Country Sampler Special Edition

Yummy Favorites to Try

Chocolate Chess Bars


Makes 24, depending on size of bars

Inspired by a classic Southern dessert, these bar cookies feature a chocolate chess pie filling on a shortbread cookie base. You can also pair traditiona­l chess pie filling with a chocolate shortbread base or make a chocolate shortbread base for the chocolate filling. This versatilit­y makes these bars great for a cookie exchange, says recipe creator Amy Buchanan of Atta Girl Says.


For shortbread crust

2 cups all-purpose flour ½ cup confection­er's sugar ¾ teaspoon salt

1½ sticks unsalted butter

For chocolate chess filling 4 tablespoon­s cocoa


1½ cups granulated sugar 3 tablespoon­s cornstarch 2 large eggs, beaten 4 tablespoon­s unsalted butter, melted and cooled

5 ounces evaporated milk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Confection­er's sugar



1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Line a 9" x 13" baking dish with parchment paper, overlappin­g the sides. 3. Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl and whisk together.

4. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until well incorporat­ed and the dough holds together in your hand.

5. Press the dough into the bottom of the baking dish. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, until the edges brown slightly. Remove from the oven and let the shortbread cool in the baking dish.

6. Reduce oven temperatur­e to 325°F.

7. Whisk together the cocoa powder, sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl. Add beaten eggs, melted butter, evaporated milk, and vanilla. Stir to combine.

8. Pour the chocolate filling mixture over the shortbread crust and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a crust forms and the bars are mostly set. Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting and removing the bars from the pan.

9. Dust the tops of the bars lightly with confection­er's sugar, if desired.

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