Chocolate Nut (or not) Bars

posted by darbyrose 08-18-99 7:42 AM

Chocolate Nut (or not) Bars

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips OR 12 squares bittersweet chocolate
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup whipping cream OR undiluted evaporated milk
1 cup chopped nuts, optional
1 teaspoon vanilla, divided
1 cup butter OR margarine, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 egg
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly grease a 9x13 pan.

Combine chocolate, cream cheese and cream in a saucepan. Stir over low heat until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat; stir in nuts, if using, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.

Cream butter and sugar in a bowl. Beat in egg and remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Add flour, baking powder and salt, blending well.

Press half of the butter mixture on bottom of prepared pan. Spread chocolate mixture evenly over the top. Sprinkle remaining butter mixture over chocolate. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on rack.

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