Sunday, March 16, 2008


This is a recipe I've been saving, for 3 years actually. Karin Calloway, the originator, wrote about these in such a persuasive way, I was sure they would be outrageously good. You can find the original recipe, and others, at Frankly, I was underwhelmed when I first tasted these, still warm, about 2 hours after baking. I didn't like the cake part because I wanted to bite into a dense brownie; the cheesecake part tasted spongy and I thought it was because of the baking temperature and the ingredients. I was resigned to giving them all away and forgetting about this recipe. And then I chilled them overnight. What a difference! These are amazing, really, really good. Everyone who has tasted them has raved. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

Rocky Road Squares
Cake Layer: 18.25-oz. Devil's Food Cake Mix (Pillsbury, pudding in the mix)
1 cup cola beverage
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce and 1 Tbsp. oil)
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup toasted pecans

Cream Cheese Layer: 16 oz. cream cheese (I used Neufchatel)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
3 eggs
1 cup sugar (I used a scant 1/2 cup sugar + a scant Tbsp. of Stevia)
4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. vanilla

Topping: 1 cup chocolate morsels
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
10.5 oz. bag miniature marshmallows
16-oz. tub chocolate frosting (Duncan Hines Milk Chocolate)

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 10x15" glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. In the bowl of a heavy duty stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, combine the cake mix, cola, oil, eggs and whole pecans. Beat until well combined (the mixer will chop the pecans), and then fold in the applesauce. Pour into the prepared baking dish and set aside.

Beat the cream cheese and butter together in the bowl of a heavy duty stand mixer or large bowl with a hand mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Beat in the flour and sugar. Fold in the vanilla. Spread over the chocolate cake base. Place in the oven on the middle rack and bake for 40 minutes. (The cheesecake had puffed up almost to the center, so I took it out at 38 minutes.) Remove from oven and sprinkle with the chocolate morsels, nuts and marshmallows. Return to oven and bake 8 minutes more.

Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack. Heat the chocolate frosting in a saucepan over low heat, until softened, or heat in a microwave-safe bowl for 1 minute. Drizzle over the cake and let cool for 1 hour before serving. (Note: Cool for at least 2 hours before cutting.) Store in the refrigerator. (Note: These will slice more easily if you first wet a serrated edge knife. After each slice, rinse off the knife. This will keep the marshmallows from sticking to the knife, even though it is somewhat of a pain to keep rinsing off the knife.)

Here's the cake in the oven with the morsels, nuts and marshmallows on the top-- it fills up the whole pan and I wondered how I could ever pour frosting over this; but somehow it worked, and none spilled over the sides.

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