Monday, January 23, 2012
caramel pecan cheesecake cookie bars
Cheesecake is rarely my go-to dessert of choice because it's so rich that I end up only wanting a few bites. Which may be a good thing for some of you but I feel so guilty leaving a delicious dessert behind, it pretty much never happens. If anything, I eat my dessert and help finish off everyone else's too. I love these bars because they are the perfect balance of cheesecake and cookie, I wanted to eat every single one. Luckily I didn't get a chance because I took them to the Charlotte food blogger meet-up this past week to share with the group. These bars have a chewy sugar cookie crust, smooth caramel cream cheese filling with a sugar cookie crumble, pecan, caramel topping that make them hard to resist. I'm not sure how I managed to only eat a few but I know next time I make them, I will be stock piling a batch in the freezer.
Caramel Pecan Cheesecake Cookie Bars
1 pouch of Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
1/2 c. cold butter
3/4 c. chopped pecans
3/4 c. toffee bits
2 packages of cream cheese (8 oz each)
1/2 c. sugar
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 c. caramel topping
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Spray or line a 13x9 inch pan with cooking spray or parchment paper. Place cookie mix in bowl and using your hands or a pastry blender, cut in butter until the mixture is crumbly. Set 1 1/2 cups of the sugar cookie/butter mixture aside. Spread the remaining amount in the bottom of the pan and press down evenly. Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool for at least 20 minutes.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, flour, 1/4 cup of caramel topping, vanilla and egg with an electric mixer until smooth. Evenly spread this mixture over the cooled partially baked cookie dough base. Then sprinkle the reserved sugar cookie/butter mixture, pecans and toffee bits on top. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool for 30 minutes then refrigerate for 2 hours or until cooled completely. Drizzle with remaining 1/4 c. caramel topping. Store covered in the refrigerator.
Recipe adapted from: Betty Crocker