Learn how to make Caramel S’mores Bars with a brown butter graham cracker crust, a layer of caramel, soft melt-in-your-mouth chocolate, and toasted marshmallows.
This S’mores Bars recipe was inspired by Summer House Santa Monica, a bright sunny restaurant in Lincoln Park. Right when you walk in the door to the restaurant you see a case filled with cookies and sweet treats. I almost always order a s’mores bar to go.
Recently I decided to create my own version of this dessert, with a simple twist: a layer of caramel! This mimics my favorite way to make a s’more: with Ghirardelli chocolate squares filled with caramel. Caramel makes a s’more extraordinary.
I combined some of my favorite recipes to make these S’mores Bars. The caramel is my go-to caramel recipe. Usually I add a splash a whiskey, this time I did not. The chocolate layer is my Mom’s chocolate truffle recipe. It’s rich creamy soft chocolate that melts in your mouth. *The chocolate truffle layer is made with egg yolk. Since I am pregnant I let the chocolate cook for a couple of extra minutes while stirring constantly just to make sure that the egg cooked completely.
If you want to save some time, you can opt to use store-bought caramel instead of making it yourself. I do prefer to make it myself so that I can make it a bit thicker so that it will hold up once the bars are sliced.
For the marshmallow topping, traditional store-bought marshmallows do work best. Both freshly made gourmet marshmallows and fluff melt too much making a mess.
I made bars, but you could also make a pie. For a pie you can either make the brown butter graham cracker crust or you can use a store bought graham cracker crust.
Save this caramel s’mores recipes by sharing it to Pinterest:
And you might want to try this S’mores Pie recipe!
Caramel S’mores Recipe:
For the Graham Cracker Crust
- 6 tablespoons Butter
- 1 cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
- 2 tablespoons packed Brown Sugar
For the Caramel
- 4 tablespoons Butter
- 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
- 1/4 cup Heavy Cream
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
For the Chocolate Layer
- 8 ounces Sweet German Chocolate, cut into pieces
- 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
- 2 tablespoons Butter
- 1 cup Powdered Sugar
- 2 Egg Yolks
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- about 2 cups Mini Marshmallows
Graham Cracker Crust:
First, prepare the graham cracker crust. Pour the graham cracker crumbs and brown sugar into a bowl and set aside. Place the butter in a saucepan and heat over low heat. Note: a stainless steal pot works well so that you can see the butter turn brown. Once the butter has melted, occasionally tilt the pan to swirl the butter around and stir it. Be patient and keep a close eye on the butter because it can go from browned to burnt quickly. As soon as the butter is golden toasted brown, pour it into the bowl with the graham crackers and sugar. Mix throughly.
Pour the crumb mixture into a parchment-lined pan that is about 8x8 inches in size. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan forming an even layer of graham crackers.
Bake the crust for 7 minutes at 375 degrees. Then remove from the oven and set aside.
Next, prepare the caramel. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Then add the brown sugar and whisk until melted.
Add the salt and let simmer steadily for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the cream and let the sauce slowly simmer and reduce for 20-25 minutes, until it has thickened. Stir every few minutes. You want the caramel to be thick enough to for a thick layer to stick on the back of a spoon. At this point stir in the vanilla.
Pour over the graham cracker crust and place in the freezer while you make the chocolate layer. Freezing the caramel will prevent the caramel and chocolate from melting together.
Now it is time to make the chocolate layer. Combine chocolate, cream, and 2 tablespoons of butter in top of double boiler. The trick to using a double boiler is to get the water steaming hot - but not boiling hot. You don't want to risk burning the chocolate. Whisk frequently until the chocolate has melted.
Add sugar and egg yolks and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
Pour the chocolate over the caramel layer, and then return the pan in the freezer for at least an hour. Freezing the bars will prevent the chocolate from totally melting when you add the marshmallows and toast them on top of the bars.
The last step is to add a layer of marshmallows. Arrange a baking rack under your oven's broiler. You may want to trim away any excess parchment to prevent it from burning. Place the bars in the oven under the broiler. Keep a close eye on the marshmallows, they will take just a couple of minutes to brown.
As soon as the marshmallows have browned, turn the oven off and remove the s'mores bars from the oven.
To slice the bars, use the parchment to lift the bars out of the pan. Then slice with a sharp knife, whiping it clean after each slice.
You can use store-bought caramel.