Marshmallow Caramel Oreo Cookie S’Mores Bars
Marshmallows and caramel are two of my favorite ingredients. And Oreos aren’t too shabby either.
Plus, I have a thing for s’mores and five ingredient recipes.
I was having a craving for something with an Oreo crust, and although I could have made a pie, these bars seemed more fun. They’re what I envision S’mores Bars that took a bath in caramel and that are made with an Oreo-crust rather then a graham cracker crust would taste like. Only five ingredients are used and they’re ready in thirty minutes. My kind of recipe.
I combined 32 ground chocolate sandwich cookies with melted butter. I used 32 because that’s what remained in the package after certain family members discovered my baking stash in the cupboard. I’m sure using 28 or 37 cookies would be just fine if that’s what you have.
I used generic storebrand chocolate sandwich cookies rather than real Oreos because Oreos are ten dollars per package here in Aruba, and the storebrand was two bucks. I’ll roll over in my grave before I pay ten bucks for Oreos that I’m going to pulverize anyway.
Line a baking pan with aluminum foil, and it’s an absolute must to line the pan unless you have lots of elbow grease to spare. Then press the buttery crumbs down firmly with the back of a spatula. A little trick is to use the bottom of a flat-bottomed drinking glass for packing them, facilitating a tight pack-job that’s utterly smooth.
It’s a pet peeve of mine when cookie-crumb-crust desserts don’t hold together, disintegrating and leaving a black crumbly mess all over the floor. This crust holds together very well, thanks to a generous butter-to-crumbs ratio, and some tight packing.
Bake the crust for about ten minutes, or just until set. It’s hard to determine if it’s set or not because the black buttery cookie crumbs look like wet tar, and it’s hard to tell set from not. But ten to twelve minutes should do the trick. Plus, the pan is going back into the oven anyway.
Sprinkle marshmallows over the crust, and then sprinkle quartered caramels over the marshmallows. Make sure to do it in that order; marshmallows first, then caramels because the marshmallows will catch the melting caramels in the crevices and valleys that form as they puff while baking.
The biggest PITA of this recipe is unwrapping fifteen caramels and quartering them. You could likely use Kraft Caramel Bits instead of caramels, but they don’t sell those here. I would hesitate to use caramel sauce, as it may just turn into semi-scorched caramel soup.
Return the pan to the oven for about five to eight minutes, rotating it midway through if your oven bakes unevenly like mine does. Remove the pan from the oven when the caramels have melted and marshmallows are just barely starting to brown.
Immediately upon removing the pan from the oven, sprinkle chocolate chips over the top, lightly pressing them down. The carryover heat from the pan will melt the chocolate chips, ever-so-slightly. White chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, or peanut butter chips would also be great options.
Allow the bars to cool for at least two hours before slicing through the white and black layers. This can be expedited by placing the pan in the refrigerator. I placed mine in the refrigerator overnight because things melt in Aruba at room temperature and there would have been no chance of these gooey squares setting up otherwise.
I really enjoy contrasting flavors and textures and these bars are full of both. The chocolaty, buttery, crisp, cookie-crumb-crust contrasted with soft, fluffy, airy, white marshmallows made each bite a dichotomy. The sprinkled chocolate chips add a pop of texture, and of boost the chocolate intensity.
The puddles of sweet, melted caramel that pool in between the puffed marshmallows reminded me that I need to bake with my favorite ingredients more often.
Sticky, sweet, chewy, and gooey. Just the way I like it.
An Oreo cookie-crumb and buttery crust is topped with marshmallows, caramels, and chocolate chips for an easy and fast dessert reminiscent of s'mores. As the bars bake, the marshmallows puff and become gooey and the rich and buttery caramels melt, providing plenty of texture and diverse flavors in each bite. The chocolate chips sprinkled on top boost the chocolate intensity, always a good thing.
For the Crust
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (3/4 of one stick)
32 Oreo Cookies or chocolate sandwich cookies, ground
For the Topping
2 cups mini marshmallows
15 caramels, unwrapped and quartered (total of 60 small pieces)
3 to 4 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil leaving overhang (you must line your pan), spray with cooking spray; set aside.
For the Crust - In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter on high power, about 1 minute; set aside. Add the ground cookies and stir to combine (grind cookies with a food processor or place them in a sealed plastic ziptop bag and gently mash the outside of the bag with a drinking glass or roll over the bag with a rolling pin). Transfer crumb mixture to prepared pan and pack it down firmly with a spatula or the bottom of a flat-bottomed drinking glass. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or just until set; don't worry if it's a bit underbaked as pan will be going back into the oven in the next step.
For the Topping - Evenly sprinkle the marshmallows over the crust. Evenly sprinkle the caramels, making sure to do it in that order. Bake for about 5 to 8 minutes or until marshmallows and caramel have begun to melt and remove pan before marshmallows start browning or developing color. Immediately upon removing pan from oven, evenly sprinkle the chocolate chips, pressing them down very lightly with a spatula if desired. The carryover heat will melt the chocolate just slightly and embed them into the melted marshmallows and caramel. Allow bars to set up for at least 2 hours before slicing; pan can be placed in the refrigerator to expedite.
Slice bars by lifting them out using the foil overhang and transfer to a cutting board. Bars will keep in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to one week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Recipe may be kept vegan by replacing the butter with margarine or Earth Balance and by using vegan marshmallows and caramels. Oreos are Accidentally Vegan. Recipe may be kept gluten-free by using a gluten-free chocolate sandwich cookie. Take care all ingredients used are suitable for your dietary needs.
Marshmallow Peanut Butter Double Chocolate Pillowtop Bars (GF with Vegan options) – These are one of my Top Five bar recipes I have on my site. Creamy, smooth, and rich from the peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk, contrasted with plenty of texture from oats, and both semi-sweet and white chocolate is used. An easy recipe that’s one of my absolute favorites
Peanut Butter Cocoa Krispies Smores Bars – Three layers and almost no baking is necessary for these. Bring the campsite to your kitchen, no stinky campfire hair required for these s’mores with peanut butter infused
Caramel and Chocolate Gooey Bars (GF with Vegan adaptation) – Caramels, more carmaels, and plenty of chocolate and oats are combined in these gooey, sticky, sweet, and texture-rich bars
Oreo Cookie-Stuffed Brownies with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting – Oreos inside brownies are never a bad thing
Triple Layer Fudgy Mint Oreo Brownies – Three layers including a rich and ultra-fudgy brownie base, topped with a minty layer, topped with mint Oreos. Perfect for holiday parties
Do you have a favorite marshmallow, caramel, s’mores or Oreo recipe?
Feel free to link up those tried-and-true favorites.