Monday, July 6, 2015

"Pinkies" - Cherry Cream Cheese Brownie Bars - 52 Cakes and Pies at Home and Church PotLuck Desserts

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Here's a new take on a classic. At least a classic around our house. Funny thing, I double checked my food diary recently and this recipe (or a version of it) was the most repeated thing I cooked last year. They always please. They are VERY FAST and VERY EASY. Also I plan ahead. Occasionally a box cake mix goes on sale. And occasionally a brick of cream cheese goes on sale. With a little planning, and a well stocked sale priced pantry, I pretty much always have the ingredients to make these. So if the neighborhood book club my wife belongs to is going to be meeting at our house.. I make 'em. Need a dessert to take to someone's house... these work great Decide at 5 PM you want a dessert after dinner... These not only work, they are perfect.

But of course best of all... taste GREAT!

I did happen to have a little bit of Maraschino Cherries left over from another recipe. So I tried a new version and they were PERFECT! Sweet, a bit tropical soft and chewy with a crisp shortbread textured bottom.

I'm going to guess this will make the "most cooked recipe" list again next year!

OK... Here's what I did...

Cherry Cream Cheese Bars

  • 2 Store Bought Cherry Chip Cake Mixes (use separately)
  • 4 Large Eggs, Divided
  • 1 Cup Olive Oil, Divided
  • 1-1/2 Bricks (12 Ounces) Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • Optional, 2 TBS Maraschino Cherry Juice
  • Optional, 1/4 Cup Maraschino Cherries, stems removed and finely chopped
  • Powdered Sugar for Garnish
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix 1 whole dry cake mix, 1 egg, and oil until moist. If you like, add a few drops of red food coloring while mixing.
  3. Press mixture lightly into an prepared (non-stick Spray) large casserole pan (9X13 inch pan).
  4. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees
  5. While this is baking, Beat cream cheese, 2 egg, sugar and optional maraschino Cherries and juice until smooth.
  6. Also repeat the second step with the remaining cake mix. do not over mix this, you want it crumbly.
  7. Spread the sweetened cream cheese mix over baked layer and then sprinkle the new cake mix crumb mixture over the top.
  8. Bake an additional 15 minutes.
  9. Cool Completely before cutting into bars, Garnish with sprinkling powdered sugar. Refrigerate bars after cutting.
  10. Serve Chilled and ENJOY


This simple recipe has been added to my growing list of "52 Cakes and Pies at Home"!

These are the desserts you make for your family.  No fancy amazing wedding cakes, just the rustic beauty of the classics.  From pumpkin pie to cheesecakes to layer cakes, these are what your family craves for dessert.  You may even see a few unusual crusts and frosting ideas to try.

You get the idea. These recipes are simple, delicious and will have your family wanting dessert first...


This recipe has been added to my growing list of "52 Church PotLuck Dishes"!

A list of something NEW worthy of being shown off at a neighborhood BYODish (Bring Your Own Dish) Party, a Family special occasion dinner, Any Big Holiday Gathering or of course that glorious day when you bring a dish to share with your Church family...

Ages ago, literally almost a half century ago I was listening to our pastor talking about a PotLuck Dinner. It happened to be scheduled around a church work day when we were expected to weed, polish and do general cleaning and maintenance around the church (you know, back in the day when there were no no-wax floors and church pews smelled of Old English furniture polish). I am of course paraphrasing, but as I recall the pastor said,

"A potluck, like a church requires work. At a potluck everyone is expected to contribute.. At a church no one should come empty handed and no one should leave unfed".
I will confess that in my youth I brought more store bought plastic spoons and forks than I ever brought covered dishes and crock pots of fresh made love and caring delights. But now that I have become a hobbyist cook, I occasionally am reminded of those days and people from my youth. I reminded and I do wish that I could drop a dish of some new creation on those old tables at my fondly remembered Liberty Baptist Church.  Tables covered with newspapers and loaded with God's bounty prepared with love and caring... Enjoy


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