23 August 2013

Pecan Pie Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

 Did you know that Tuesday was National Chocolate Pecan Pie Day?  There are all sorts of wacky food holidays.  There's a food holiday for almost every day of the year as a matter of fact.  Here are some of, in my opinion, the more unusual and important ones:

January 28th -- Chocolate Cake Day
The first week of February -- Shape up with Pickles Time
February 5th -- World Nutella Day
February 18th -- Crab Stuffed Flounder Day
March 5th -- National Cheese Doodle Day
March 14th (3.14) -- Pi(e) Day
March 19th -- Chocolate Caramel Day
March 28th -- Something on a Stick Day
April 6th -- Caramel Popcorn Day
April 12th -- Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day
April 24th -- National Pigs in a Blanket Day
May 9th -- Butterscotch Brownie Day
May 27th -- Grape Popsicle Day
June 10th -- Root Beer Float Day
July 15th -- National Gummy Worm Day
July 26th -- National Coffee Milkshake Day
August 3rd -- Grab Some Nuts Day
August 29th -- Chop Suey Day
September 9th -- Weinerschintzel Day
September 21st -- International Banana Festival
October 1st -- Pudding Season Begins
October 8th -- National Fluffernutter Day
October 25th -- National Greasy Foods Day
November 2nd -- National Deviled Egg Day
November 26th -- National Cake Day
December 16th -- National Chocolate Covered Anything day
December 30th -- National Bicarbonate of Soda (baking soda) Day

So, I know the list is a little long, but I left off so many good ones, too.

This recipe is my celebration of National Chocolate Pecan Pie day.  You should make them.  You won't be disappointed.  They're chocolatey, rich, tangy, sweet, caramel-brown sugary, nutty, etc....  The list could go on and on.  I've found a new love affair (at least for this week).

Pecan Pie Chocolate Cheesecake Bars
makes about 24 bars

Print me, Please!!!

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, divided
1 cup melted butter, divided
2 cups chopped, toasted pecans, divided
16 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 cup semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup light corn syrup

Preheat the oven to 350°.  Line a 13 x 9" baking pan with foil and spray foil with nonstick spray; set aside.

Combine the flour and 3/4 cup brown sugar in a medium bowl.  Stir in 1/2 cup melted butter until mixture forms coarse crumbs.  Stir in 1/2 cup chopped pecans.  Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.  Bake 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until well combined and smooth, 2 to 3 minutes.  Add 1 egg and beat until combined.  Stir in the chocolate and vanilla.  Pour the cheesecake batter over the hot crust.  Bake 15 minutes; allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Whisk together the remaining 3/4 cup brown sugar, corn syrup, 1/2 cup melted butter, and 3 eggs until well combined and smooth.  Stir in the remaining 1 3/4 cups pecans.  Pour over the cheesecake layer.  Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until center is set and the top is golden brown.  Cool completely in pan before cutting into squares.

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