Monday, August 31, 2009

Would You Tell Me About

your experience with what I call "Neiman Marcus Bars"?

Last week I squeed in delight when one of my favorite blogs, CakeSpy, had a feature on a dessert that seemed identical to my all-time favorite (and prize-winning) dessert, Neiman Marcus Bars. Only Head Spy Jessie called it "Gooey Butter Cake."

I left Jessie a comment and said: Here in OK, we call them Neiman Marcus bars and store them in the refrigerator... delish!

To my delight, I found an email from Jessie in my in box the next morning: Sasha,
So I am SO curious--how did you come across that Neiman Marcus bar recipe? It seems that they have a few recipes attached to their name (and in some cases, it's urban legend rather than them having actually invented it!). I'm curious about pinpointing the connection between Neiman and sweets! thanks again for reading the site. Yours is wonderful!! jessie

My first experience with theses little pieces of heaven dates back to high school- sometime in the late 80s I recall eating these at a drill team function. Someone's mom was famous for these and made them for us quite a few times. I just can't remember exactly who!

Of course, since I was concentrating on beer in college, I didn't think too much about these again until after I graduated and moved out into my own home, complete with a kitchen and oven just waiting to bake some goodies. Only I couldn't find the recipe! And remember, the internet back then wasn't what it is today. No myspace or facebook to reconnect with all my high school friends and Nancy Drew the recipe.

In 2002 or 2003 I spied them again on a plate at a Junior League function and hunted down the baker. She shared her recipe for "Butter Puffs" with me and it was just as I remembered! I've been baking them frequently ever since, and sharing the recipe with anyone who wants it, but I've been calling it the name I remember from high school, Neiman Marcus Bars.

I posted a plea on facebook last night asking high school friends if they remember the dessert, and I did have one friend who shared the identical recipe with me and also titled hers "Neiman Marcus Bars", so that's one vote that I'm not crazy!

So tell me, are you familiar with these? What do you call them? Where did you get your recipe?

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Stephanie said...

Of course, I got it from you BUT my mother-in-law read a post on my blog where I mentioned them and said she loved them. She called them the same thing and my FIL likes them too. She said she didn't remember the last time she had them. It's like a mystery!!!

Anonymous said...

My aunt calls it Gooey Butter Cake, but my MIL calls it N-M Bars..

Megan@SortaCrunchy said...

We call it Gooey Butter Cake, too. Hmmmmm. Maybe the Neiman connecting is just an A-town thang?

michelle matthews said...

Oh I love these too! I've been making them for a few years. I got the recipe from a sweet older lady at work and she call then NM bars too.

Kristen said...

I'm coming out of lurkdom to comment on this post. My grandmother made these all the time for me because they were (and still are!) my absolute favorite. We called it Chesscake. Not CHEESEcake, but CHESScake. Delish! Love the blog!

Joy said...

I call that a gooey butter cake from Paula Dean-I make it with heath bars:)

The neiman bars I make are like a cookie bar with oatmeal, c. chips, and hershey bar

Sasha said...

Um... Joy.... I'm gonna need that recipe please!

Alicia said...

We call this Smash Cake where I'm from, and I've also seen it called Chess Squares. Interesting how one dish can have so many different names!

ELP said...

I've from south florida and my grandmother made them every year for my birthday. She called them Neiman Marcus squares, and added chopped pecans and shredded coconut to the gooey mixture. they are the best!

Liz said...

umm, the only name we should be using here is "OOEY GOOEY BUTTER CAKE" from the fabulous suzi wells in Sallisaw, Oklahoma. i'm just sayin'...!

Kate said...

I found out about the Neiman bars from your blog...but had made a lemon cake version (Lemon Dream Bars)several times...I think it was in a fundraiser cookbook (i.e. JL or one of my nieces' schools). I am going to try it with a gluten free cake mix soon - will let you know how it goes!


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