Southern Chocolate Pecan Cheesecake Bars

Yum…these are addicting and as I am thrilled that Paula Deen announced her 20-City Tour yesterday, I thought I would post a recipe that I found in her Chocolate Celebration special edition magazine, to welcome her back.

Makes 2 doz bars
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar, divided
1/2 cup butter
2 cups finely chopped pecans, divided
2 (8oz) bars cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
4 large eggs, divided
4 (1 oz) squares semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled
2 teas vanilla
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9×13″ baking pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Lightly grease the foil.
In medium bowl, combine the flour and 3/4 cup brown sugar. Cut in butter (the 1/2 cup), with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Stir in 1/3 cup chopped pecans.
Press mixture into bottom of prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
In medium bowl, combine cream cheese and sugar; beat on medium speed with mixer until smooth. Add 1 egg, beating until combined. Stir in melted chocolate and vanilla until smooth; pour over prepared crust.
Bake for 15 minutes; remove from oven and cool 10 minutes.
In another medium bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup brown sugar, corn syrup, 1/3 cup melted butter and remaining 3 eggs. Stir in remaining 1 1/2 cups pecans. Pour oven cream cheese mixture.
Bake for 40-45 minutes or until center is set. Let cool in pan completely before cutting into bars.

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