The Siren Song of Summer

In less than a week, my youngster will be heading back to school. Summer has flown by, as it almost always does. However, we've managed to work in some lovely memories ranging from catching fireflies at dusk to collecting seashells at the beach to building the perfect fire for roasting marshmallows. We hold them close as we get ready to transition to fall. And part of how we hold them close is working some of those fun culinary memories into other treats:

Behold - S'mores Bars! Based on one of my favorite oatmeal bar recipes, these bars work in traditional s'mores ingredients (marshmallow, chocolate, and graham crackers) into the mix. The result is a gooey, crumbly bar that captures the essence of these summer treats. That said, you can eat these bars with a fork and off a plate, so I guess they give you a chance to enjoy the summer taste without as much of a mess!

Right before it's time to say goodbye to summer, we like to enjoy these bars as dessert after a great backyard barbecue and just as the sun is going down. Who knows? Maybe you can get a firefly show as you enjoy them out on the patio!

S'mores Bars

  • ½ c. butter, softened
  • ¾ c. brown sugar
  • ¾ c. rolled oats — NOT instant
  • ½ c. all-purpose flour
  • ½ c. graham cracker crumbs
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 (7-ounce) container marshmallow crème
  • 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Spray a 9x13-inch baking pan generously with nonstick spray. Set aside.

Combine the butter, brown sugar, rolled oats, flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, mix on LOW speed until all of the ingredients are combined, and dough is moist and crumbly. Press about ⅔ of the dough into a thin layer on the bottom of the prepared baking pan.

Using a greased spatula, spread the marshmallow crème evenly over the dough layer. Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly on top of the marshmallow layer. Sprinkle the remaining dough over the top of the chocolate chips and marshmallow.

Bake the bars for 20-25 minutes, or until crust is set and top is lightly browned. Allow the bars to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing into 15-20 bars.

  • Yields: 15-20 servings
  • Preparation Time: 40 minutes

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