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Cream Cheese Magic Bars

Cream Cheese Magic Bars
The combination of cream cheese and cake mix makes this the kind of recipe that your family and friends will be asking you about for months to come. Part cookie, part cake, and part cheesecake, this recipe combines the best of the baking world for the ultimate combo dish.
  • Yield: 24 squares
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 (15.25-ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • Vegetable oil and eggs as needed for the cake mix
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1⁄3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup finely chopped walnuts or almonds

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly coat a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Prepare the cake mix batter according to the package directions.
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cake mix batter and brown sugar and beat on medium speed until well mixed. Add the melted butter and beat for 1 minute. Remove 1 cup of the mixture and set aside. Transfer the remaining mixture to the prepared pan and press to cover the bottom and slightly up the sides of the pan. Bake for 8 minutes—the crust will not be brown at this point, but it will be puffy.
  4. In the same mixer bowl, combine the cream cheese, granulated sugar, and vanilla and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping the bowl once. When the crust comes out of the oven, pour the cream cheese mixture over it and spread it to the edges. Sprinkle with the reserved crumb mixture and chopped nuts and bake for 25 minutes until slightly crisp along the edges.
  5. Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares. Store the bars in the refrigerator, lightly covered, for up to 5 days.
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