Back to School Blues: Peanut Butter S’mores Bars

August 16, 2017





The girls are both back to school today, and the house feels cavernous and deadly quiet without them. Miss M. had her first day of middle school yesterday, and while it was just the 6th graders in the building, I felt a pang watching her as she exited the car, straightened her shoulders and took those steps through the door. Her sister surprised both of us by choosing to wake up early–I thought D. would spend her last free day snoozing while she still could.

“Hey, you’re up,” I said, as she fumbled her way downstairs.

“Yeah. I wanted to be up so I could go in the car with you when you drop M. off,” she said. She plopped down on the couch next to her already morose-looking sibling. “Don’t worry, M.,” she said, patting a knee. “You got this.”

That warmed the cockles of my cold, black heart. That she even thought of doing such a thing for her little sister almost made me cry but I managed to hold it together until after dropoff. Later, I may have shed a few tears in the bathroom but that’s between me and the dog. Well, and now you all, but I have a feeling you’ll understand.

As Miss D. and I drove away, she asked, “What’s M. doing today in school?”

“Don’t you remember from when you went to middle school that first day?”

“Heck no,” she snorted. “I’ve completely blocked those years out.”

To be truthful, I sort of had, too.


Turns out, Miss M. spent the first half of her day doing “team building,” or some such thing.  As soon as M. entered the car after school, she poked her sister in the shoulder and rolled her eyes.

“Can you believe that?” she said. “First day of school and they made us be social.”

Dear God, that girl is her mother’s daughter. Cross your fingers, folks, it’s going to be a long year. The good news is, said girl reported that her first day was: “Pretty good, considering I didn’t go to the wrong class and didn’t have a locker fail.”

Hooray for low standards!


We decided to spoil M. a little by making a special treat for her when she got home, and these fit the bill. Usually, we go for milkshakes or fro-yo after the first day of school, but these peanut butter s’mores bars were such a hit when I made them earlier this summer, I thought I’d bust them out for another go-round.

They’re everything you love about a s’more, but in compact form. I’d almost venture to say that they’re better: gooey marshmallow, melty chocolate, buttery graham cracker AND the addition of peanut butter? Sign me up. They were the perfect treat for a budding middle schooler. And her thoughtful sister. And a neurotic mom.

The remainder of these cookies will be sent in lunch boxes this week, a little reminder to the girls that I’m thinking of them. The dog and I will be pouting the rest of the week, trying to wrestle with the silent house and the sense of restlessness that always follows in the wake of their return to school.



                                                          ~Mr. Morose this morning.



I tell Mozz-man that the girls will be all right.

With a few extra cuddles when the Minxes come home in the afternoon, I think he’ll be all right, too. As for me, I guess time will tell.



                                                  -s’okay, Mozz. They’ll be home soon.






Peanut Butter S’mores Bars

makes about 16

slightly adapted from Pinch of Yum


1/2 cup melted butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

6 graham crackers, crushed into crumbs

1/2 cup peanut butter

2 4-ounce chocolate bars (the extra-big, extra-thick size)

1 (7 oz.) jar marshmallow fluff

a little melted chocolate, for drizzle (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350.

Line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper.

Combine the melted butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, egg, flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Stir in the graham cracker crumbs. Set aside roughly 1/3 of the crumb mixture. Press the rest of the crumb mixture into the parchment-lined baking pan.

Top the crust with chocolate bars. Dollop peanut butter evenly over the chocolate. Dollop marshmallow fluff evenly over peanut butter. Top with sprinkles of the leftover crumb mixture.

Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool. If desired, drizzle with a little melted chocolate and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Cut into bars.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Arnebya August 16, 2017 at 9:21 am

My oven sucks. I’m pretty sure these would wind up dense just by virtue of an electric oven. I’m so glad she had a good first day. May it continue for her. Mine are back next week and I’m not necessarily in my feelings about any but the oldest. Senior year. Color me unprepared.


Kel September 8, 2017 at 7:07 am

So I went to make these the other night, and learned a few valuable lessons.

1. Even when you read the recipe first, you need to keep re-reading if you have ADHD and are trying to multitask.

2. If you forget to purchase marshmallow fluff and wind up make your own, be sure you have light corn syrup. If you use King’s syrup, the taste will be amazing, but the color will look slightly weird.

3. When you break rule number 1 and wind up adding the peanut butter to the crust mix, it actually works. It makes it taste just like a Clark Ball cookie. Frustrating to screw up, but at least they weren’t ruined.

4. These suckers are addictive. Be careful.


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