Every year we make a dessert that we call Chess Squares. I have no idea where the recipe came from, except that my Grandmother started bringing them, every Christmas, starting when I was a teenager.
They are oh-so-yummy and it just doesn’t feel truly like Christmas without them. FULL of sugar, but delish. My Mom took over the making of them after my Grandma no longer wanted to make any food.
Then, when my mother became ill, the tradition came down to me.
There is simply no other dessert that I crave at Christmas more than chess squares. I only make them once a year because they are frankly, just not one iota good for you. They are made with yellow cake mix and an entire box of powdered/confectioner’s sugar, for crying out loud.
But man are they good.
I double this recipe (that’s two boxes of powdered sugar ya’ll!) and put it in a 9×13 pan, but this is the recipe for half that…an 8×8, I guess?
1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick butter
1 8-oz package cream cheese (full fat, do not go light)
1 box powdered/confectioners sugar
Mix the cake mix, butter, and 1 egg until crumbly. Press this mixture into the bottom of the buttered pan/baking dish (make sure you butter the dish or it will stick!). Mix cream cheese, powdered sugar, and 3 eggs together. Pour over the cake mixture. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes or until it starts turning brown on top.
That’s it. It’s a pretty simple recipe.
After they have cooled, cut them into little squares. I put mine into a cute Christmas tin lined with wax paper. I can usually get two layers. Christmas tins full of goodies always reminds me of my childhood when my Grandmother would make various types of fudge and chess squares and cookies and I would have to keep opening the different tins to find what I was looking for.
Notes: Don’t try to go gluten-free with the cake mix unless you have a foolproof one that you know works. I tried it and it was awful. Total waste. Also, I have always cooked this longer than 40 minutes. I leave the 40 minutes in the recipe because that was it says so I figure someone’s oven must cook it that fast. Just not mine.