Friday, September 2, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Bars

I needed to make a "bar" dessert, and I was looking for something delicious, awesome, and easy. With those qualities in mind, I turned to a trusty cookbook, the 175th Anniversary Celebration Cookbook from Randall Memorial Baptist Church.

I happen to love church cookbooks. I read the names of the men and women who submitted each recipe and wonder what kind of folks they were. Or, if I happen to know them, I always have a happy memory to think back on. And, from my experience, church cookbooks have the market covered on delicious, awesome, and easy desserts. The first dessert I made when the husband and I moved to Milwaukee and were invited to a new friend's home was Honey Bun Cake. Thanks, Debbie Alcott for that one. Hurricane Oatmeal Cake? That gem can be attributed to none other than my fabulous mom. Debby Brown's Death by Chocolate Trifle has come through on a number of occasions.

When I made today's recipe, I wasn't concerned. The bakers of Randall Memorial Baptist Church have had my back on a number of occasions. As I started making the bars, though, I got a bit nervous. It didn't feel right. The crust mixture seemed a bit dry. Was I missing something? And it didn't cook too long. Was it really done? I went to sleep with a feeling of unease as my bars finished cooling in the fridge.

When I woke up, the bars were the first thing on my mind. Did they look better? I peered under the foil. No. They still looked a little dry and crumbly. Nuts. Well, maybe I'd just cut them up. Doggone again! These suckers are tough to cut while they're cold, and I was already late for work. My nerves rising, I cut off a little sliver and popped it in my mouth for a taste test.

Ho-ly cow. I should have known the church cookbook would come through! These suckers were AWESOME! They looked dry, but it was a trick. They were delicious. The husband had a taste test, too, and he had the perfect description. "They taste like Oreo balls." And they do.

So, don't doubt the church cookbook. Just make these.

Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Bars
From: Dondra Decker in the 175th Anniversary Celebration Cookbook from Randall Memorial Baptist Church

1 18.5 ounce package fudge cake mix
2 eggs, divided
1/3 cup vegetable oil
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry cake mix, 1 egg, and vegetable oil until crumbly.

Reserve 2 cups for topping. Pat remaining crumb mixture into a lightly greased 9x13 baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, beat together cream cheese, sugar, and remaining 1 egg until light and smooth.

Stir in chocolate chips. Spread cream cheese mixture over baked crust and sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture. Bake 15 minutes longer. Cool before cutting. Store in refrigerator, but bring to room temperature before serving.


  1. What a great treat for the bake sale! These look so tasty! Love all that cream cheese!

  2. I have my old church cookbook I often return to as well, generally very realistic recipes that often stand the tests of family and church pot lucks.

  3. I have a few church cookbooks I love too. My favorite one is from a church up in Connecticut where the congregants and their families had all lived in this little town forever and a day. I knew the recipes HAD to be good if they'd been passed around that long!

  4. These were delicious! I made them this weekend for a group, and they were enjoyed by many! I think the cake mix adds a bit of saltiness that reminds me of sea salt brownies!! Thanks for the recipe, Erin!

  5. I'm so glad you liked them, Ruthie!! And that's a genius comment about the saltiness. Salty-sweet makes me swoon.