Big baking day today, not my usual, but I had an awful lot of fun. Neither of the treats are for here – thank goodness! – but for sharing via John’s office bake sale tomorrow and our neighborhood women’s association gathering tonight. I bake something for John’s colleagues every year, for their annual United Way fundraiser. This year I made a two-layer coconut cake and pulled out an old favorite bar recipe of my mom’s – Cheesy Vanilla Fudge Bars. I in fact doubled the bars and am bringing a batch to the party tonight, easy enough. And I mean eeeeaaasy, I’d forgotten that they’re a little heavy on the prepared-mix ingredients, due to the fact that they’re a Pillsbury promo-creation from the – yes, cheesy! – 1970s. No Scharffen Berger bittersweet chocolate or imported butter here! But no matter, they RAWK. Big time, in fact – Stace and I used to go wild for these babies when we were kids. You store them in the fridge which makes them extra chewy, mmm. So tie on a ruffly, checked apron, pop a Swanson’s TV dinner in the (real!) oven, turn on the Mary Tyler Moore show, and bake up a batch of Cheesy Vanilla Fudge Bars while you sip Martini & Rossi, On the Rocks. Say YESSSSS! (Recipe posted in comments, below.)
Martini and Rossi on the rocks, say Yes. (yes.) Oh man, now I'm going to be stuck on that one all day. (You're my Tutor....heh heh heh)
Cheesy Vanilla Fudge Bars
These were our absolute favorite treat growing up. Chewy, fudge-y, with tangy cream cheese icing, they’re rich and killer. Serve cold.
1 package fudge cake mix
1/2 c. fudge ice cream topping
1/2 c. butter, melted
2 eggs (used separately)
1 pkg. (dry) vanilla frosting mix
1-8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
Preheat oven to 350 degrees*. In a large bowl combine dry cake mix, fudge topping, butter and 1 egg. Stir until mixture is well combined and crumbly. Pat into an ungreased 13x9-inch baking pan. In a small bowl, beat dry frosting mix and cream cheese until smooth. Reserve 1 cup for topping. Add 1 egg to remaining mixture and beat until well blended. Spread over base.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until top is starting to brown in spots. Cool in the pan. Frost with remaining frosting. Store in refrigerator.
* If you bake in a dark, nonstick pan, lower oven temp to 325 degrees.