Juice cleanse done! And I know it sounds sarcastic, but I feel great! I have more energy, my insides are moving, and I’m not hungry. If you’re looking for a little reboot, I highly recommend a 3-day cleanse. It’s just enough to make you feel different and require discipline, but short enough to commit. In all honesty, I think I’m ready for a five day cleanse!
I made these bars in the middle of the cleanse for the lovely Andrea in celebration of her 30th birthday! She is from the outskirts of St. Louis and gooey butter cake is apparently a thing there. As soon as she started talking about it, I knew I needed to find a recipe and save it for her birthday.
Here’s the thing though, I’ve never had gooey butter cake before, and I still haven’t. There is one piece saved in my fridge for Thursday when I reintroduce sugar into my diet. This is probably the first recipe I’ve posted that I’ve never actually eaten. Weird.
And, obviously, instead of making an original version, I jazzed it up with a layer of cookie dough in the middle. Since I can’t describe the bars from my first hand experience, we’ll use Andrea’s words, “I would call them rich buttery sugar bombs that are indulgent and comforting. And the perfect treat to start a new decade!” I’ll report back Friday!
Two Years Ago – Watermelon Martini
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup cake flour
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
seeds from one vanilla bean
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cold
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Cookie Dough Layer
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and line an 8×8” pan with parchment paper. Liberally grease the parchment paper with shortening.
- Crust Layer - To make the crust, add the sugar, flour, cake flour, milk, powder, and seeds from a vanilla bean to a medium bowl and whisk together.
- Cut the cold butter into small pieces and use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour mixture. You are looking for coarse crumbs, finer than a pie crust.
- Melt the butter and add to the mix with the egg. Stir until combined. The dough will come together nicely. Press evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.
- Cookie Dough – Toss the butter in the same bowl you just used. Cream in the brown sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the milk and vanilla until well combined. Add the flour, salt, and chocolate chips, stir until just combined.
- Spread evenly over the crust, leaving 1/2” of the crust showing.
- Topping – Again, use the same bowl. Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Stir in the brown sugar, egg and vanilla until the mixture is well incorporated. Mix in the powdered sugar.
- Pour over the cookie dough and spread as evenly as possible.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes until the edges start to brown. The middle will still be jiggly.
- Let cool completely on a wire rack before refrigerating. Cool overnight and then slice.
- Serve with an extra dusting of powdered sugar.