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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pecan Chocolate Chip Gooey Butter Bars

When I first moved to St. Louis, I kept hearing about the infamous gooey butter cake. Gooey? Butter? Cake? You really can't go wrong with those three words in the same sentence and my theory was proven correct when I had my first taste of the stuff. It was indeed gooey and buttery and I completely understand why people go mad for the stuff.

When I saw this recipe for Pecan Chocolate Chip Gooey Butter Bars, I got a little excited. Gooey butter cake can only be made better with the addition of nuts and chocolate! While I wouldn't say that these exactly mirror the taste and texture of gooey butter cake (though I plan to tackle that sometime soon!), these were good in their own way. Cookie dough lovers will find these irresistible; the top layer tastes exactly like under-baked cookie dough. In fact, a better name for these might be Cookie Dough Bars! The bottom layer is slightly firmer, which provides a nice base and contrast to the softness on top. The bars keep well for a few days, wrapped and stored in the fridge, but I doubt they will last that long!

Pecan Chocolate Chip Gooey Butter Bars

for the base-
-1 cup plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-1/4 tsp baking soda
-1/4 tsp salt
-3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
-4 tbsp butter, softened
-1 egg
-1 egg yolk
-1 tsp vanilla extract

for the topping-
-2 oz. cream cheese, softened
-2 tbsp light corn syrup
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-6 tbsp butter, melted
-1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
-1/4 tsp salt
-1 egg yolk
-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
-1/2 cup crushed pecans
-1/2 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.
2. Beat/whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and brown sugar. Mix in butter, egg, egg yolk, and vanilla, beating until smooth.
3. With a spatula, spread batter in the base of the pan evenly.
4. Using the same bowl, beat together cream cheese, corn syrup, vanilla, butter, brown sugar, salt, egg, and flour until smooth. Fold in pecans and chocolate chips. Spread topping over the base with a spatula.
5. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until filling is puffed and edges are set (center will still be a little wobbly). Cool completely in the pan before using the foil to remove and slice into bars.