So did any of you make a diet-related New Years resolution this year? Are you still going strong 3 weeks into it? If so, keep up the good work! If not, don’t sweat it! Diets are no fun and just plain boring. My motto: everything in moderation. Except, of course, chocolate and wine after a bad day. Some days excess consumption is needed. However, I did make an effort to get back to the gym on a more regular basis. After weeks of holiday eating and sporadic physical activity my jeans were feeling a bit snug.
These bars are just one of the many culprits that contributed to me having to do multiple deep squats to get my jeans broken in each time I wore them. Ever since I made the chocolate pecan pie for Thanksgiving, I had the chocolate and pecan combination stuck on my mind. These bars did not disappoint with the creamy chocolate cheesecake filling topped with a pecan pie filling baked to perfection. I made them for my dad’s big family Christmas and let’s just say there was no moderation practiced around these bars. I thought the calories in scrap pieces, slivers cut off, and broken edges didn’t count, but apparently they do. I have my tight jeans as proof. Oh well, these cheesecake bars are worth it!
Chocolate Pecan Cheesecake Bars
from Paula Deen
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar, divided into 3/4 cup portions
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
2 cups finely chopped toasted pecans, divided into 1/2 cup and 1 1/2 cups
16 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs, divided
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate, coarsley chopped and melted and cooled
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 13×9″ baking pan with foil and grease or spray with cooking spray.
In medium bowl, combine flour and 3/4 cup of brown sugar. Cut in softened butter until mixture is crumbly. Stir in 1/2 cup chopped pecans, then press mixture into bottom of prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
In bowl with electric mixer, beat cream cheese and granulated sugar until smooth. Add 1 egg and beat until combined. Stir in melted and cooled chocolate and vanilla extract and mix to combine. Pour over baked crust. Bake 15 more minutes, then allow to cool for 10 minutes.
In another bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup brown sugar, corn syrup, melted butter and 3 remaining eggs. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of chopped pecans. Pour this over baked cream cheese mixture, then bake for 40-45 more minutes, or until center is set. Cool complete in pan. Once cooled, cut into squares and serve.