About this iReport
  • Approved for CNN

  • Click to view villages1317's profile
    Posted February 29, 2012 by
    Austin, Texas
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Fair-trade chocolate challenge

    S'mores-They want some more!


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     villages1317 is executive director of Ten Thousand Villages in Austin, Texas, where the staff celebrated World Chocolate Day in September with a fair-trade bakeoff. She says the staff thinks about modern-day slavery 'every time we sell a fair trade chocolate bar. If farmers/artisans have fair and safe work, sending their children into slavery knowingly or unknowingly wouldn't be an issue.'
    - dsashin, CNN iReport producer

    I work at Ten Thousand Villages, a fair trade non-profit retailer in Austin. We wanted to celebrate World Chocolate Day so we came up with the idea to do a chocolate “Bake Off” with customers sampling and then voting on the winner. They had to promise to vote in order to sample ;)
    I wanted to make something that I could incorporate as many fair trade /humanely produced ingredients into as possible. As I was driving to work, I saw a big billboard that was talking about “s’mores” and I felt like I’d suddenly had a little epiphany. S’MORES! Melty chocolate, crispy graham crackers, sitting around a campfire waiting for the marshmallow to get just right- not too white, not catch on fire…to me, s’mores are the best thing camping. Yes, it was my personal “aha!” moment – I’d make s’mores!
    Since I wasn’t planning on being at store with a hibachi, I decided I couldn’t be the only person in the world who thought baking s'mores (or a easy to transport s’mores equivalent) would be a good idea. I’m not a natural baker, so I looked around and found a couple of recipes about bar cookies based on s’mores. I tinkered with those a bit and substituted fair trade items.
    I only made one l pan of these and I kept a few back for family to sample.
    I was shocked to hear that out of 12 entries my s’mores were the big favorite of the day! Even though we cut them into teeny tiny pieces, they ran out before any other delicious dessert (and we had some WONDERFUL items!). Personally, I think it’s the memory as much as the taste.
    And like we say at the store, “It just tastes better because it’s fair!”
    Here’s the recipe:
    Fair Trade S'mores Bars
    ½ cup butter, room temp
    ¼ cup fair trade brown sugar
    ½ cup fair trade granulated sugar
    1 large egg (free range, antibiotic-free)
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    ½ tsp almond extract
    1 1/3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
    ¾ cup graham cracker crumbs
    1 tsp baking powder
    ¼ tsp salt
    3-4 Equal Exchange Dark Chocolate Caramel Crunch with Sea Salt bars (55% cacao, gluten free, 3.5 oz each)
    3 Divine Chocolate Milk Chocolate Toffee bars (chopped) (1.5 oz each)
    1 jar marshmallow cream (7oz) (can use more if you like more cream)
    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
    2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg, almond extract and vanilla. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix at a low speed until combined.

    3. Divide dough in half and press half of dough into an even layer on the bottom of the prepared pan. Place larger dark chocolate bars over dough. Break the chocolate (if necessary) to get it to fit in a single layer no more than 1/4 inch thick. Spread chocolate with marshmallow cream or fluff. Sprinkle the chopped milk chocolate over the marshmallow cream.

    4. Roll out remaining dough and then place remaining dough in a single layer on top of the marshmallow cream. I rolled it out between two pieces of waxed paper so it wouldn’t stick. The dough is not easily transferable like pie dough – it crumbles some so be careful when you transfer it over the cream. Having it on waxed paper makes it a little easier.

    5. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

    Makes about 16 cookie bars (or more samples!)

    Adapted for Fair Trade from: http://www.lovintheoven.com/2008/12/day-11-smores-cookie-bars.html
    I’d love to try different chocolate flavors to see the difference it would make; I used mostly dark chocolate whereas the original recipes normally called for all milk chocolate. I also plan to re-do this recipe using gluten-free flour and make my marshmallow fluff from scratch to avoid corn due to allergies at my house.

    Add your Story Add your Story