November 29, 2013

Mint n' Oreo Chocolate Chip Chess Squares

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Chess squares, gooey bars, Neiman Marcus bars - it's all the same.

It's good.

These bars are rich, dense, gooey, minty, and chocolate-y all at once and are incredibly easy as well.  I was all excited to make my first ever gooey bars when I realized it is just another name for chess square (in our family at least ... don't quote me on this one!)  But these are 10x better than our plain chess square recipe.  This one has Oreos and mint chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk.  So, it's obviously better.  Even Nathan liked them and he doesn't like mint.  That's how incredible these are! (or just full of butter and sugar and all that ... take your pick.)

We used them as the dessert in our tea party!  Last weekend, I wanted to do something special with Elizabeth and Abigail and we decided to do a tea party.  Abigail was so excited and wanted to wear my polka dot apron since her princess dress wasn't long enough to wear without leggings. (? I don't know the logic there!)  This is also the little girl who builds forts out of old firewood with her brothers in 20 degree weather, so she is the best of both worlds.  After the Turkey Trot, we set up our table, got their special tea cups and commenced the party!

We had hot chocolate, but we poured the hot water into their cups and then stirred the hot chocolate into the cup ... much more formal. ;)  We used our grown up voices and manners while eating our mint bars and sipping our hot chocolate. And then, of course, John Caleb wanted to join the party, so he got his plastic cup since we didn't trust him with china. Then, Stephen noticed us and, diplomat and politician he is, popped a bag of popcorn before leisurely walking through the kitchen, munching for all the world to see.  He was readily welcomed and we took full advantage of his popcorn (see bottom left photo!)  Oh, and Abigail and John Caleb wanted to toast ... even though they have no idea what it means. Fun memories!

As I realize my time gets shorter at home, I want to make good memories with my siblings.  I want them to remember me for taking the time to be with them and have fun and be goofy (ahem, dance party in the basement last night?  Nathan didn't even have words.)  I also get to go back in time, so to speak, to when I was little and had tea parties with fictional characters in my room.  There is an innocence in being young and seeing them reminds how fortunate we are to be in a country where that can happen.  I miss being young, yet I am grateful for what I had then and for what I have now.  The privileges, the friendships, the things I have now, I couldn't have had when I was six.  Yet I complain about all the things I don't have. Why is that?  I'm thankful for little sisters who remind me about the different blessings each age has.

Even if I couldn't have had other things, I could and would've had these when I was six. I have always liked mint ... I've had more grown up taste buds I guess?  I've also always liked coconut and seafood and avocado, too.  But, I've only liked peanut butter for the last couple years, so there is an area my taste buds fell waaaay short.  But I have always liked mint and these, these are good.

I am not a fan of fluffy, light bars.  I want to sink my teeth into a bar and have something to chew on.  I don't want air; I want dense and rich and these deliver.  There is nothing light about them.  There is an easy cake mix/butter/egg base and then they are loaded with chocolate chips, mint chips, and Oreos, and then drizzled with sweetened condensed milk.  They're firm enough to pick up, but gooey enough on the inside to just melt in your mouth.  You can't mess them up and you can't not enjoy them.  Unless you don't like mint, but then, I wouldn't expect you to be reading this entire post. :)

Since its officially Christmas season, I woke up this morning to a Christmas song as my alarm!  And today, I am going to take full advantage if the radio. I'm so excited for Christmas!  

So, you all excited for mint?  Are you listening to Christmas music?  Our Thanksgiving celebration was wonderful and I especially enjoyed the stuffing (So. Good.  And I got to bring home the leftovers!)  Our family are not Black Friday shoppers, so I'm sitting here with my mug of tea and slippers on. Someday, I want to go with a friend and get the Black Friday experience, but my mom reminded I would have to have money ... minor detail. Someday!  (Contrary to the implication, I'm really not broke ... Just wanted to clear that up;)

I am love with oreo mint chocolate chip chess squares and Christmas music and leftover stuffing though.  And you will be too as soon as you try these. 

Mint n' Oreo Chocolate Chip Chess Squares
Recipe Source: Adapted from Crazy for Crust
Yield: 12 servings

1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick butter
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
3/4 cup Andes mint chips
1/2 cup Oreo chunks
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

Lightly grease 9x9 pan. Preheat oven to 350. 

Combine cake mix, butter, egg, and extract in a large bowl; best until combined and smooth. Press 2/3 mixture into prepared pan. Layer 1/2 mint chips, Oreo chunks, and chocolate chips on top. Pour sweetened condensed milk over the chocolate chips.  Then, drop remaining cake batter mixture over chocolate chips, press down. There will be areas that aren't covered; that's okay. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup mint chips on top. Bake for 25-30 minutes, then let cool before serving. 

Hope you all are having a safe and fun holiday weekend!  Oh, and I apologize for the length of this post ... I kind of got going on three different subjects and didn't stop. Whoops!  Story of my life ...
~Mary Frances 


  1. These are rich and tense and certainly deliver! You really can't expect anything less when it comes to butter :)

  2. Aww the tea party pics are so cute! What a fun experience! And these bars look certainly amazing. I love my bars so chewy as well, so I think I'd adore these ^^

    1. Thanks Consuelo! I think they're pretty cute, too:) And I know you would love these bars!

  3. What a nice tea party treat! Actually, this is a nice treat any time. They look so delicious, Mary Frances, and it sure looked like everyone had a fabulous time!

    1. Thanks Marcie! It was fun and these bars definitely made it special.

  4. Such precious pics of that sweet tea party. Made me smile ear to ear. And these bars? Well, I'm drooling now too! Thank you for sharing Mary Frances!

  5. That is so sweet Mary Frances! You are making great memories with them! Your minty bars look scrumptious! Makes me want to break out my teapot and fancy teacups - did you stick your pinkies out while you were sipping? :-)

    1. I knew we forgot something! :) We'll have to invite you next time, Reeni!

  6. Suchhhhhhh a cuteeeeeee post Mary Frances! :) Lovedddd it! Such cuteeeeeee siblings! :) These bars look phenomenal and I can almost taste them! Need to make a batch soon! :)


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