By Paige Rhodes

Photos by Paige Rhodes

Once spring and summer arrive in the Bluegrass, it means camping season is officially underway. After a long day of boating, fishing, and hiking, nothing is better than settling in for a few gooey s’mores by the campfire. The only problem with this classic dessert is that they tend to be a complete mess. Be prepared for campsite cravings and pack these campfire cookie bars that have the same nostalgic flavor without the sticky fingers.

Campfire Cookie Bars
Yield: 16 bars Time: 35 minutes

Cooking spray
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup graham cracker crumbs + a couple whole crackers for the top
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chunks
1 cup marshmallow creme

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-by-9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving enough to overhang on the sides. Spray with cooking spray and set aside.

In the large bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar together on medium speed. Beat for about 2 minutes until smooth and combined. Add the vanilla extract and egg, beating until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and set aside.

Toss the flour, graham cracker crumbs, salt, and baking powder together until combined. With the mixer running on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix until combined. The dough will look like a moldable cookie dough, not a pourable batter.

Press 2/3 of the graham cookie dough into prepared pan. Pour the marshmallow creme on top of the cookie layer. I found this to be easier if I microwaved the marshmallow creme for about 20 seconds first. Spread evenly and top the marshmallow creme with about 2/3 of the chocolate chunks.

Mold the remaining cookie dough into flat pieces and layer on top of the chocolate chunks. Try to press everything together as much as possible.

Break up your remaining graham crackers into small pieces and scatter on top, along with the remaining chocolate chunks.

Bake the bars for 25 minutes, or until the top is lightly golden brown. Allow to cool completely before lifting out of the pan by the aluminum foil and cutting into squares.

Don’t want to make your s’mores at home? Get your fix of s’more perfection at this local restaurant. And find other yummy recipes from Paige here.