Pecan Cheesecake Squares
- For the shortbread:
- 1½ cups of all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup of firmly packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup of butter, softened
- ½ cup of finely chopped pecans
- For the cheesecake:
- 16oz (2 packs) of cream cheese, softened
- ¾ cup of milk
- ¾ cup of sugar
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- For the pecan pie:
- ½ cup of firmly packed brown sugar
- ¾ cup of light corn syrup
- ⅓ cup of butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1½ cups of pecans
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
For the shortbread layer: In a medium bowl, combine the flour and the ¾ cup of brown sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the ½ cup of pecans. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of a greased 9x13" baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes; remove from the 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 the sugar. Add the milk and the 2 teaspoons of vanilla, and beat until combined. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the cooled shortbread layer. Bake for 15 minutes; remove from the oven and cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
For the pecan pie layer: In a medium bowl, combine the remaining ¾ cup of brown sugar, the corn syrup, and the melted butter. Gently stir in the eggs, salt, and remaining ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract. Stir in 1½ cups of pecans. Pour the pecan mixture over the cooled cheesecake layer. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the center is set and the pecan pie layer is a rich brown color.
Best served chilled from the refrigerator.