Happy #NationalSmoresDay y’all! Is it crazy to you that every day is some national holiday now? No, just me? Well, I made these epic S’more Brownie Bites for a 4th of July cookout and thought there was not a more perfect day to post them for you. I wanted to share our nation’s love of all things gooey chocolate marshmallow graham cracker goodness with some friends of friends traveling from Japan. S’mores are not a big deal over there and the wife who is Japanese had never experienced this flavor combination. And what summer cookout is complete without a s’mores?
S’mores can prove problematic to create though when holed up indoors because some stormy weather has put a damper on things. Sure, you could toast them in the oven, but it’s really not the same. Then, there’s the second issue I have with s’mores – the mess. Maybe you are a pro at eating them without making a mess or getting sticky marshmallow goo all over yourself, but that’s not me.
I thought a brownie cupcake with a graham cracker crust topped with marshmallow frosting would be the best way to enjoy the delicious flavors of the s’mores indoors and without the mess. The crust is simple enough to whip together and doesn’t need any pre-baking, the brownies can be thrown together in a single bowl, and other than a little time the marshmallow frosting doesn’t require much effort either making these a fairly quick dessert to pull together in a pinch and yet look amazing. People will praise you for your baking abilities! ;-p
As an added bonus, these can be made totally dairy free using vegan butter in the crust. If you don’t have a problem with dairy, then feel free to use regular butter, but I don’t think anyone at our cookout could even tell the difference. Well, maybe me, but I just really miss real butter. I’ve been eating it recently to see how Ash would do and I thought we were all good, but his eczema has flared up again. 🙁 Bummer.
This recipe makes a large batch of marshmallow frosting that can be increased further if needed. I found that I had plenty left to frost an 8×8 square pan, so I made an extra batch of brownies, laid down some whole sheets of graham crackers pour over the brownie batter and baked them that way to be topped with the rest of my frosting. These turned out incredible. The sheet of graham cracker was the perfect crust!
And don’t throw out those egg yolks!! Goodness no, never waste a perfectly good egg yolk! This frosting calls for a lot of egg whites and you may be inclined to toss the yolks, but save them and make ice cream or custard or creme brulee! I have a yummy dairy free ice cream recipe coming up soon that uses exactly five egg yolks…so hang on to those yolks!
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 6 Tbsp regular or vegan butter, melted
- 1/4 cup raw sugar
- Pinch fine sea salt
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil (melted)
- 5 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup dark or Dutch-processed cocoa powder, sifted
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips, optional
- 1 tablespoon cacao nibs, optional
- 5 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1/3 teaspoon cream of tartar
- pinch fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray or line two large muffin tins.
Place all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Use a large cookie scooper to drop spoonfuls into muffin tin. Press each crust into the muffin round until packed firm.
Combine oil and chocolate chips in microwave safe bowl (or saucepan). Heat in microwave in 30 second intervals stirring after each time until chocolate is just melted or heat over low heat on your stove top until just beginning to melt, then remove from heat and continue stirring until completely combined. Stir remaining ingredients into oil and chocolate mixture folding in remaining chocolate chips and cacao nibs at the end.
Using a measuring spoon or large cookie scoop, drop equal size portions of brownie on top of each crust.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until set.
Fill a medium saucepan with 1 inch of water and bring it to a simmer over medium heat.
Place the egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar, and salt in the clean bowl of a stand mixer and whisk by hand to combine. Nest the bowl over the saucepan, making sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water. Heat the egg white mixture, whisking constantly, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is hot to the touch (about 120°F on an instant-read thermometer), about 6 minutes.
Transfer the bowl to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Turn the mixer to medium and whisk for 1 minute. Increase the speed to high and whisk until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 5 minutes more. Add the vanilla and whisk until just incorporated, about 1 minute. Use immediately or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 hours.
With a piping bag fitted with your favorite tip (I used a French Star #9), pipe marshmallow frosting onto each brownie bite cupcake working quickly. As the frosting warms from your hand, it will start to deflate.
To finish these off, use a kitchen torch to char the outside edges of the marshmallow frosting. If you do not have a kitchen torch, do not attempt to do this in your oven. The heat will melt the frosting. Just enjoy them without the toasted flavor.
*Alternative: lay whole sheets of graham crackers in a pan and pour over brownie batter. May require more bake time to firm up the center.