I have been really in the mood for spring and summer to roll around. For being the shortest month, February sure is LOOOOOONG! I'm tired of the grey cloudy skies. I want tulips, and sunshine and bonfires…. and S'MORES! Luckily I don't have to wait for that last one! I made some AMAZING 3 layer s'mores bars. This is a bold claim, but they are better than actual s'mores! Don't believe me? TRY THEM!! They have a buttery graham cracker crust, a layer of milk chocolate fudge, and a homemade marshmallow top layer. Never made homemade marshmallows? Fear not, your mixer does most of the work for you. And they taste approximately one million times better than the store bought kind, so you really owe it to yourself to try them.
First we make the graham cracker layer. Start off with 2 packages ( 2 sleeves, not 2 boxes…18 full crackers total) of graham crackers. Reduce them to dust with a blender or food processor. Make sure you get the crumbs nice and fine.That's a secret of a good crumb crust. I used to use a ziplock bag and a rolling pin, and my crusts always fell apart. So make sure to use a blender or food processor to get your crumbs fine enough. Then add in 3 TBS of white sugar and stir together in a mixing bowl. Melt a stick of butter and slowly add into the crumb mixture. Stir until combined, then pour into a buttered 9X13 inch pan. Press down firmly with a measuring cup, or buttered hands.
Next we make the chocolate fudge layer. Combine a chopped 7oz GIANT Hershey bar with a 12oz bag of chocolate chips and 1/4 cup of butter (cut into pieces) in a microwave safe bowl. Set your microwave to medium heat and microwave for 1 minute. Stir (chocolate should be slightly melty, but still mostly solid), then add a can of sweetened condensed milk.
Microwave for a few minutes on medium heat, stirring every 30 seconds until everything is combined and fudgey. You can do this on the stovetop if you're not a fan of the microwave, but I find the microwave easier and the results are identical. Pour over the graham cracker layer and smooth out with a rubber spatula. I found that didn't get it smooth enough for me, so I sprayed my hands lightly with nonstick spray and patted it down until it was nice and flat and even.
Let this cool for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator. Go do something else so your'e not tempted to make the marshmallow layer too soon. It really needs to be completely set up before you even think about making the next layer. I had lunch, did dishes, and folded laundry while catching up on my TV. Seriously DON'T RUSH THIS! After 2 hours or more of cooling, take it out of the fridge when you start your marshmallow layer.
Now we make our marshmallow layer. (You can half the marshmallow layer if you want. The way the recipe is written now, the marshmallow layer is really big, twice the size of the other layers. I might try a smaller marshmallow layer next time)
First you add 1/2 cup of water to the bowl of your stand mixer (If you just have a hand mixer, that works too. I've done it that way before. Just put it in a large mixing bowl. You probably shouldn't attempt this without a mixer unless you have superhuman arm strength and can whisk at a high rate of speed for 12 minutes. In that case, you are amazing!). Then sprinkle 3 packets of unflavored gelatin onto the water. It gets all weird and wrinkly gelly looking, like a weird gelatin brain, and you get worried you have ruined everything, but don't worry. It looks disgusting on purpose.
It tastes good when it's done, I promise!
Stir together 2 cups of white sugar, 1/4 cup of water, and 2/3 cup light corn starch in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until it boils. Boil it for 1 minute. This needs to be a very strong boil. You should not be able to stir it down.
Then CAREFULLY (boiling sugar is SO FREAKIN' HOT! It's practically LAVA! So be vewwy vewwy careful!) pour it into your mixer with your ugly gelatin and beat the heck out of it! Put your mixer on high speed and beat it for 12 minutes. It slowly gets thicker and more marshmallowy the longer it mixes. Then add 1/2 a scraped vanilla bean (Or a TB of vanilla extract. Or some vanilla bean paste. Whatever you wanna do) and stir together. It will be thick and sticky and look amazing.
Pour it over your cooled chocolate layer and spread it. I patted it down with buttery hands just like I did with the fudge layer, because it's just so hard to get it even and flat with a spoon or spatula. My momma always said your hands are the best kitchen tools that you have.
Let it set for a few hours, then slice with a buttered knife. Try not to eat them all!
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Hope you enjoy this recipe!