As if s’mores weren’t good enough already, I’ve added another layer of deliciousness in the form of ooey gooey caramel to raise the bar on the s’mores game. Oh yeah, that’s right, I went there. And there’s no going back to plain ol’ s’mores now.
With a thick layer of baked graham cracker crust, a middle layer of milk chocolate caramel, and a top layer of crunchy-on-the-outside, gooey-on-the-inside toasted marshmallow, these Caramel S’mores Bars are what your s’mores dreams are made of!
Let’s face it, roasting marshmallows over a campfire isn’t always practical. Especially when you’ve got a busy schedule during the summer with camp and work and pool and beach and avoiding all things labeled ‘back-to-school’.
Building a campfire doesn’t lend itself to being quick and easy for busy families. So, let’s bring the s’mores fun indoors and bake up a treat you can make any day of the week this summer.
Taking S’mores to a whole new level
If you’ve been following along, you know about my obsession with all things s’mores. So baking up easy variations on this classic summertime campfire treat is something I’ve been toying with for some time.
First came the S’mores Cupcakes, next the S’mores Truffles, and most recently the S’mores Ice Cream with toasted marshmallow ice cream. How could I possibly come up with another version of s’mores? By adding caramel!
And I know what you’re thinking. These caramel s’mores bars must be too darn sweet now. Nope. Nada. Not so. They’re actually just plain perfect!
Caramel + S’mores = Perfect Indoor S’mores
These Caramel S’more Bars begin with a baked layer of graham cracker crust. It comes out thick and cookie bar-like which is just what we want. Once that’s just starting to brown in the oven, a layer of – wait for it – Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Caramel is added.
Yes, my friends, we are adding creamy, luscious Ghirardelli chocolate with a thick layer of caramel filling on top of this baked crust. I don’t think you can even being to imagine how divine this is!
Once the chocolate is baked for a bit to get it melty just like traditional campfire s’mores, the marshmallow topping is added. Now, you can either add regular marshmallows along with the chocolate layer and bake to get them soft and gooey. Or, you can wait until the chocolate has baked a bit and add a layer of marshmallow fluff.
Either way, you’ll not want to skip the best part – toasting the marshmallow to get that crisp, charred outer layer. This can be done via broiler or kitchen torch. I prefer kitchen torch – it’s just too fun not to use!
See below for tips. And, happy s’mores-ing!
Tips for Making this Recipe
- Line your baking pan with parchment paper for easier clean up. This also helps in lifting your baked bars out of the pan. I love these pre-cut parchment sheets. Start by spraying the bottom and sides of the pan with non-stick spray. Place one piece of parchment across from left to right and crease the overhang over the edge of the pan so that the parchment does not fall into your batter. Turn the pan 45º, spray the parchment with a bit more non-stick spray and place another piece of parchment across. Here is a useful tutorial on another method for lining your pan with parchment
- Instead of using the oven broiler to toast your marshmallows or marshmallow fluff in this recipe, you can use a kitchen torch. If you read any of my previous s’mores recipe posts, you know I love my kitchen torch! It’s easy to use, you can control the heat and amount of toastiness your marshmallows get, and it’s just plain fun to use!
- If you aren’t serving these right away after baking, I highly recommend warming them up in the oven for about 10 minutes at 350ºF before serving. You’ll achieve perfect ooey gooey-ness and your guests will really get that campfire s’mores taste and feel
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Useful Baking Tools for This RecipePrint
Caramel S’mores Bars
With a thick layer of baked graham cracker crust, a middle layer of milk chocolate caramel bars, and a final layer of crunchy-on-the-outside, gooey-on-the-inside toasted marshmallow, these Caramel S’mores Bars are what your s’mores dreams are made of!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 16 bars 1x
- Category: Cookie Bars
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
- ¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- 2 ½ – 3.5 ounce Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Caramel bars or 16 Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Squares
- 16 regular marshmallows or ½ 7-ounce can of marshmallow fluff
- Prepare: Preheat oven to 350º F. Line an 8 x 8 inch baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Make Graham Cracker Layer: In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter, brown and granulated sugars and beat on medium until well combined, about 1-2 minutes. Add in egg and vanilla and beat again on medium for 1 minute, scraping the sides and bottom of bowl, as needed. With mixer off, add in flour, baking soda, salt, and graham cracker crumbs. Stir until combined. Do not overmix. Press graham cracker mixture into bottom of prepared baking dish
- Bake Graham Cracker Layer: Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until edges of graham cracker layer are just beginning to turn golden brown and the middle looks set. Remove from the oven and place chocolate gently on top of graham cracker layer to cover graham layer completely. I was able to fit two full chocolate bars side-by-side, then break the 3rd bar into pieces to fill the remaining space in an even, single layer. If using the squares, approximately 16 should fit nicely in one layer across the top of the graham layer. Next, place 16 marshmallows on top of chocolate bars, if using. If using marshmallow fluff, do not add until after bars have baked for another 15 minutes (see next step)
- Top them off: Return pan to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and turn on the broiler. If using marshmallow fluff, carefully spread fluff on top of chocolate in a thick layer. For both marshmallows and marshmallow fluff, return to oven and broil for 1 minute. Watch carefully to make sure the marshmallows do not burn. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Using the parchment paper overhang, carefully lift bars out of the pan and cut into 16 squares
- Store baked bars in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Marshmallow may melt a bit, but that’s part of the fun!
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