You may remember the S’mores Cookie Sandwiches I posted last summer… They were an instant favorite with my friends and family, and I continue to get requests for them. They were the one request of a few of my hubby’s friends who were visiting from out of state last fall, and they were also a popular bake sale favorite this spring.
I can’t say that I disagree with the verdict on the cookie sandwiches. They are fabulous. The chewy cookies are the perfect compliment to the milk chocolate and homemade marshmallow. It can be difficult to have just one.
Though the popular cookie sandwiches are great for eating, they’re not always that fun to make. Don’t get me wrong… They’re not that difficult. But, they can be tedious… Especially because I rarely get away with making just a single bach! By the time I scoop out the cookies and roll them in cinnamon sugar, prepare and pipe the marshmallow filling, assemble the sandwiches, and dip them in chcoolate, I have exhausted a large part of an afternoon.
So, this past weekend, I decided to try a new version of the recipe. Instead of making individual cookie sandwiches, I decided to make them in a cookie bar form that could be assembled quickly with a lot less fuss. I baked the cookies in a 9×13-inch pan and then spread a Nutella ganache on top. I used the same marshmallow filling, but I piped it on top of the cookie bars and toasted it with my handy kitchen torch. I am always happy for an excuse to break out the kitchen torch.
Want to make these bars even easier? Skip the piping bag. You could easily use a spatula to spread the marshmallow on the top of the bars. I liked the pattern from the star tip that I used, especially once the bars were toasted, but it’s not necessary. The spatula will give a nice, rustic look, which can be equally pretty and certainly tastes just as good!
The verdict on the cookie bars? They are great… Just as good as the original cookie sandwiches, possibly better. I think the Nutella ganache is the secret… It definitely takes the chocolate component up to a whole new level. My hubby said they were an improvement on the original, and our friends’ son (who is 4) informed me that they were a “great, great, great dessert.” Husbands and four year olds do not lie.
Toasted S’mores Cookie Bars with Nutella Ganache
Makes one 9×13-inch pan, approximately 24 servings
(Adapted from my S’mores Cookie Sandwiches)
- One batch of dough for Chewy Graham Cookies
- 1/2 cup Nutella
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream (or half and half)
- One batch of Homemade Marshmallow Fluff
Begin by baking the cookie layer. While you prepare the dough for the chewy graham cookies, preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan and line with parchment paper.
Once the cookie dough is prepared, spread it in an even layer in the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the top is golden, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the pan comes out clean (or with just a few moist crumbs). The bars may sink a bit in the center, but that’s perfectly OK… They just hold the ganache and marshmallow that much better. Let the cookie bars cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
Once the cookies have cooled, prepare the Nutella ganache. Combine the Nutella, chocolate chips, and heavy cream in a large microwaveable bowl. (Liquid measuring cups also work very well!) Microwave on high at 15 second intervals until the chocolate chips have melted, for about 45 seconds total. Whisk the mixture until it is smooth and shiny. If necessary, add a few extra drops of cream if the mixture seems too thick.
Pour the thick ganache on top of the cooled cookie bars, and spread evenly with a spatula. Let the ganache cool and set up a bit before you lift the cookie bars (using the parchment paper as a handle) out of the pan. Transfer the bars to a large cutting board or a serving platter. Be sure to tuck the edges of the parchment paper out of the way before adding the marshmallow.
Prepare the marshmallow fluff and let it cool slightly. Transfer the marshmallow to a piping bag fitted with a star tip, and pipe swirls of marshmallow on top of the ganache layer. (As I mentioned above, you can also just spread the marshmallow on top of the ganache using a spatula.) Then, use a kitchen torch (carefully!!) to toast the marshmallow topping until it is golden brown on top.
Cut into bars, and enjoy!