Years ago, when I worked in the corporate world, I was a willing participant in holiday potlucks.
“I’ll bring the Christmas cookies!” I’d declare with glee, enthusiastically sacrificing a weekend to bake goodies around the clock. For years, this tradition continued – me, offering a variety of sweet treats in whimsical holiday colour and shapes, and the others, oohing and ahhing over my baking prowess.
Until one fateful year, when she-who-will-not-be-named brought in the most decadent, most delicious holiday bars I had ever tasted.
“What are these?” I asked in wonder.
“Oh, I don’t know,” she replied modestly. “I’ve always just known them as Santa Baby! Bars.”
From then on, her bars took top billing at the annual holiday potluck. Defeated, I swore I would never bake again. (I’m kidding, of course. But it really was a shot to my ego!) However, not one to let a good thing go, I cornered her before I left for maternity leave, practically begging her to share the recipe.
“I don’t mind!” she replied. “It’s so simple I can tell you right now!”
Jaw. Dropped. It was a simple recipe! One that I knew I could recreate easily, and in advance of Christmas, I’m so happy to share it with you. Santa Baby! Bars incorporate everything I love – red velvet cake, cream cheese, and of course, HERSHEY’S CHIPITS Milk Chocolate Chips.
The bars are quite rich and gooey, so fair warning – even though I’ve sliced them in 3 x 3-inch squares (relatively speaking, coffee shop size) you may want to make smaller portions if you are enjoying these as part of a dessert potluck or cookie/bar exchange.
Here’s what you’ll need:
1 box Red Velvet cake mix
1/4 cup of unsalted butter, melted
3 large eggs
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup HERSHEY’S CHIPITS Milk Chocolate Chips
additional powdered sugar, crushed candy canes and HERSHEY’S CHIPITS Milk Chocolate Chips for garnish, if desired
Here’s what you’ll need to do:
Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, mix cake mix, melted butter and one egg. Press by hand into a greased 9×13” baking pan.
Mix cream cheese, two eggs and vanilla; incorporate powdered sugar one cup at a time until well mixed. Spread over top of cake layer. Sprinkle with HERSHEY’S CHIPITS Milk Chocolate Chips.
Bake in a preheated oven for 60 minutes; remove and cool completely. (You may choose to refrigerate the bars at this point until you’re ready to serve.)
Just before serving, sprinkle heavily with powdered sugar and add crushed candy canes and HERSHEY’S CHIPITS Milk Chocolate Chips. Cut into bars and enjoy.
This season, sprinkle some fun into your holiday recipes! HERSHEY’S CHIPITS come in more than a dozen delicious varieties and sizes. And, if you’re a baking enthusiast, don’t forget to enter CHIPITS Baker of the Week Sweepstakes! Simply take a shot at recreating their Recipe of the Week, snap a photo of the results, and upload to their Facebook page. You’ll be entered for a chance to win Baker of the Week, weekly baking prize packs, and one grand prize – a KITCHENAID Stand Mixer!
As for me? Forget about cookies and milk – this year, I’m leaving out Santa Baby! Bars. It’s the easiest way to ensure you’ll make the “nice” list – even when you’ve been a little naughty!
This post is sponsored by HERSHEY’S CHIPITS. The opinions on this blog, as always, are my own.