Sunday, June 27, 2010

S'more Cheesecake Bars

When an impromptu game night with friends came up, and the weather report called for rain, I was a little bummed. But, when I got to thinking about how I could bring the campfirey goodness indoors, I thought of these S'more Cheesecake Bars I had seen on Annie's Eats. They are rich and creamy (hello, cheesecake!) and really do taste like homemade s'mores. Plus, I get to use my kitchen torch and any recipe that allows me to use it immediately gets bonus points from me! But don't worry, if you don't have a kitchen torch, the marshmallows can be browned using your broiler.

These were a big hit and I had to hide away a bar for myself for leftovers :)

S'more Cheesecake Bars

For the crust:
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tbsp. sugar
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

For the cheesecake:
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup marshmallow fluff
2 tsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs

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

To make the crust, preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line an 8×8″ baking pan with foil; spray generously with cooking spray (make sure you go all the way up the sides - I had a little issue with the marshmallows wanting to stick!). 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 chocolate chips 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 fluff. 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. Bake about 30 minutes, or until the center does not jiggle when shaken slightly. 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. 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.

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