Pecan Cheesecake Bars

Yesterday I had an Christmas Cookie & Chat Open house. These cheesecake bars were the hit of the day. It’s interesting to me that each year we do this, there seems to always be one item that gets all the attention. Last year it was the Meltaways and this year, the Cheesecake Bars. Out of over 40 ladies who attended, more than half wanted the recipe. So here it is. It combines the flavor of cheesecake and pecan pie, which truly is a great combination.

1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar, divided

1/2 cup cold butter (1 stick)

1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans

2 (8 oz) softened cream cheese

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup milk

2 teas vanilla

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1/2 cup butter, (1 stick) melted

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350.

In a medium bowl, combine flour and 3/4 cup of the brown sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Press mixture evenly in bottom of a 13,9 inch baking pan, bake for 10 min. Set aside to cool while preparing the cream cheese mixture.

Beat at medium speed until smooth: cream cheese and granulated sugar. Beat in milk and vanilla until combined. Pour over cooled crust and bake for 12-14 min. Remove from oven and cool while preparing the pecan mixture.

In a medium bowl, combine 3/4 cup brown sugar, corn syrup, melted butter and eggs. Stir in the pecans. Pour over cream cheese mixture and return to oven and bake for about 40 min, or until middle feels “set” to the touch. Cool and place in fridge until ready to cut into bars. If leaving in fridge, be sure to cover the bars, after they have cooled completely.

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