- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
- 4 eggs, divided
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 16 ounces powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9 by 13 inch baking pan by lining it with parchment paper. Leave the excess slightly hanging over two of the opposing edges so that the bars will lift out easily once they are baked and cooled. Spray with nonstick baking spray.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, beat sugar, butter, vanilla and almond extract and one egg together on medium high speed until pale and fluffy. Reduce the speed to low, and gradually add in the flour mixture, along with the milk, until just combined and a soft dough is formed. Press the dough into the bottom of the baking dish.
- Wash out the mixing bowl, and then add cream cheese. Beat on medium high speed, adding the remaining three eggs one at a time, mixing well in between. Turn the mixing speed to low, and slowly add the powdered sugar, mixing until smooth.
- Pour the cream cheese mixture over the dough, spreading it to the edges evenly.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes on the center rack of the oven, or until the top is golden brown.
- Cool completely at room temperature, or freeze until well chilled. Use the parchment paper to lift the bars out of the pan and then cut into 24 squares. I prefer to eat these cold, but they are delicious at room temperature as well.
*This recipe is adapted from this recipe for Chess Pie Squares.