As a child, I don't remember eating or even hearing about s'mores nor did my hard working immigrant parents make them for us. Our dessert of choice was always ice cream, upside-down pineapple cake, flan or strawberry short cake and the latter was only eaten on New Year's Eve. These days, s'mores are everywhere you look. Pies, bars, ice cream, etc.. my eldest daughter, Gabi loves s'mores in any combination. So over the weekend, I made her and for the rest of my family s'mores cheesecake bars. They disappeared within 2 days, the s'mores, not the family!
S'mores Cheesecake Bars
Yield: about 15 squares
For the crust
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tablespoon sugar
pinch of salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
4 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (1 bar)
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 cup marshmallow cream
3 teaspoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups mini marshmallows (we like marshmallows)
Milk chocolate chips, melted (optional)
To make the crust: Preheat oven to 350 F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil leaving an overhang on opposite sides to lift the bars out. Spray the lined pan with cooking spray. Stir the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, salt and melted butter together in a small bowl with a fork until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Press the mixture in an even layer into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Bake for 6 - 10 minutes, or until golden and fragrant (my Wolf stove is really hot). Transfer the pan to a wire rack while you prepare the filling. Reduce oven temperature to 325 F.
To make the filling: Put the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in 30 second bursts on 50% powder, stirring in between, until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, sour cream and marshmallow cream on medium-high speed until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Add the cocoa powder, vanilla extract and eggs to the bowl and beat until incorporated. Finally, beat in the melted chocolate. Give the batter a final stir with a rubber spatula to ensure everything is evenly combined. Pour the filling over the graham cracker crust and smooth the top with a spatula.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until the center is just set (does not jiggle when shaken gently). Transfer the pan to a wire rack and spread the mini marshmallows evenly over the cheesecake layer. Return the pan to the oven for about 2-3 minutes, or until the marshmallows just begin to melt into one another. Remove the pan to the wire rack and, using a kitchen torch, brown the tops of the marshmallows. Let the cheesecake cool to room temperature then drizzle with melted chocolate, if desired. Refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours before cutting into squares and serving.
Source: Recipe slightly adapted from Tracey's Culinary Adventures