KitKat S’mores Bars
The ever-so-popular campfire treat in a delectably convenient bar-form. Made off-the-charts delicious with the addition of KitKat, these bars are sure to become an instant hit! VIDEO recipe at the end of the post!
Welcome back to the second of three delicious summer treats that are made extra special with the much-loved KitKat!
If you’ve missed the first one…be sure to check it out! It involves ice cream, salted caramel and KitKat. Need I say more?
KitKat Egypt and I are partnering together to bring you delectable dessert ideas that are as easy to make, as they as are a dream to eat.
And I couldn’t think of anything more dreamy that this…
KitKat S’mores Bars.
Everyone’s favorite campfire treat, barred up and brought next-level with the addition of crispy, ooey, melty, chocolate-y KitKat.
We’re talking layers upon layer of heavenly deliciousness.
Starting off with a crunchy layer of wheat biscuits (be it graham crackers or digestives), followed by a silky, fudge-y, chocolate filling…
…and an avalanche of toasted marshmallows, laced with nubs of KitKats that are painfully melty on the outside, wonderfully crispy on the inside.
All things s’mores happen to be high up there in my list of favorite sweet treats. The flavor combination and textural contrast makes me weak in the knees. These cookies, sandwiches, and kunafa are proof of the infatuation.
That crunchy, silky, chocolate-y, toasty, gooey, melty situation all in one bite, just feels like a warm, comforting hug that transports the tastebuds to Pleasantsville. I’m clearly a fan and I know so many of you are. Which is why I know you’ll fall in love with these bars.
I have tested more than a dozen KitKat recipe ideas to choose the ones that’ll make the cut, and nothing, and I mean nothing, brought more oohs and aahs, compliments and likes as this one did.
Saying that these bars were a hit, would be an understatement. Everyone went nuts over them and they were polished off in minutes!
Classic s’mores consist of sandwiching a hot, roasted marshmallow, between two squares of graham crackers and a generous slab of milk chocolate. As you can imagine, the warmth of the freshly roasted marshmallow melts the chocolate, creating one irresistible, drippy mess.
So to translate this tasty experience in bar form, I knew I wanted to keep all the flavors we know and love in place, but 1) make the chocolate filling less messy so it cuts into clean, handheld squares that don’t ooze all over the place and 2) find a way to prevent the chocolate from hardening as it comes to room temperature.
For that reason, having straight up solid chocolate as the filling component was out of question. Yes…it’s incredibly delicious, but its crazy runny while warm (messy), and rock solid at room temp (hard to bite into). It’s great for s’mores that are to be devoured on the spot, but not for bars that can be enjoyed throughout the day.
After playing with several forms of ganache that required multiple times of chilling, I settled on a soft, yet fudgy filling based on Brazilian Brigadeiros, that keeps the process simple.
Brigadeiros are the signature sweet of Brazil. They’re a soft, fudge-like, chocolate bonbon (truffles) made with sweetened condensed milk (YUM!), butter and cocoa powder. The mixture is also used in Brazil in other applications like filling and topping cakes, which is exactly what I did here.
The Brigadeiro filling holds its shape enough to allow for clean slicing, yet remains soft enough to melt in the mouth. Paired with molten nuggets of KitKats, they make the most perfectly balanced duo that mimics the heavenliness of s’mores.
KitKat s’mores bars are not only off-the-charts-delicious, but they’re so fast and easy to make. The baking is also minimal…just a few minutes to toast the cracker/biscuit base, as well as the marshmallows. With a handful of ingredients, you can have these glorious bars ready in less that an hour!
What do I need to make them?
- For the crust: You’ll need any wheat biscuit/crackers. Classic s’mores are typically made with graham crackers, which aren’t available in a lot of countries, including mine (I still love you Egypt). So I always use digestive biscuits in any recipe that calls for them, and they work just as great. So you can use whatever’s available to you. You’ll also need a bit of sugar and melted butter to bind the crust together. The sugar caramelizes as the crust bakes and holds the crumbs into a sturdy layer.
- For the filling: You’ll need sweetened condensed milk, butter and cocoa powder. I tried the recipe with both unsweetened cocoa powder and chocolate milk powder (like many versions of Brigadeiro recipes I’ve seen), and they both work pretty well. I personally prefer using unsweetened cocoa powder here, as it yields a little sweet filling.
- For the topping: It won’t be s’mores without marshmallows. You can either use minis and regular-sized ones that are cut in half just like I did here. And for the cherry on the top…you’ll need 3 to 4 bars of KitKat. KitKat adds another layer of chocolate goodness, that just isn’t the same without it. It also adds that snap we all love, which contributes to a heightened level of crunch.
How to make KitKat S’mores Bars?
You first start by processing the crackers/biscuits into fine crumbs, then combining it with melted butter and sugar. Then press the mixture into a foiled lined baking pan, which will make it easier to take the bars out of the pan later.
Ship off the crust to the oven and bake for about 10 minutes or until lightly golden and fragrant.
While that’s happening, make the filling. Melt the butter in a saucepan, then dump an entire can of sweetened condensed milk over it.
Then top that with the cocoa powder.
You’ll then cook that over medium high heat, while whisking constanty. Bring to a boil and continue to cook until the mixture thickens to a brownie batter-like consistency; 2 to 3 minutes.
Here’s the trick! The best way to tell when the mixture is ready, is when it slides in a soft mass from one side of the pan to the other when the pan is tilted, leaving a thin, translucent film on the other side. Like so…
Now it’s ready to be poured over the baked crust (no need to cool down the crust before doing that). Then spread the chocolate mixture into an even layer.
Top with the marshmallows, then pop it back into the oven under the broiler, until nice and gorgeously toasty.
Finish it off by nestling in chunks of KitKat between and on top of the toasted marshmallows.
The heat from the hot marshmallows should be enough to slightly melt the exterior of the KitKat, while maintaining that signature crisp of KitKat. Try to avoid putting the pan back in the oven once the KitKat has been placed, as that would soften up the interior of the KitKat, and make it lose its crunch.
And now for the real test of patience, let the bars rest for at least 20 minutes in the pan. I know…torture!
Then use the foil overhang to lift the bars onto a cutting board…
Then slice away!
You can make them as big or as small as you like, but no matter how you cut them, these are sure to make your tastebuds sing.
Now let’s recap the deliciousness! Watch the video below and challenge yourself not to drool 😄
For the crust:
- 10 digestive biscuits or 10 full-sheet graham crackers (150g)
- 1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon fine salt
- 6 tablespoons (90g) unsalted butter, melted
For the chocolate filling:
- 2 tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter
- 1 (14oz/ 397g) can sweetened condensed milk
- 3 tablespoons (16g) unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted*
For the topping:
- 2 cups (114g) mini marshmallows (or regular size, sliced in half)
- 3 to 4 KitKat bars (4 fingers pack)
To make the crust:
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 180C/350F. Line an 8-inch (20cm) baking pan with two sheets of foil perpendicular to each other, allowing extra foil to hang over the pan's edges. Set aside.
- In a food processor, place the digestive biscuits (or graham crackers), sugar and salt, and pulse into fine crumbs. You can also place them in a large zipperlock bag and smash them with a rolling pin or meat mallet until finely ground.
- Add in the melted butter and pulse until evely moistened. Spread the crumb mixture to the prepared pan, then press with a flat-bottomed drinking glass or measuring cup.
- Transfer to the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly golden and smells fragrant. While the crust is in the oven, prepare the chocolate filling (recipe below).
- Remove the pan from the oven and turn oven to broil.
To make the chocolate filling:
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Whisk in the condensed milk and cocoa powder. Bring to a boil, whisking continously, until the mixture thickens to a brownie batter-like consistency; 2 to 3 minutes. The best way to tell when the mixture is ready, is when it slides in a soft mass from one side of the pan to the other when the pan is tilted, leaving a thin, translucent film on the other side.
- While still hot, pour the chocolate mixture over the baked crust and spread into an even layer.
For the topping:
- Using a sharp knife, cut the KitKat fingers into 1-cm chunks. Set aside.
- Sprinkle the chocolate filling evenly with a single layer of marshmallows. Return the pan to the oven and broil until the marshmallows are lightly browned, 1 to 3 minutes. Keep a close eye on it and stay near, as they can turn from blonde to charcoal in seconds.
- Immediately remove the pan from the oven. While still hot, dot the marshmallow surface all over with the KitKat pieces, snuggling in as much pieces between the marshmallows as possible. Allow the residual heat from the marshmallows, to melt the KitKat slightly.
- Let cool for at least 20 minutes, then using the foil overhang, lift the bars from pan and onto a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut into 9 generous squares or 12 medium ones. Serve warm or at room temperture.
- Bars' texture is at its best the same day they're made. Store in an airtight container or cover tightly with foil.
- Both unsweetened cocoa powder and chocolate milk powder work well here. I personally prefer using unsweetened cocoa powder, as it yields a less sweet filling.
- Make ahead tip! Prepare and bake the crust, then filling with the chocolate filling up to a day in advance. Cover the pan with plastic warp and set aside at room temperature. When you're ready to serve, top it with the marshmallows, broil then dot with the KitKat.
Crust recipe adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction.
Measurements Note: All recipes of this site have been developed using weight measurements. Although US volume measurements have been included for your convenience, it is highly encouraged that you weigh your ingredients using a kitchen scale to get the best possible results. Due to the sensitive nature of baking, kitchen scales are proven to yield more accurate and consistent results than measuring cups. Enjoy!
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