We first tasted the traditional American night time camp fire treat known as S'mores when we were camping in Yosemite Nation Park a couple of years ago. We are Australian and they were new to us. We'd heard references to them on lots of American TV shows and had a vague idea of what they were, but had never actually squashed a toasted marshmallow and a piece of chocolate between two biscuits before. Simple and delicious. They were an instant hit with our boys. Lets face it, you put cookies, marshmallows, chocolate and two boys together and you can't go wrong. These Toasted Marshmallow Squares are a variation on that theme, except you don't have to have graham crackers (we can't get them here) or a camp fire.
from Joy the BakerMakes 9 squares in a 20cm square pan
125g unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 vanilla bean, scraped or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons plain flour, plus more for pressing dough into pan
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup Nutella
15 large white marshmallows, cut in half
Place rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Line a 20cm square pan with baking paper (leaving some overhanging paper flaps on two ends) and grease baking paper. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stop the mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat in vanilla bean scrapings (or vanilla extract) and egg yolk. Beat until well incorporated. Stop the mixer and add flour and salt. Beat on low speed until completely incorporated.
Spoon batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle with flour. With clean fingers, press the dough into the bottom of the pan. Use a bit more flour as necessary so that the dough doesn’t stick to your fingers. Try to make the crust as even as possible. I used a straight sided glass to roll over the surface of the dough and it was impressively even right out the the edges.
Bake crust for 20-24 minutes until golden brown around the edges, but still slightly soft in the center. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes.
Run a thin butter knife around edges of the pan. Use the two parchment paper flaps to carefully remove the crust from the pan. Run a butter knife between the crust and the paper and carefully slide the crust from the paper and onto a unlined baking sheet.
Top crust with a thin layer of Nutella. Arrange marshmallows on top of the spread. Return to the 180 degree oven for about 4 minutes. This will warm and soften the marshmallows. Remove from the oven and turn the oven onto the grill (broiler) setting. Use the back of a spoon to gently press and smash the top of each marshmallow.
Once all the marshmallows are smashed, return to the grill. Keep a very close eye on the marshmallows. They’ll toast in seconds. They’ll burn in seconds.
Remove toasted marshmallow cookie from the oven. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Cookies can be served slightly warm or at room temperature. Cookies can be left, well wrapped at room temperature, for up to 4 days.