One of the things I love about family is that no matter how long it’s been since you last saw them, everything seems to click and you pick up right where things left off. I went to a family member’s birthday party, and for the first time, I was nervous about going to a family event. Nervous because of the weight gain, and it’s been a while since I last saw quite a few of these family members. I know it’s really silly, but I feel like I should always apologize when I see people who once congratulated me on my weight loss. I know that my gain doesn’t affect them, but right now, I just feel like a weight loss slacker. I know…I know. It’s a journey, after all…however, I can’t help but think about what people see when they haven’t seen me since I was at my lowest weight.
Of course, no one said a word about it. No one. And we were all happy to see each other and catch up. It was a lovely day, actually. Surprisingly nice weather, gorgeous scenery on the lake, and it was just so nice to see everyone. Of course, I should know better. Family and friends don’t care what you weigh or how you look at a party. They just care that you’re there.
These ooey gooey bars are famous in the family. My mom, aunt, grandma…they all have made these bars for parties, and they’re always a hit. They’re fantastic and super easy to throw together (which is why they make an appearance at every party)!
When we were asked to bring a dish this past weekend, I asked my mom for her recipe for these infamous ooey gooey bars. They’re called ooey gooey bars, because the cream cheese layer is super rich, and for lack of a better word, ooey gooey. My mom usually makes them with yellow cake mix, but I thought it would be a fun, southern twist to make them red velvet. And of course, there’s nothing wrong with the occasional added chocolate drizzle to a dessert.
Red Velvet Ooey Gooey Bars
Source: adapted from my mom
- 1 box red velvet cake mix
- 1 stick of unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 2 large eggs, divided
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 3 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and prepare a 9×13 inch pan by lining it with aluminum foil and greasing the inside with butter or baking spray. Set aside.
- Mix the cake mix, melted butter, one of the eggs and pecans together until a cookie-like dough forms. Press the dough evenly into the baking pan (it may be sticky, so keep a bowl of water handy).
- Beat the cream cheese, confectioners’s sugar, the last egg, vanilla extract and salt together until well-mixed. Spread the mixture evenly on top of the red velvet dough.
- Bake the bars for 40-50 minutes, until the top of the bars are browned along the edges and are starting to brown in the middle. Allow them to cool completely in the pan. Melt the semi-sweet chocolate in a bowl, and drizzle the top of the bars with the melted chocolate. Allow the chocolate to set and enjoy!