S’Mores Bars with M&Ms and Graham Cereal are a fun and easy way to create the delicious flavors of s’mores in a bar cookie. Affiliate links have been used to link to items I am discussing.
Guys! Easter is coming SO LATE this year. And our spring break is always at Easter, which means our spring break is late. Mama needs a break! I know, none of you feel too sorry for me since I was in the Caribbean in January, and I get it, but I have serious spring fever. I need to get out of town! So thank goodness we are finally here, and tomorrow I leave for Asheville, North Carolina. Which I have been dying to visit ever since reading about its growing reputation as a foodie mecca in Bon Appetit. I am planning to eat my way through the city! And for any of you potential burglars, don’t bother since hubby is staying home with about 220 pounds of dog flesh! My mom is going with me–John’s spring break was in March, because Lord forbid the local university and the school system have the same spring break. I will have some updates while I am gone, never you fear, and maybe some fun restaurant reviews when I get home!
I am not sure why, but the minute I saw Cascadian Farm Organic Graham Crunch Cereal I became obsessed with baking with it. And given the flavor, what else was I going to do with it but make some kind of variation on s’mores? If you are wondering, my gold standard remains my Perfect S’Mores Bars, but this recipe was fun and quite different. Less like a perfect replica of s’mores and more like a s’mores influenced oat and M&M bar. And the M&Ms work surprisingly well, providing additional crispy texture, along with the Graham Crunch Cereal.
I served these to both my family and my parents (not that they are not my family!) the day I made the pork tenderloin with pasta and peas, and they went over like gangbusters. I got distracted and slightly over-baked them–try not to let that happen to you!–but only I seemed to be really bothered by it, mostly because I am constantly thinking of why they are not perfect. But they were pretty darn close, so I have every confidence that if you do not get distracted by teaching your 8 yo how to roast asparagus and take the bars out on time you will really like these.
- 2 cups AP flour
- 1 t baking soda
- 3/4 t fine sea salt
- 1 cup smooshed graham cereal
- 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
- 18 T (1 cup + 2T ; 2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-sized pieces
- 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
- 2 cups mini marshmallows, divided
- 1/2 cup lightly scooped and intact graham cereal squares
- 3/4 cup M&Ms
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Prepare a 9X13 baking pan by lining it with parchment paper that overhangs the sides of the pan (a light coating of oil in the pan will help it to stick).
Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Place in the bowl of a stand mixer.
Measure the graham cereal by scooping 1 measuring cup of it. Press with your hands to break and flatten. Repeat until the cup is full. Add this to the flour mixture, and the rolled oats and brown sugar as well.
Mix on medium speed to mix all of this together.
Add the butter, a piece at a time while mixing on medium low, until it is combined and crumbly, the butter pieces no larger than the size of a pea. You may need to finish this by hand, rubbing the butter pieces into the mixture.
Dump half of this mixture into the pan. Spread it out evenly and then press firmly into the pan.
Bake for 12 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips and 1 cup of the mini marshmallows evenly over the pan. Then sprinkle the rest of the oat mixture over this by clumping and then sprinkling with your hands--make sure it covers the pan evenly. Sprinkle the M&Ms and graham cereal squares over this.
Press the topping lightly to make sure it adheres.
Bake for an additional 16-18 minutes, until turning light golden brown.
Remove the pan and sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of mini marshmallows over the top.
Switch the oven to broil and place the pan back in the oven. Broil until the marshmallows are puffed, melty, and golden brown (just a few minutes, so keep an eye on it!).
Cool completely before removing by the overhanging parchment to a cutting board to slice. Be warned--these bars are messy but worth it.
Affiliate links were used in this post, but only to link to items I would be discussing and linking to in any case.