Caramel-Pecan Cheesecake Bars

I have found one of my dream desserts. This is from a 2005 Southern Living that came out of storage this weekend and for some reason, I had missed seeing it on page 177. I keep thinking about how many times these past 6 years I could have been eating this. So will have to make up for lost time. These bars are scrumptious, easy and just gooey enough to satisfy that craving we get when we sit down to watch Christmas movies cuddled up on the couch with our favorite blanket (I really wanted to write blankie, but knew that some of you would be asking yourselves, “and this is a lady we ask cooking questions to?” After years of kids, grandkids and the occasional sick day when Randy comes over to cover me up when I am cold, I have to admit I still use the word, “blankie” instead of blanket. So there, you know one of my secrets. Now….to the recipe.
Makes 2 dz
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup butter, melted
4 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
3 eggs
1 tables vanilla
Quick Caramel-Pecan Frosting (see below)
Stir together graham cracker crumbs and butter; press into the bottom of a lightly greased 13×9 baking pan.
Bake at 350 for 8 min. Remove from oven and cool.
Beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Combine sugar and flour and gradually add to cream cheese, beating until blended.
Add eggs, 1 at a time, berating until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla (notice it is 1 table, not teas). Pour mixture over prepared crust, spreading evenly to edges of pan.
Bake at 350 for 40 min or until set. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
Pour warm Quick Caramel-Pecan Frosting over cheesecake; spread evenly to edges of pan. Cover and chill 8 hours. Cut into bars.
Quick Caramel Frosting
2 (14 oz) cans sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 teas vanilla
Place all ingredients in a heavy 3 qt saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring constantly, over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring constantly 3 to 5 min or until mixture reaches a pudding-like thickness. Remove from heat. You can add 1 cup chopped pecans to this if desired or 1 1/2 cups coconut and 1 1/2 cups pecans if you like also. Pour over cheesecake when frosting is still warm, but not hot…

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