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Chocolate Pecan Pie Cheesecake Bars

These bars are three layers of amazing desserts: pecan shortbread crust, then creamy cheesecake, and then topped with chocolate pecan pie filling. All the flavors and textures compliment each other so well! Perfect for fall entertaining!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 5 mins
Total Time2 hrs 55 mins
Servings: 18 bars

Ingredients

For the shortbread crust:

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 cup butter salted, cold
  • 1/2 cup pecans finely chopped

For the cheesecake layer:

  • 16 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the chocolate pecan pie layer:

  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup butter unsalted, melted
  • 3 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup pecans chopped (but not finely!)
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

For the shortbread crust:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13x9 casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray
  • Mix the flour and brown sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  • Pull the 1/2 cup butter from the fridge. Cut the butter into small cubes. Toss into the flour and brown sugar mixture. Using a pastry blender (or two knives), cut the butter into the flour mixture until the butter is the size of small crumbs. I usually get annoyed using tools for this and eventually use my hands to break up the butter. Feel free to do that too. This is a judgement free zone.
  • Stir in 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans with the rest of the crust mixture. Press the mixture into the greased dish until it is firmly-packed into the bottom of the dish. Bake for 10 minutes in a preheated oven.
  • When crust is done, remove from oven (but keep oven ON!) and set aside to cool for 10 minutes (you can make the cheesecake layer while you wait).

For the cheesecake layer:

  • Add softened cream cheese to a bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat cream cheese until it is smooth, about 1-2 minutes (depending on how soft your cream cheese is).
  • Add sugar and beat together until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl so the mixture is all at the bottom of the bowl.
  • Add milk and vanilla and mix on low until combined. Scrape down the sides again and mix for another 30 seconds. The mixture may be a little lumpy, but that's okay! It will smooth out while baking.
  • Pour cheesecake mixture over the cooled shortbread crust. Spread evenly. Place back in preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  • When done baking, remove from oven and let it cool for 10 minutes (you can make the chocolate pecan pie layer in the meantime).

For the chocolate pecan pie layer:

  • Combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, and melted butter in a medium bowl. Make sure the butter is slightly cooled before continuing.
  • Gently add 3 beaten eggs, salt, and vanilla to mixture. Stir in pecans and chocolate chips.
  • Pour chocolate pecan pie mixture over cooled cheesecake layer. Spread evenly. Sprinkle a few more chocolate chips on top for a nice presentation (optional).
  • Bake for 40 minutes or until the chocolate pecan pie layer has completely set and does not jiggle anymore. If the edges start to get too caramelized before the center finishes baking, cover those areas with aluminium foil so they don't burn.
  • When the pecan layer is finished, remove the bars from the oven and let them cool completely before cutting. Otherwise, they will fall apart. I like to put them in the refrigerator to help them cool faster. Use a sharp knife to cut them.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Positively Splendid
These can be left at room temperature for entertaining purposes, if needed. But for long-term storage (more than 4 hours), I would keep them in the refrigerator. The cheesecake layer tastes better chilled.