Gooey, Delicious, Incredible S’mores Bars

Whenever I look at other people’s food blogs, I wonder how they stay healthy. It seems like most food bloggers that I follow are pretty much all pretty thin and healthy looking, which makes me wonder if they work out and how many of their desserts they eat. I’ve always struggled with my weight and self-esteem, and I love baking and creating food because it makes me see food as something fun and a form of art and self expression, instead of something that will make me fat. I think that one of the things young girls (and really women of all ages) struggle with most is their weight and feeling beautiful, and that’s why I decided to start workshops, called Beautiful, for middle school girls.

Beautiful strives to instill in girls that they are gorgeous and special because they are God’s creation. We had a workshop this past Saturday and it was so fun. We talked about the messages the media sends girls and how we as women get our ideas of what beauty is from the media, our friends, family, etc, but how we don’t get our idea of beauty from God. I think that when we are able to be confident that we are cared for and special in God’s eyes, other things start to become less important. After we talked about this, I gave each of the girls a deck of cards and we spent the rest of the time writing positive things about each other and about ourselves on the cards. It was fun for everyone (including me) and I’m excited to start putting my cards in places that I’ll see them daily :)

Those are some of the cards I made :)

I made this dessert for the girls and they all loved them and each ate several pieces. While I think it is very important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, it made me happy to see them eat them without worrying about weight-gain. We talked about a quote I read on Pinterest that said “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” and how that’s just a terrible statement. I understand that it’s trying to say that eating a dessert or whatever isn’t worth the calories and isn’t as satisfying as being skinny, but I think it communicates that food and eating isn’t as important as being thin. As someone who has struggled with anorexia, I know that being skinny is not as important as food and that depriving yourself of food is not healthy. Why spend your life counting every calorie and agonizing about food? Food is fuel. It is not the enemy. And you know what? The girls and I decided that these bars taste a whole lot better than skinny :)

I honestly think these S’mores Bars are one of the tastiest things I have ever made (and that’s saying something!) The bottom layer is a fudgy brownie layer then there’s a layer of graham cracker, chocolate chips, marshmallows, buttery cookie layer, and sweetened condensed milk. Mmm!!! <– You know it’s good when I use three exclamation points. It’s sweet, gooey, and all-around delicious.

This is a really simple recipe to make, too. First you mix your brownie mix (or make from scratch brownies if that’s how you roll) and pour it in a 9 by 13in pan lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil (aluminum foil is probably easier). Cover it with a layer of graham crackers. Dump a ton of chocolate chips and lots of mini marshmallows on the graham crackers. Next, mix up your yellow cake dough and gently press it on top. Drizzle on about a cup of sweetened condensed milk and bake! It’s really easy and sooo tasty. Really, make these soon. They’d be a great Valentine’s Day dessert or every day dessert- because really, who needs and excuse to tell someone you love them?

S’mores Bars

Ingredients:

1 family size box mix of brownies and the ingredients to make the brownies (probably canola oil, water, and 2 eggs)
9-ish honey graham crackers
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips (or more!)
4 cups mini marshmallows
1 box yellow cake mix
1 egg
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup sweetened condensed milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 by 13in pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil that has been generously coated with cooking spray. Make sure your lining goes all the way around the pan.
  2. Mix up your brownie mix according to the box directions and pour it into the pan.
  3. Cover the brownies with the graham crackers. You want to fit as many of the graham crackers on there as you can.
  4. Pour the chocolate chips onto the graham crackers and then add the mini marshmallows.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the box of yellow cake mix, egg, and stick of softened butter. Use your hand to mix the dough all together.
  6. Top the marshmallows with the dough. I found the best way to do this is to take some in your hand, press it so it’s flat, and place it on top of the marshmallows. Repeat this until all the marshmallows are covered (it does not have to be perfect) and then drizzle on the cup of sweetened condensed milk.
  7. Bake it in the oven for 18-22 minutes. It’s hard to know when it’s done, but the top layer should be a nice golden brown. I took mine out after 18 minutes and it turned out wonderful- the brownie layer was really fudgy.
  8. It takes a long time for this to cool enough to cut. I was really impatient and tried to lift this out of the pan too early…it was a bit of a messy disaster. But if you wait for it to cool completely, you can cut nice, even squares (you can see the difference in the ones I cut right away and the ones I cut the next day).

This recipe was inspired by this and this recipe from Picky Palate <–she’s awesome!

Ok…I know I said in this post that I wouldn’t keep posting pictures of my puppy…but I can’t help myself! I think he’s just too cute :) And in desperate need of a haircut…I promise he does have eyes under there.

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