Gooey Butter Cake Bars

 
Gooey Cake Bars

Okay GOT fans, how is everyone feeling about this last season? The episode with the battle against the Night King, I don’t think I have ever felt so stressed out about a damn TV show. Seriously! My husband and I looked at each other after the episode and said, how the heck are we supposed to sleep after that!? And this isn’t even real life!! I honestly don’t know. For non Game of Thrones fans, consider yourself lucky that you haven’t gotten dragged into a 8 year saga of super intense, stressful at times, but incredibly addicting TV show. Or maybe it’s time to jump on the wagon and get watching, because damn! But ANYWAY! Let’s talk about these bars.

 
Gooey Cake Bars

Once in a while I don’t feel like making cookies for the cookie jar (that totally makes me sound like a 1950’s housewife), so I’ll make another fabulous portable dessert- bars! Or brownies. But to be technical, brownies are bars. Anyway, as I was flipping through all my saved recipes from magazines (yup, definitely 1950’s), I came across these bars. I was intrigued, but not sure what to think. Are they custurdy? Or crumbly? I just couldn’t quite get a read on them. But, I thought they looked pretty darn good, so I thought I’d give them a try. They definitely weren’t custurdy. The crust is flaky, but the interior is not quite gooey, it’s more like taking a bite into a chewy cookie that has caramel baked into it. Soft, but a little sticky, and completely delicious. Like addictingly delicious. I don’t generally eat a lot of bars when I bake them, but these, I couldn’t get my hands off of. These bars have a wonderfully rustic look with their cracked tops, a flaky crust, and a sweet, chewy filling.

 
Gooey Cake Bars

Gooey Butter Cake Bars

Yield: 12 bars

For the crust

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • 12 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the filling

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened

  • 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting

  • 2 large whole eggs

  • 2 large egg yolks

  • 2 Tablespoons vanilla extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a 9x13-inch metal baking pan with tin foil, making sure to have it hang over the sides. Grease with oil spray. Set aside.

To make the crust, combine the flour, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the melted butter with a rubber spatula until evenly moistened. Crumble the dough evenly over the prepared pan. Using the bottom of a measuring cup, gently press the dough into the bottom of the pan. Poke the dough all over with the tines of a fork, about 20 times. Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the crust is a light golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely before filling, about 30 minutes. Maintain the oven temperature while it cools.

While the crust cools, make the filling. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese and butter. Mix on medium speed until combined. With the mixer running on low speed, pour in the sugar and beat until fully combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and increase the speed to medium-high and beat until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

Reduce the speed to low and mix in the eggs and yolks, one at a time, mixing well between additions. Mix in the vanilla extract and salt and mix until combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Spread the filling over the cooled crust in an even layer. Gently tap the pan on the counter to release any air bubbles then place in the oven and bake until golden brown and the edges have cracked, and the center just jiggles when gently shaken, about 30 minutes. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

Once the bars have cooled completely, carefully remove the bars by lifting the tinfoil up. Place on a cutting board and slice the bars into 12 pieces. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve. Store any leftovers in an air-tight container at room temperature up to 3-4 days.

Source: Cook’s Country Magazine