The classic summer treat gets a low carb, gluten-free makeover! These s’mores bars are like your best childhood memory in a delicious sugar-free package. This post is sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill.
Do you remember your first time? I can remember mine clear as day. It was a beautiful sunny day in rural Ontario and I just knew it would a momentous, life-changing experience. Wait, what? What are you talking about? Why are you squirming in discomfort? Oh, you thought I was referring to THAT “first time”. Goodness no, that would just be weird. And kind of inappropriate to discuss on a food blog, wouldn’t you say? No, no, I am not about to get that personal with you. I am just referring to the first time you ever had the gooey deliciousness known as s’mores. Come to think of it, having a s’more for the first time was probably as memorable, and possibly more so, than that other “first time”. You know, just between you and me…
My first s’more was at Girl Guides camp and it was instantly apparent why they were called s’mores. Just imagine 40 or so young girls clamouring for “some more”! I don’t envy our counsellors, it’s possible that we knocked them over and trampled them in our haste to grab more marshmallows, more graham crackers, more chocolate. More, more, more! S’mores at just the ultimate childhood summer indulgence. And I won’t lie, I kind of miss them. My kids get them once in a while when we go camping and I do feel a pang of jealousy at times. My homemade graham crackers are a great replacement for the real thing and there is plenty of good sugar-free chocolate on the market. But nothing really melts and gets gooey like a marshmallow made with sugar. I don’t even really like marshmallows, but on a s’more, they are something special.
But it sure is fun to play with the idea of s’mores and pay homage to childhood memory. I saw a recipe for sheet pan s’mores in Cooking Light a few weeks ago and it had meringue on top in place of the marshmallows. It wasn’t my magazine so I quickly snapped a photo of the recipe for reference and started scheming on how to make them with low carb ingredients. A “graham cracker” crust was easy with the help of my trusty sidekick, Bob’s Red Mill Super-Fine Almond Flour. For the filling was simple as well, just melt some dark chocolate and cream together. It was the topping that gave me a bit of a hard time. I tried the magazine’s method of broiling the meringue and that was a bad, bad, BAD idea. I had it under there for barely a minute when it caught on fire and burned the whole mess (and I did not have it that close to the broiler). I guess sugar-free meringue simply isn’t made to be broiled.
Thankfully, I was able to scrape off the burned meringue topping as one big gloopy piece and I rescued the filling and crust. Phew, because I think I would have cried to see all that glorious stuff go into the garbage. The next day, I tried again and this time I simply baked the whole thing in the same fashion I did my lemon meringue pie. And ended up with lovely light browned peaks and swirls reminiscent of the most perfectly toasted marshmallow. A delicious childhood memory in a low carb and sugar-free package. What could be better?
Many thanks to Bob’s Red Mill for partnering with me to bring you this recipe.
- 3/4 cup whipping cream
- 4 ounces sugar-free dark chocolate (such as Lily's), chopped
Preheat oven to 325F and line a 9x9 square baking pan with parchment, leaving an overhang for easy removal.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine almond flour, sweetener, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and salt. Pulse to combine. Sprinkle with butter pieces and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Alternatively, you can cut in butter with a pastry cutter.
Press into bottom of prepared baking pan. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, until just beginning to brown on the edges. Remove and let cool while preparing topping.
In a small saucepan, bring cream to just a simmer. Add chopped chocolate and let sit 5 minutes to melt, then whisk in until smooth. Spread over cooled crust and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 300F.
In a large bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar and salt until frothy. With beaters going, slowly add sweeteners and vanilla extract and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
Spread over cooled filling and bake 20 minutes or until topping is golden and just barely firm to the touch.
Refrigerate at least another hour to firm up, then gently lift out by parchment paper edges and cut into squares.
Serves 16. Each serving has 2.07g NET CARBS.
Food energy: 164kcal
Total fat: 15.17g
Calories from fat: 136
Total dietary fiber: 3.47g