Monday, March 4, 2013

Red Velvet S'more Bars

Anyone still there??  Anyone??  Geez it's been a long time since I've posted.  Almost three months to be exact.  This blog is something that I've been (for the most part) pretty regular with for quite some time and then I just stopped cold turkey not too long after Thanksgiving.  [pun intended]

I guess I could come up with some pretty good excuses:
1. I battled a gnarly sinus infection for about 8 weeks there.  No lie.  Nothing would get rid of it.  The netty pot became my best friend.
2. Then I got the flu.  For the first time.  Ever.  It was awful.  103.7 degree temps are no fun.
3. Because of the aforementioned excuses I lost my sense of smell and thus taste.  And when you can't taste you can't cook.
4. Who wants to eat food prepared by someone who's sick???  Even if I had cooked something, I wouldn't have felt right asking someone to eat it.
5. I still haven't been able to transfer all of my old food photos onto my new laptop and thus can't blog them.
6. By the time I get home and cook something there is ZERO daylight left which means I can't take photos in our sunroom the way I like.  I've tried shooting with artificial lighting and I never can get it to look the way I want it to.

And honestly I just needed a break. I tried to take a break here and there for a while, but 1 or 2 weeks just wasn't enough. I needed a breather. This blog is just a hobby, but it takes a great deal of time and I think I just got burnt out.

I felt like every post there was an apology for the week of silence followed by a promise that I was back in action. But really I just needed to step back from everything a bit.

So for my return post I wanted to feature something that I absolutely loved.  And these red velvet s'more bars fit the bill :)  I always loved sitting around a fire, whether I was camping or just in someone's back yard, and toast a marshmallow until it turned that perfect golden color.  That meant it was just crispy on the outside, but still warm and not burnt to a crisp on the inside.  And of course you always had to have half a Hershey's bar for each smore.  I don't know how some people can use just one or two of those tiny little squares.

This recipe is the perfect solution when you want to have a great comfort food-type dessert for a get together, yet you don't have a fire pit in sight.  These little guys were super easy to make and certainly won't last long once you bring them out!
*More pics coming tonight!  Apparently they didn't save on the draft, but I didn't want to delay the post just for that reason. 

Red Velvet S'more Bars adapted from How Sweet Eats
For the crust:
1 1/4 C graham cracker crumbs
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

For the bars:
3 Tbsp cocoa powder
2 Tbsp red food coloring
2 tsp vanilla, divided
1/2 C butter, softened
1 1/2 C sugar
2 eggs
1 1/4 C flour
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 C chocolate chips

For the marshmallow topping:
1 C marshmallow fluff
35 jumbo marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease 8x8 pan and set aside.

Combine melted butter and graham cracker crumbs in small bowl and press evenly into bottom of prepared pan.

In small bowl combine cocoa powder, red food coloring and 1 tsp vanilla.  Form a paste.

In bowl of electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  With mixer running on medium speed, add eggs one at a time.  Add remaining 1 tsp vanilla.  With mixer still running, add red paste.  *If darker color is desired additional color can be added at this time.

Add flour and salt.  Mix until just combined.

With mixer on low speed, fold in chocolate chips.

Gently spread brownie batter onto graham cracker crust.  *It's easiest to pour the batter into the middle of the pan and use the back of a spoon to work your way from the inside out, being careful not to pull any of the crust as you go.

Bake 30-35 minutes or until brownies are almost set.

Remove from oven and spoon marshmallow fluff evenly over brownies.  Top with jumbo marshmallows.

Set oven to broiler and place brownies underneath for 15-20 seconds or until just toasted.

Allow to cool before serving.

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