Chewy Gooey Louie

Anyone need any more proof of American absurdity? (probably not, but here goes)
English: confetti
French: confetis
Finnish: konfetit
Portugese: confete
Spanish: confeti
German: Konfeti
Greek: komfetí
Swedish: konfetti
American: funfetti
I never keep box mixes around the house.  
I find it faster, easier, and more delicious to weigh out the few ingredients needed for a cake: flour, sugar, baking powder and/or soda, etc.  
This is not to condemn box mixes!  This is a no judgement zone, people.  
I get it.  
Chaqu’un a son goût.
I started out with mixes (Heck, who didn’t?!).  
My parents bought me an Easybake when I was a wee little one.  And I loved that thing.  
Let me tell you.
I distinctly remember hanging onto my dad’s arm at heaven Target, begging him to buy me some more dry mix packets.  Oh Lawd were those delicious.
I moved on to boxed cake and brownies when I was eight-ish, and by the time I was eleven, I was baking from scratch, and I never looked back.
Last Friday night, my lovely, darling teammates gifted me a funfetti cake mix for “Senior Night”.
So obviously, I walked into practice on Saturday with a big box full of these gooey butter cake bars.  My team went nuts over them; there’s a distinct possibility that people were eating them on the court during warm-ups… But hey, totally not my fault.
These bars are based off of the infamous St. Louis dessert, the gooey butter cake.
Sounds super healthy, right?  
These bars taste like a combination of a cheesecake and a shortbread cookie.
Buttery, sweet, chewy, and very, very gooey.  
Wonderfully so. 
Leave it up to Christina Tosi to transform the gooey butter cake into easy, sliceable bars made with a cake mix.
These just might convince you yet to keep a box mix in your pantry.

P.S. Have you noticed that chewy, gooey, and Louie all rhyme, but are spelled in distinct ways?  Mind blown.

Gooey Butter Cake Bars
exceedingly lightly adapted from Momofuku Butter Bars
for the crust:
1 box cake mix- I used funfetti; choose a vanilla-flavored mix
4 ounces butter, melted (browned if you’re feeling frisky)
1 egg
for the filling:
8 ounces of cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
16 ounces powdered sugar
big pinch sea salt
splash of vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper.  
Stir together your cake mix, butter, and 1 egg, until a stiff and slightly crumbly mixture comes together.  Press into pan.
Beat the cream cheese and eggs until fluffy, then beat in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and sea salt.  Spread the mixture over the crust.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the center is cooked but still jiggles slightly when shaken. 
The edges should be golden brown and puffed.
Allow to cool completely (seriously!  I put mine out on my porch in below freezing weather to let them completely freeze before even attempting to cut them).  Cut into desired squares.  They will not be neat, nor will be the consumption of them.  There is absolutely no way around it; they’re meant to be messy!

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