Recipe: Dark Chocolate Espresso S’mores

Hi friends! So … you may or may not know, but I’m a total fatkid with a major sweet tooth, but not too sweet. (It’s totally a thing, okay?!) … but I’m also m-a-j-o-r-l-y obsessed with s’mores. Mostly because I love marshmallows. Especially toasted marshmallows. Who doesn’t love toasted marshmallows? I mean, I’m a self avowed judgeybear, but I actually try not to judge too much when it comes to food but … in this case … yeah. Anyone who doesn’t like toasted marshmallows is kinda a monster. >.>

ANYWAY. I chose dark chocolate brownies because I wanted something with richer flavor that wasn’t too sweet. Same with the reasoning behind the espresso. Plus those are just flavors that marry beautifully. And we all know marshmallows are crazy sweet, so it’s a nice balance. You can tailor this “recipe” at will.

… I also have to admit I’m totally one of those “homey” cooks that can’tdoesn’t follow recipes to save her life so … forgive me if this is a bit off.

I’ve made this recipe three times now, and I’ve used three different brownie mixes. I know, I know, generally I’m a major proponent of making everything from scratch, but in this case, I say use what’s out there. Also, I’ve been off and on (mostly off) trying to make brownies from scratch and have yet to find a perfect recipe, so …

I can recommend the Duncan Hines dark chocolate fudge brownie mix, and Ghiradelli dark chocolate brownie mix. I also used Betty Crocker dark chocolate brownie mix, but didn’t like the taste or texture as much.

Items needed:

  • 9×13 baking pan
  • aluminum foil
  • cooking spray
  • mixing bowl
  • liquid measuring cup
  • implement for mixing/spatula

Ingredients needed:

First, make super strong espresso. I have to be honest here and say I just eyeballed it, but if I really had to think about it probably I used 3x the “recommended amount” for the recipe. (So if we want to get really technical … I probably used ~3 Tablespoons for 1/4 cup hot water.) You’ll want to make this first because you want to give it a chance to cool. You’ll be mixing it into the brownie mix, and you do not want scrambled eggs in your mix. Gross. Anyway, I did this in a liquid measuring cup, because I knew that’s how much I needed/wanted for the brownies.

Once it’s cool, preheat your oven. (Using the temperature it says to use on the brownie box.)

Next, take a 9×13 baking pan. Line it with foil, then with graham crackers.  You can use any kind of graham crackers you like. I went with honey ones. You could use cinnamon or chocolate, or whatever. You could even go fancy and make a graham cracker crust by crushing the graham crackers and mixing them with sugar and melted butter and patting them into the pan and pre-baking it but … I just didn’t want to bother.

Et voilà.

You’ll note that no, the graham crackers didn’t fit perfectly, so yes, I did break up some sheets and cut them up to try to fill the bottom of the pan as much as possible. Do what you like. I also dumped the crumbs from the cutting board on top, as you can see, because waste not want not.

I next made sure the espresso was cool enough to use. If you’re concerned about this you can immerse the outside of your liquid measuring cup in ice water, or just run cold tap water along only the outside of it. For the Ghiradelli mix, I just followed the box. For the Duncan Hines, I followed the directions for the “fudge like brownies” or whatever the box says. (I’m too lazy to get up and check. Yes, I bought extra of both. These are amazing and I have four more boxes and I’ll be using them all.)

Follow the instructions for the brownie mix but make sure you use the espresso you made instead of water. That’s obviously the key component of the “espresso” part. (I bet if you wanted to make chili brownies you could use hot chili oil instead of plain vegetable oil … but that’s for another day you spice heads.) Now just dump the mix all over the graham crackers you so nicely lined up. I didn’t take a picture because I didn’t think that needed instruction. It will be a thin layer. That’s just how it goes. Which, in my opinion kinda works since you’re going for a s’mores effect here.

The first time I baked the brownies 10 minutes less than what the box said, then baked for the additional 10 minutes with the mini marshmallows on top … but whatever. Do as I say not as I do. You can bake the brownies to 5-10 minutes within the recommended time. Pull them out, and make sure you spray the edge of the foil with the cooking spray. In fact, I sprayed the edges of the brownies too, and none of it really matters, but it helps some. I guess if you really wanted to try, you could paper the sides with parchment paper that you spray or butter during this step … anyway it’s at this time you cover the top with mini marshmallows. In a single layer, but honestly go as hard as you like. Try to avoid the edges, because despite your best efforts when they get hot the marshmallows will puff and touch the edges anyway. Unless you really avoid the edges, but then you become a marshmallow miser and nobody likes those. Just go for messy edges and you can trim those and save ’em for yourself. Everyone’s happier that way.

This next step … depends on your baking confidence. If you’re patient, or uncertain, I say throw them back into the oven in the baking time, and just … watch them.

If you’re impatient like me, turn off the oven, turn on the broiler, but make sure it’s at a low temperature. Like, broiler set to 300. It should only take ~5 minutes for all the marshmallows to toast and brown nicely. This is how it’ll look out of the oven, after it’s had a few minutes to calm down.

Obviously you can go for a slightly less (or more) toasted look. Whatever is to your taste.

Now … here’s the actual difficult part. The cutting it. Let the whole damn thing cool. What we did the first two times was freeze it. And then take a sharp paring knife, butter it with each careful cut, rinse, wipe, butter, cut, and it’s a crazy laborious process.

The third time … I a) didn’t do a) do the bottom graham layer b) kept the whole damn thing to myself, so … what I did was just left it all to cool, took an extremely sharp paring knife, and just lifted the whole thing out of the pan (obviously), pulled the foil edges down (there’s no avoiding the slight sacrifice of the edges), and pressed down carefully in one smooth motion with the knife, and lifted in the same. I’d make the next cut, but use the knife to move the brownie away from the whole. Then I’d eat it. Because it was mine all mine, dammit. (It had been a bad week. I deserved it. All of itDon’t you judge me.)

Anyway, that’s my recipe for dark chocolate espresso s’mores brownies! I hope you enjoy!

Here’s the fancy finished product!

Oh and if you have extra ingredients, like graham crackers (which you should), and mini marshmallows (which you also should – you should have enough graham crackers to make two batches of brownies, and mini marshmallows to make 1.5 … or maybe two if you don’t do what I did…) you can just take crackers and pile marshmallows on top and toast them with a blowtorch. Or if you’re less adventurous, a kitchen torch. This is what I use, personally, but your miles may vary. 😉 And yes 😛 there are crumbs on that plate – because it was so good I ate the first one, and had to make another, then realized “oh right people wanted recipes and I should take a picture.”

Erm, feel free if you have any questions. … Anyway, you can see why I’ll never have a cookbook. 😛 (But! If you have any questions, do feel free to ask them and I’ll do my best to answer them!)

*N.B. – extra fair warning though, if you’re making these for the first time to take to a big event or fancy party … it’s super easy to make two pans, maybe make one as a tester for cutting. … Or just bring the whole pan to the party and let someone braver (or more foolish) cut so they can take the blameresponsibility. Or if it’s for a girl’s night, just give everyone a fork and tell your ladies to go to town.

Enjoy!

Xoxo

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