Friday, August 12, 2011

S'mores Cheesecake Bars

So, I'm just going to go ahead and tell you to double this recipe and make it in a 11x14 pan. Because this 8x8 stuff just doesn't cut it.  This dessert is way to good and will go way too fast if it's left in a room by itself.
You take cheesecake (DE-licious) and pair it with smores???!!!  It really doesn't get any better than that. 

Let's get started shall we..

  Line an 8x8 square pan with tin foil

In a bowl, combine butter, graham crackers, and sugar

Have you see that commercial for spreadable butter?  It shows all the different ways people try to soften their butter so they can spread it on their bread.  It's a little ridiculous I'll admit, but I always think of it when I'm melting my own butter.   I use to soften/melt mine in the microwave when we had one (we got rid of it like 4 years ago.  Who needs extra radiation when you have a stove that will do the same thing?)  Now, I melt it on the stove.  But I don't actually turn the stove top on (why waste the energy). If the oven is on, it creates enough heat to melt the butter just sitting on top.  I learned this the hard way when I left a package of brown sugar on top.  I picked up the bag and the plastic stayed.  Brown sugar disaster.

So now, anytime I bake I just preheat the oven and get the butter started while I prep the rest.

...10 min later

...and back to the recipe...

With a fork, combine the grahams, butter, and sugar until it comes together.

Pat down evenly in the foiled pan and bake for 30 min.

Take out and let cool on a wire rack

Melt chocolate in a double boiler on the stove.  Normally, I don't go through the hassle of creating a double boiler.  I just melt it on the stove with a watchful eye so that it doesn't burn.  But for sake of this recipe, I thought I would show you what it looks like.  A note of caution here:  If you know anything about chocolate, you know that one teeny tiny drop of water in melted chocolate will ruin it for good.  You might as well toss it in the garbage because there is no going back.  This also includes steam.  So if you choose to do the double boiler method, do not, I repeat do not, lift that bowl once the water below it gets boiling.

All nice a silky. Once melted.  Turn off water, and once it has stopped boiling, remove chocolate and set aside to cool slightly.

In a separate bowl, beat together with a hand held or stand alone mixer,  cream cheese, marshmallow cream, and sour cream. 

Beat in cocoa, vanilla, and eggs. 

Stir in melted chocolate

Pour into graham crust and top with mini marshmallows (forgot to take a picture of this step.)

Bake until marshmallows are melted together.  At this point you are suppose to take it out and brown the tops with a kitchen torch.  I don't have one of these so I browned it under the broiler.  It will brown very very fast. Do not take yours eyes off of it or it will burn, almost like mine did (unless your one of those crazies, that likes to catch you marshmallow on fire before you eat it.  Even so, that is probably a safety hazard inside, so watch them.)
Take out of oven and let cool.  I was going to drizzle the tops with chocolate and make it look all pretty, but I had to cut it short to take my baby to the ER (everything will be fine, just needs some rest to recoup.)

Once it is completely cooled, put in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

S'mores Cheesecake Bars
For the crust:
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tbsp. sugar
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

For the cheesecake:
4 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup sour cream
½ cup marshmallow cream
2 tsp. cocoa powder
¾ tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs

For the topping:
1½ cups mini marshmallows
Milk chocolate chips, melted (optional)

To make the crust, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line an 8x8" baking pan with foil; spray lightly with cooking spray.  Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter in a small bowl.  Stir together with a fork until well combined.  Press the mixture in an even layer into the bottom of the prepared baking pan.  Bake 10 minutes; transfer to a wire rack while you prepare the filling.  Reduce the oven temperature to 325˚ F.

To make the filling, place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.  Heat until melted and smooth, stirring occasionally.  Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, sour cream and marshmallow cream.  Beat on medium-high speed until smooth and well combined, 1-2 minutes.  Blend in the cocoa powder, vanilla extract and eggs until incorporated.  Stir in the melted chocolate until well blended.  Pour the filling over the graham cracker crust and smooth the top with a spatula.  Bake about 30 minutes, or until the center is just set (does not jiggle when shaken gently.)  Remove from the oven.

Evenly top the cheesecake layer with the mini marshmallows.  Return to the oven for 2-3 minutes, just long enough so the marshmallows begin to melt into each other.  Transfer to a wire cooling rack.  Using a kitchen torch, lightly brown the tops of the marshmallows.  (Alternatively, this can be done underneath the broiler with a very watchful eye.)  Once the cheesecake has cooled to room temperature, drizzle with melted milk chocolate if desired.  Transfer to the refrigerator and chill 2-3 hours before slicing and serving.

Source: Annie's Eats

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