Chess Squares

Ben Mims riffs on chess pie in this ingenious recipe, transforming the classic Southern dessert into addictive bar cookies.

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 16
  • Time(Other): Plus cooling

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • One 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 pound confectioners’ sugar, sifted

How to make this recipe

  1. Heat the oven to 350°. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with
    parchment paper and spray evenly with baking spray.
    In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Put
    the granulated sugar, butter, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand
    mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium-high
    speed until pale and fluffy. Add 1 of the eggs and beat until smooth.
    Add the dry ingredients and milk and beat on low speed until the
    dough just comes together and is smooth. Transfer the dough
    to the prepared baking dish and use your fingers to press it evenly
    into the bottom.

  2. In a bowl, beat the cream cheese with a handheld mixer on
    medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy; add the remaining
    3 eggs one at a time, beating well after each, until the mixture is
    smooth. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat on low speed until
    smooth (if a few lumps remain here and there, it’s okay; they won’t
    matter in the finished product). Pour the mixture over the dough
    in the baking dish and spread out evenly with a rubber spatula.
    Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and
    the top is lightly browned, about 40 minutes. Let cool completely,
    then cut into about 16 small squares (you want to keep these rich
    bites small—trust me).

Contributed By Photo © Noah Fecks Published November 2014





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