Strawberry Cheesecake Brownie S’mores Bars with Strawberry Marshmallow Fluff

Summer is almost coming to an end. Schools have started, roads are more busy with traffic. But routine feels good. Kids sleeping on time feels good. I am a routine person. I love time tables lol, because then I maximize the use of my time, and I love “ME” time at night once the kids are in bed. It gives me a chance to breathe and reflect and rest my body after a busy day! I do get stressed out about making dinner in the evening after I get back from work, plus the homework that I need to get done with the kiddos. I have to get into a routine so that I can do as much prep in the morning to have my evenings go smoothly. It does not help that I am an advocate of freshly cooked food every day for my family, even if it means stressing myself out, but that is my personality. And they love their fresh meals every day, and that makes me happy!

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Summer is the time for picnics, summer get togethers, beach, fun and S’MORES! Who does not like s’mores? They are so easy and fun to make, and the variations are endless! I love making homemade marshmallow too. They are super easy to make and so much more tastier and softer, pillowy-like than store bought marshmallows. I love putting freeze dried powders in them to elevate them, and give them more flavor! You can even put extracts in marshmallows to give them different flavors and put a bit of color in them to give them the color of the flavor that you are putting in! For example, if you put mint extract in the marshmallow, make them a light green in color!

 

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Last year I made homemade chocolate graham crackers, with raspberry marshmallows, a raspberry rice krispy treat, @ghirardelli square on the top and torched the marshmallow and the chocolate to make it so ooey gooey decadent! They were CRACK!!!! 🙂 This year, we had a summer together with my friends! I wanted to take a fun dessert for the kids, ofcourse s’mores inspired! So I made these Strawberry Cheesecake Brownie Bars with a Strawberry Marshmallow Fluff and a @ghirardelli square to top it off! They were super easy and fun to make and my kids helped with the process. The bars got over in 2 minutes, I kid you not! I had cut each bar into half because I did not have enough for all the kids, and some of the parents wanted to taste them too, so I had to make quarters. And the verdict was that these bars were out of this world delicious! Now that made my day! 🙂

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The base is a cinnamon graham cracker crust, then a strawberry cheesecake layer, made with freeze dried strawberry powder so that it gives maximum taste with no extra water retention from the fresh strawberries, which would be the case if you used strawberry puree. Then I added a brownie layer with chocolate chips in it. Strawberries and chocolate are just the most divine combination! Actually when I used to make jams, to sell online on mt Etsy store, Strawberry and Chocolate Jam was the first jam that I made! it was my kids favorite jam in a PBJ! I baked it all off in an 8×8 baking pan. Once cooled completely, and then refrigerated for 2-3 hours, I pipped homemade strawberry marshmallow fluff on the top. I adapted uber talented Olivia’s Marshmallow Fluff recipe from her blog www.liveforcake.com , and added freeze dried strawberry powder to it. The fluff was soooo delicious!!! 🙂 I wanted to pipe it straight in my mouth lol.

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The fun part was actually torching the fluff and seeing it change color! Oooo sooo funnn!! And the next best part was topping it with a @ghirardelli chocolate caramel square, and then tasting these luxurious beauties! I arranged them on a cake stand, in a way that it would be displayed in a bakery perhaps! Aha, how fun it would be to own a bakery someday, selling all the fun baked goods that I want to! That is a long standing dream of mine, and I hope I can fulfil it in this lifetime! It would be a bakery or a café!

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I really hope you get a chance to make these s’mores bars because they are CRACK! They are addictive, so good, not too sweet and uber delicious! Enjoy the long weekend folks and have a peaceful and fun weekend.

 

XO

Amisha

Strawberry Cheesecake Brownie S’mores Bars with Strawberry Marshmallow Fluff

Ingredients

  • !Graham Cracker Layer:
  • 5 oz of graham crackers(9 pieces)
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • !Brownie Layer:
  • 5 oz dark chocolate, chopped into shards
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp instant coffee
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened dark cocoa
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup chocolate chips + 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • !Strawberry Cheesecake Layer:
  • 1 8oz package of cream cheese at room temperature
  • ½ cup crème fraiche or sour cream
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp freeze dried strawberry powder(I ground the freeze dried strawberries from Trader Joe’s in a coffee grinder)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • !Strawberry Marshmallow Frosting:
  • (Adapted from Olivia’s blog Liv For Cake Blog www.livforcake.com)
  • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 tbsp freeze dried strawberry powder(I ground the freeze dried strawberries from Trader Joe’s in a coffee grinder)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • !Other fixings:
  • Blow Torch
  • Freeze dried strawberry powder for garnish
  • Ghirardelli squares

Instructions

  1. !Graham Cracker Crust:
  2. In a food processor, put all the ingredients and pulse until the entire mixture is a crumble. Take an 8x8 baking pan. Spray with non-stick spray. Put a parchment paper with an overhang to stick it to the pan. The overhang will help to remove the entire slab without any damage. Put the graham cracker mixture into the pan and pat it down evenly with a glass with a flat bottom.
  3. ! Preparing the Cheesecake Layer:
  4. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add in the cream cheese and whisk at high speed for 30 seconds. Add in the sour cream, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, strawberry powder and whisk at medium speed for a 1 minute. Scrap down the sides of the bowl and whisk for another 30 seconds. Add in the eggs, one at a time, whisking after each addition to combine.
  6. Add the cheesecake mixture to the prepared pan with the graham cracker crust. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
  7. ! Preparing the Brownie Layer:
  8. Increase the temperature to 350 degrees.
  9. While the cheesecake layer is baking, prepare the brownie layer. Melt the butter, granulated sugar, instant coffee and chocolate, in a glass bowl over a small pot with water, on the gas on medium heat, not touching the glass bowl, until completely melted, about 2-3 minutes. Keep stirring the entire time for it to melt uniformly. Let it cool completely.
  10. In a separate small bowl, add in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and whisk to combine.
  11. Add the eggs one at a time, into the chocolate mixture and whisk to combine. Slowly fold in the dry mixture to the chocolate mixture with a spatula, until combined. Do not overmix. Now add in the chocolate chips, covered in the all purpose flour into the brownie batter, and mix.
  12. Add the brownie mixture on top of the par baked cheesecake layer and smoothen out the layer. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely.
  13. Flatten the top of the brownie layer with a large offset spatula, to prepare for the marshmallow fluff frosting. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours for the bars to set.
  14. ! Strawberry Marshmallow Frosting:
  15. In a medium pot, over medium to high heat, add in the water, granulated sugar and honey. Whisk until the sugar dissolves. Do not whisk after this point. Attach a candy thermometer to the pot, and let the temperature of the mixture reach 225 degrees F.
  16. While the temperature is rising, get your egg whites and cream of tartar ready in the bowl of a stand mixer. Make sure that the bowl is clean.
  17. Once the temperature reaches 225 degrees F, start whipping the egg whites on high speed, for 3-4 minutes. It will form soft peaks. Keep an eye on the candy thermometer, and turn off the gas when the thermometer reads 240 degrees F.
  18. Now gently pour the sugar syrup into the egg white fluff, and whip the mixture for about 7 minutes. Add in the vanilla extract and whip for another minute.
  19. Add the fluff into a pastry bag with an ATECO 804 round tip. Push down the fluff with a bench scraper, secure the top tight.
  20. !Assembly:
  21. Remove the pan from the refrigerator, and remove the bar gently, using the parchment paper overhang, onto a wooden cutting board. Using a ruler and a sharp knife, cut out equal squares. I cut the block into 16 squares.
  22. Gently pipe the strawberry marshmallow fluff, with whatever design you want, on top of each bar. Use a blow torch to torch the fluff on each bar! This is the fun part! Dust the strawberry powder gently on each bar. Top with a Ghirardelli square on each bar! SUBLIME!
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