Whipped up a batch of pecan cheesecake squares this weekend. You can’t go wrong with a layer of shortbread, a layer of cheesecake and a layer of pecan pie in every. single. bite! My daughter calls them “squares of heaven.” I think after you try them, you’ll see why!
For The Shortbread Layer
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
For The Cheesecake Layer
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For The Pecan Pie Layer
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups pecans
Preheat oven to 350.
For the shortbread layer: In a medium bowl, combine flour and 3/4 cup brown sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 1/2 cup pecans. Press mixture evenly into bottom of a greased 9×13″ baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes; remove from oven, and cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
For the cheesecake layer: Place the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer outfitted with a paddle attachment, and beat at medium speed until smooth. Beat in sugar. Add milk and 2 teaspoons vanilla, and beat until combined. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the cooled shortbread layer. Bake for 15 minutes; remove from oven and cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
For the pecan pie layer: In a medium bowl, combine the remaining 3/4 cup brown sugar, corn syrup, and melted butter. Gently stir in the eggs, salt, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Stir in 1 1/2 cups pecans. Pour pecan mixture over cooled cheesecake layer. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until center is set and pecan pie layer is a rich brown color.
These would be a lovely addition to a holiday menu!