, to see how many drinks I had, and I stopped counting at 15.  I stopped counting, of course, due to being horrifically toasted.  So yeah- I totally blame the new pooge around my waist on alcohol.  The drinks led to poor diet choices.  They also caused me to drunkenly stumble on a rock and slice my toe open, which of course meant I couldnt work out.

So long story short- I'm on cheat day probation.  But I wanted to bake anyway- so I did.  I decided that I would make something based on a dessert that is not a huge temptation for me: S'mores.  Don't know why- but these little guys aren't so much my favorite.  Maybe it's because they are my husbands favorite and I'm just trying to be difficult.  Maybe it's because they are my husbands favorite and we have them all the freaking time.

So I decided to make s'more brownie bars!  I found a recipe like this awhile ago, lost it, and just improvised.  The final product turned out horrible.  By horrible- I mean so delicious that they turned out to be a freaking temptation anyway, and now I'm stuck looking at this tray of amazing that I'm not allowed to eat.  Freaking stupid gooey amazing s'mores brownie bars.  I hate you and your chocolatey goodness.

Here's how I did it!

S'mores Brownie Bars
Grab a brownie mix of your choice.  I chose Ghirardeli.  I always choose Ghirardeli. But don't get the kind with chocolate chips or nuts or cheesecake or peanut butter in it.

Preheat your oven and mix it up as directed. Grab an 8 by 8 pan and grease only the sides.  If you get any grease on the bottom, wipe it out. This way, your graham cracker layer won't get all soggy and greasy.

So, layer your pan with graham crackers, like so, and top your graham crackers with about half of your brownie mix.  Don't worry if it's being fussy and you cant get it completely to the edge- you'll press it down.

Next, layer abut 5 Hersey bars on top of your brownie batter.  You may have some extra little pieces, save those for later.

  Add in the last half of the brownie batter and spread it out.

Once you get your batter nice and even, it's time to stick it in the oven.  Since you can't really do the "cook til a toothpick comes out clean method," cause, you know, we layered in some chocolate which will be all melty, I just cooked the shortest time listed on the box for my pan.  We'll stick it in a little longer at the end- and overcooked brownies blow- so I really feel like that's the way to go!

So while the brownies are in the oven, you have ample time to cut up some chocolate and lick the brownie batter bowl. 

Or, more accurately, guilt your husband into doing the dishes since you are making him a dessert, and sneak pieces of cut of chocolate.  I cut up about 5 more Hershey bars, mainly because I just happened to have 10.  They come in packages of six, and we bought two.  Yet somehow I only had ten for this recipe.  You do the math. 

Alright, once the brownies are out of the oven, immediately sprinkle all the cut up chocolate evenly over the top, and stick the bars back in the oven for another two minutes.

At this point, I was pretty excited to get the giant pile of tempting chocolate off of my counter top. 

In this two minutes, you should get your marshmallows out.  If you want to, you can take a giant pile of them and take a picture in front of a pink backdrop.  Or, you know, if you are normal- you can skip that part.
Once the top layer is just getting melty, take it out of the oven and change it to broil.   You can start lining up your marshmallows all pretty on top.  If you only have small marshmallows, you can just pile them on there.  

Ok, so this is the tricky part.  The tricky part that I failed at:

You want to leave them in there for only a few seconds.  I set the oven timer to twenty seconds and checked them, and they weren't melty and toasty at all!  So I gave them twenty more seconds and they were super done.  So I'm going to say you'll want them in there for about 30 seconds.  But that could change depending on your oven.  And where your rack is set at.  So you'll probably just want to keep a super close eye on it.  Luckily, my husband prefers his marshmallows "well done," so he was happy.

And there you have it!  You are done!  There are multiple ways to serve these suckers.  
Option 1: Cut into them immediately after they get out of the oven, and you end up with "pile o' s'mores bar"

Um, maybe don't go with option number 1.  

Option 2: Wait a few minutes for them to cool, and you'll have a happy cute little s'mores bar that is ab-so-freaking-lutely delicious.

Dawww!  Look how chocoately and adorable they are!  

And option number 3:  Complete the s'mores experience by topping your bar with another graham cracker!  Especially if you bought a whole package, and used like four for the recipe:

And there you have it!  All done!  Verdict:  Loved these!  They are fun and easy and they might attract friends over to your house to sample.  

And here is the recipe!

Brownie Mix of choice (and anything you need to prepare it)
About 5-6 graham crackers
10-12 Hershey Bars
One bag of large marshmallows

Prepare brownie mix according to directions and preheat the oven.
Spray an 8 by 8 pan with cooking spray only on the edges of the pan.  Wipe off any excess.
Line the bottom of the pan with graham crackers, and top this with half the brownie batter.
Add a layer of Hershey bars (about 5) and then top with the rest of the brownie batter.  Bake according to directions- set the timer for the shortest time listed on the box.

While this is in the oven, chop up the rest of the chocolate bars.  

When the brownies are done, take them out of the oven and sprinkle the chocolate evenly over the top.  Return to the oven for 2 min.

Take out of the oven and set it to broil.  Line the top with the marshmallows, and return to the oven.  Carefully watch them- it should take no more than 30 seconds for them to get melty and toasty!

Let cool and serve!  That's it!

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