Time was tight and dessert options were short. I turned to an old, semi-homemade recipe for Gooey Butter Bars for a quick and easy treat.
Gooey Butter Bars
When the kids were wee ones, I had a few quick go-to recipes. The classic chocolate chip cookies and bars, brownies from a box (they preferred these to my homemade version. Sigh.) and these gooey butter bars. Made with a box of yellow cake mix, there was little measuring and a lot of sugar! The hubby, the fourth family member with a kiddie palate, loved these sugar laden gems, too. I must admit, I’d eat them, too, but I wasn’t a fan of the artificial flavor from the box mix.
A Few Tweaks
Eventually, I started using a butter cake mix instead of the yellow and found this version much more palatable. A slosh of vanilla was an additional flavor enhancer, not in the original recipe from one of my nurse colleagues. One December, way back when I was single, this same friend and I baked up a bunch of sweets for our oncology unit staff. I think they were shocked that either of us had any culinary skills. I was the gal eating a bag of popcorn for dinner on break. But I digress. This is not a gourmet recipe, but fits the bill when you need a quick recipe to feed a group. I bet that someone will beg for the recipe!
- 1 box butter cake mix (you may substitute yellow cake mix if desired)
- 4 eggs, divided
- 1 stick butter, melted
- 4½ cups powdered sugar (or 1 box), plus more to sprinkle over finished bars
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 13-inch pan with non-stick foil or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Mix together the dry cake mix, melted butter and 2 of the eggs. Spread evenly and pat into the bottom of the prepared pan. Batter will be thick.
- With a hand mixer, beat together the remaining 2 eggs, powdered sugar, cream cheese and vanilla until smooth.
- Pour mixture over the crust. Bake for 35 minutes or until the top is golden. Sprinkle with powdered sugar to serve. These WILL be gooey when you slice them.