Side Dish: I just met a girl named Maria! (October 4, 2010)

“Maria! I just met a girl named Maria!”

No this is not a blog about a production of WEST SIDE STORY. Instead it’s a Story about a woman from the West Side (of LA) named Maria who has been coming to CAFÉ 429 religiously since we opened. She always has a huge smile on her face, but she is notoriously camera shy and did not like the idea of having her picture taken for this blog.

Just after we opened I was in the kitchen tweaking my new apple tart recipe and I decided to let Maria be my taster. She was thrilled at the opportunity and talked about both incarnations of the dessert with the kind enthusiasm and passion for food a chef loves to see.

As a thank you, the very next day Maria brought me some of her “Secret Recipe Chocolate Chip Cheese Squares.” And let me tell you here and now: these squares are divine. They literally melted in my mouth and I knew I needed the recipe.

But Maria was tight-lipped. It was her secret recipe, she explained. Everyone who has ever tried them has wanted the recipe, but she explained with a smile, she simply refuses to give it away. But I can get as stubborn as a Walker when I want something. So I didn’t stop asking (and occasionally trying to bribe her with free food) for days. Days turned into weeks. Weeks turned into months. Until finally today she came in and gave me the recipe.

What’s more? She agreed to let me share it with all of you. Well the interaction went more like this:

Scotty: Can I print this recipe on my blog? Maria: I don’t know….ummm…if I say “No” are you going to ask me every day until I say “Yes” again?

She smiled.

Scotty: That’s exactly what it means! Maria: Then by all means, put it on your blog!

So there you go. I encourage you to make Maria’s delicious cheese squares, but remember…this recipe is secret!

(I used to be able to keep secrets. Maybe those Walkers are rubbing off on me more than I thought…)

Chocolate Chip Cheese Squares

Preheat the oven to 350

2 8oz packs of cream cheese(soften)
2 eggs
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp of vanilla
2 rolls of cookie dough(frozen)

Mix the cream cheese, vanilla, eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl. You can begin to whip the mixture once it blends.This way you will have a light yet think cheesecake filling.
While the cheese mixture is whipping you can cut one roll of cookie dough and line the bottom of a 9×13 non stick baking pan. Pour in cream cheese mixture
Cut the other roll of cookie dough to place on top
Bake for 35-40mins-until toothpick comes out clean.
Cut into squares and refrigerate for at least 3 hours (serve cold)
You can freeze them to serve later( we like to eat them out of the freezer)