Monday, July 5, 2010

Dark Chocolate Cheesecake Squares

I often find recipes I want to try while watching cooking shows from the treadmill or elliptical at the gym. Very counterproductive if I were to actually try all of them!!

Last week, I knew I was going to a family gathering where I could serve a new dessert without eating it all myself so I decided to try a recipe from Sandra Lee, who I have not had much success with in the past. I guess I just like to make most things rather than prepackaged stuff put together, but I get that it would be good for some people and she definitely has a different angle than the other shows! Anyway, she was making red velvet bars when I was flipping channels, and I had to stop and look because they looked goooood. I went to find the recipe online and it did NOT have good reviews at all. With some changes, I thought they were excellent! (as did many other partygoers:)

Dark Chocolate Cheesecake Squares
1 box of dark chocolate cake mix (sub whatever flavor you want here)
1 stick of butter, softened
2 eggs (she recommends one--look at what it looks like after only one egg and tell me that would actually work..powder??)
16 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tbsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350. Spray 9x13 pan and line with foil--be sure to leave overhang on the ends to lift the bars out when they're done. Spray foil with cooking spray also.
Beat together the cake mix, butter, and eggs until well combined. (It looks like thick clay or mud here!!) Spread this mixture evenly in the pan.
Beat the sugar with the cream cheese until they reach a creamy consistency. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until combined. Pour this over the cake mix layer.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Allow to cool completely, then refrigerate overnight. (I tried them out of the oven and then the next day after refrigerated--much better the next day!)
**You can tell I let mine bake about 3 min. too long--I would say it's probably about 32 minutes of bake time. I tried to sprinkle them with powdered sugar to cover it up, but it was just soaking into the cheesecake layer. I'm sure they would be great with a strawberry sauce of some sort on top, too!

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