And in my continuing saga of baking pan issues, I bring you Volume III: Chocolate Cream Cheese Sugar Cookie Bars.
This is a Hershey's recipe that combines a sugar cookie crust with a cakier chocolate cheesecake-like topping. And although I never met a cheesecake I didn't like, I actually prefer mine with a cookie crust rather than graham crackers -- so this is right up my alley.
Unlike actual cheesecake, this is a very forgiving recipe. Very, very forgiving.
Chocolate Cream Cheese Sugar Cookie Bars
1 15-oz. pkg golden sugar cookie mix*, mixed according to package instructions**
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. butter or margarine, softened
1/4 c. cocoa
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Spread prepared sugar cookie dough in a 9" square baking pan.***
3. Using a mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add cocoa and sugar, and mix. Add egg and vanilla, and beat until smooth.
4. Spread cream cheese mixture over cookie batter.
5. Bake 40 minutes**** or until no imprint remains when touched slightly. Cool completely before serving. Store in the refrigerator.*****
* I could only find a 17.5-oz. package.
** My package had different instructions for preparing the dough for drop cookies versus roll-out cookies. I just threw in what I thought would make a good hybrid of the two.
*** I do not own a 9"square baking pan. I used an 8" square baking pan, instead.
**** I have no idea how long I actually baked these. When I last looked, my timer had 10 minutes left, and I ran downstairs to fold some clothes. Which I then decided to put away in Jack's room. But Jack and I both got distracted by his busy ball-popper and shape-sorting barn, and then when I returned to said laundry work, I got distracted by weeding out summer clothes that I figure Jack has grown out of. Eventually, I had a nice, cozy "Mmm ... cookies" thought that turned into "Oh &#!$, my bars!" and ran upstairs. Elapsed time? I'd guess these bars were in the oven for 60-70 minutes. Luckily, I planned ahead by using the wrong size cookie mix and the wrong size pan, so the extra baking time was actually a good thing. Needless to say, no imprint remained when I touched the bars lightly.
***** I remembered to do this the first night. But then I accidentally left them on the counter for a few days. Nobody died.