This recipe originally was called Chess Bars, a recipe my mom found in the paper, posted by co-workers of a friend of mine from high school. I tweaked the recipe just a bit and my kids told me it was the best brownie bars they'd had - hence the name change. I've seen similar recipes to this called gooey cake. We think of it more as a brownie, rich and delicious. It's so not the consistency of cake. Everyone who has tried it has loved it. This is one of my most requested recipes. Though it takes a while to bake and MUST cool all the way, it is very easy, and very versatile.
1Preheat oven to 325ºF. Spray 9x13 pan*** with Pam.
2Mix bottom layer ingredients in large mixing bowl, and press evenly into pan.
3Mix top layer ingredients till smooth and pour over bottom layer, tilting pan to cover completely.****
4Bake for 55 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool COMPLETELY. Cut into bars.
5Goes great with an ice cold glass of milk.
6N O T E S
* I like Betty Crocker Butter Chocolate Cake Mix (sometimes hard to find these days)
** I’ve found Fleischmann's Original stick margarine works best in baking
*** I've cooked this in glass pans, single layer aluminum pans and in Air Bake insulated pans. The Air Bake produces the best texture and color.
**** No need to change/clean mixing bowl... use same tools as bottom layer.
***** The brownies rise pretty high then drop to about 1/2 the height of the pan.
****** Variations: Change the flavor of the cake mix and/or the extract/liqueur to suite your tastes.
I've tried Strawberry Cake Mix...you really need a huge sweet tooth for this one. I couldn't handle this one; luckily I have a friend who could.
I've also made it with Spice Cake - delicious!!!! Put the kids in the mood for pumpkin pie.