When I went to bed Friday night, it was the middle of June. When I woke up the next morning, I could have sworn I’d slept straight through to mid-November. It was wet, cold, dark and miserable.
Figures. It was the first weekend in weeks where I didn’t have commitments or have to work. Bah.
The whole thing made me want to bake. I had three Mars Bars in the freezer that needed to be used up and needed an idea. I was flipping through my Happy Baker Cookbook and found a recipe for S’mores bars. Seeing as (for some odd reason) I had 2 boxes of graham cracker crumbs and two bags of mini marshmallows in my cupboard and seeing as they were both a bit old, that seemed like a good fit. The Mars Bars could stand in for chocolate chips.
I’m not usually great with bars for some reason. I think because I’m too anxious to sample and I don’t let them cool enough first. And I just find them so hard to get out of the damn pan! I sometimes line the pan with parchment paper but, I was all out and I didn’t want to go out so I had to wrestle with them a bit and it wasn’t until I put them in the freezer for 20 minutes that I was able cut them out (the marshmallow mixture is very elastic-y while it’s still even a tad warm and sticks to your knife)
So here you have them:
- ⅔ cup sugar
- ½ cup butter or margarine
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 1 egg
- 2⅓ cups graham crumbs
- ⅓ cup flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 cups mini marshmallows
- 1½ tbsp butter
- 3 regular sized Mars Bars chopped into bite sized pieces
- 1½ cups mini marshmallows
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Mix together butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy
- Add vanilla and egg and combine well
- In a separate bowl, combine graham crumbs, flour and salt and then add to the butter mixture
- Put aside 1½ cups of the crumb mixture and spread the remaining mixture in a greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Press this into the pan to create a solid base.
- In a small saucepan melt the 3 cups of marshmallows and butter
- Spread the marshmallow mixture evenly over the base (this will be tricky - it's very gooey and will try to pull up the base as you spread)
- Combine Mars pieces, remaining marshmallows and cookie crumb mixture in a bowl and then sprinkle evenly over the marshmallow cookie base.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until marshmallows puff up and start to turn a golden brown.
- Cool thoroughly before slicing
Food Photography Tips
All the images were shot in manual mode, outdoors in overcast light. I set my white balance to daylight for all of these to add some warmth. The overcast skies meant I had very good light but it was also nicely diffused by the cloud cover – it was actually really good for shooting outdoors. I didn’t use any reflectors or diffusors.
They were all shot on an old bench I have, next to my woodpile. It seemed like a good setting for something usually associated with campfires!
My trusty Labrador, Sam, protected me from all the little chickadees flitting about in the backyard while I worked. He is loyal.
The mug and plate are from my camping box. The “coffee” in the camp mug is Pepsi. I was told once that cola drinks are a good sub for coffee because the bubbles from the fizz look like freshly poured coffee!
I used my 5D MKII and my 100mm macro lens for all of them
Image 1: f2.8, 1/1600, ISO100, 100mm. I increased the exposure level in Lightroom because I had underexposed it. I made a rookie mistake and trusted my LCD display and not my camera settings. Bad thing to do, especially when viewing the screen outdoors. If I’d listened to my brain, I’d have done this right in camera.
It is, however, my favourite of the three. I’m actually pleased with this one. I can see about 5 things I’d fix if I could but overall, the picture appeals to me visually. (no, I’m never ever happy. haha).
Image 2: f2.8, 1/640, ISO100, 100mm. This is my least favourite of the three. My depth of field is too shallow. I actually thought I had it set at 3.2 but, I didn’t (another rookie mistake, not double checking your settings). Post processing was adjusting the contrast and clarity sliders and a crop and level. Oh, and sharpening.
Image 3: f3.5, 1/800, ISO100, 100mm. +1/3 exposure compensation. I don’t really have anything to say about this. It could have been better or worse. Post processing was just adjusting contrast and clarity and sharpening.
Just a quick reminder about the Food Photography Contest I’m having where you can enter to win either an 5 in 1 Interfit reflector or a gift certificate to Craft and Vision! Make sure you enter – it’s a lot of fun!