No Southern gathering in complete without a pan of these gooey gems!
I first learned of Chess Squares when Mrs. Betty Austin gave me the recipe for making them at a bridal recipe shower held for me, when Larry and I were getting married. The recipe was new in our area in the mid-80's, and everyone quickly fell in love with Chess Squares! We all pretty much immediately started playing around with the recipe, seeing how many different varieties of Chess Squares we could invent. Hundreds of variations can be made by using different flavors of cake mix and by adding an array of "mix-in," such a chocolate chips, shredded coconut and pecans - just to name a few!
Paula Deen made these treats world-famous when she came on the cooking scene. Paula calls hers Gooey Butter Cakes. Paula's Gooey Butter Cakes are the same as Chess Squares, with an additional stick of melted butter added to the filling ingredients. Personally, I think 2 sticks of butter in this recipe is overkill. But, who am I to argue with Paula Deen? Butter has gotten her where she is today!
Here's the recipe for Chess Squares. If you like, add that extra stick of melted butter to the filling and call it Gooey Butter Cake!
1 package butter cake mix
1 stick butter, softened
1 egg, lightly beaten
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 box confectioners' sugar, about 3½ cups
3 eggs, divided
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9x13-inch pan with cooking spray.
Combine cake mix, butter and one egg. (I like to "cut" the butter into the cake mix - like you're making biscuits, and then add the egg. I really think it makes the texture better. Some recipes call for you to melt this stick of butter. Either way works! It's up to you!)
Pat crust mixture into 9x13-inch pan.
With an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, confectioner’s sugar and three eggs until smooth.
Pour cream cheese mixture over crust mixture.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until lightly browned and done.