It’s almost summer and we’re dreaming of s’mores! There is nothing wrong with the chocolate, marshmallow and graham cracker classic except that it doesn’t include our favorite popcorn snack. No worries, though, because we’re totally going to fix that with these s’mores popcorn bars. Think s’more meets a Rice Krispy treat meets popcorn.
If you saw our Valentine’s Day popcorn bars (find the recipe here) then you know we loved substituting popcorn for the Rice Krispies cereal. The technique is the same using melted butter, marshmallows and lots of stirring. Once you’re made these sticky bars, you know it’s quite easy to do, albeit, sticky. Using popcorn instead of cereal gives you a lovely crunch and that great popcorn flavor.
But back to one of our favorite summer treats which is s’mores – that very American treat of toasted marshmallow and chocolate nestled between two graham crackers. It’s a wonderful flavor combination and there’s no reason not to add other ingredients to it. In this case, the ingredient is popcorn which brings a wonderful crunch to the party.
Instead of just adding the popcorn and marshmallow mixture into a baking pan to set, we made a graham cracker crust with some melted butter. Then we mixed pieces of Hershey’s chocolate, a s’mores favorite, into the mixture. After we poured it into the pan, we topped it with extra pieces of chocolate, some crumbled up graham crackers and even more marshmallows.
We definitely wanted some of that charred marshmallow flavor so we used a kitchen torch on them. You can also put the whole pan under the broiler for a couple of minutes. To us, that almost burned flavor on the marshmallows is an important ingredient in the flavor of a s’mores, as is the gooey texture. So you’ve got the delicious base, a sweet, crunchy popcorn and marshmallow center and the traditional s’mores fixings on top. Definitely a kicked up s’more.
Line a 9" x 9" baking dish with parchment paper and set aside. Note that it's fine if the pan is a little smaller or larger. The recipe will still work but the thickness of the bars will be different.
In a bowl, stir together the crushed graham crackers and the 5 tablespoons of melted butter. Press into the parchment paper and set aside.
In a large pan, melt the butter and stir in about 3/4 of the bag of mini marshmallows along with the salt. Cook on low heat, stirring often, for a few minutes. Add in the popped popcorn and stir until the popcorn is fully coated. Then stir in about 3/4 of the chopped chocolate pieces.
Pour the mixture over the graham cracker base in the prepared baking dish, pressing the top down to make it even. Note that this is easier to do with slightly wet hands. Top with the remaining chocolate pieces, remaining mini marshmallows and some crumbled graham crackers. If you like, use a kitchen torch to slightly brown the tops of the mini marshmallows. Let the pan sit for about 10 to 15 minutes before cutting.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container on the counter for up to 5 days.
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