It was just the welcome I was looking for. This past summer, it was time for the long-awaiting trip to visit home. After 18 months, I would be able to catch up with the ones I love.
I slotted in Colorado first, and the plan was to head straight up to the backwoods for a dose of mountain air, wide vistas and good company. A friend scooped me at the airport and it was go-time from the moment I sat in the front seat. Being the rock star that she is, she’d emailed my Korean counterparts and taken suggestions for the most pined-after snacks. She had a selection at my disposal for the drive up to the mountains. I was greeted with mini wheels of cheese, Cape Cod’s finest chips and chocolate-covered pomegranate bits containing just enough anti-oxidants to cancel out all fattening properties.
We made our way through the dark curves of I-70 and miraculously arrived at our destination. Following our friend’s nondescript directions to a long driveway and some Christmas lights smack in the middle of a cellular dead-zone, it was nothing short of a miracle. Upon arrival, we left the vehicle behind and hurried over to reminisce beside a cranking bonfire. Flanked by great friends in a perfect setting, I was content. That is, until our Budweisers ran dry.
About the time we ventured inside to replenish the stocks, I found out just how much more was in store for me. Scattered about the counters, I encountered the remnants of a neighborhood BBQ earlier in the day. Deviled eggs, venison brats — it was the embodiment of the land I love.
How I had dreamed of this moment! Wasting no time, I dove in and did a number on the leftovers. It was then that I encountered the holy grail. Shrugged off as a picked over mess, I hadn’t really taken note of the pile of crumbs. One taste, however, and I dove in deep. Deep into that ooey, gooey, chocolate-y rendition of s’mores. God Bless the U.S.A.
Back in Korea after the trip, I’m left with many fond memories. And many unrelenting cravings.
This weekend, it was time again for a fire. For a Korean version of the British holiday Guy Fawkes Night, we gathered on the beach. The holiday celebrates the triumph of the monarchy after a dissident tried to blow up their parliament. The plan was for a feast, followed by a burning of the guest-of-honor — a cardboard effigy of Guy Fawkes himself. Thinking nothing pairs better with homicidal arson than a chocolate-y mess, it was time. Time to take on the masterpiece.
A friend made his contribution to the event by shipping in some marshmallows, by way of Costco in Seoul. I’m told you’re also likely to find some at HomePlus or Emart. In the spirit of things, however, it was only appropriate to employ the Rocky Mountain’s finest as a nod to the dish’s roots.
Starting first with crushed Diget digestive cookies, you make a base.
Following the crust, you add a layer of brownies.
When it’s all baked together, the magic happens. You pile on the marshmallows and torch those babies up.
Upon sharing this dish, I was propositioned with marriage, under the pretense that this creation could be our wedding cake. Later, I was told that one party-goer (who shall remain anonymous) was found in a corner siphoning all remaining crumbs into his mouth. I think it’s safe to assume they shared my sentiments.
Brownie S’mores Bars
9 Diget digestive cookies (or graham crackers for those at home), crushed
6 tbsp butter, melted
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 box brownie mix (Tous les Jours makes one readily available)
9-inch round cake pan
Combine the crushed cookies, butter, and sugar until mixed evenly. Press the mixture into the bottom of the cake pan. Toast in the oven just briefly, about 5 minutes on 175C/350F. While the crust bakes, make brownie mix according to package instructions (the Tous les Jours mix only requires water). Remove crust from oven. Spread the brownie mixture over the cookie bottom to form an even layer. Bake according to package instructions.
When the brownie has cookies through, again remove the pan from the oven. Top the whole thing off with a layer of marshmallows. Throw it back into the oven one final time, for only about 3-5 minutes. The marshmallows should puff slightly.
Here comes the fun part. Spark up a torch and toast the marshmallow topping to a nice golden brown. Hide from your friends and enjoy. All of it. 🙂