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Cheesecake Bars

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There's nothing quite like rich, creamy, velvety cheesecake. With fruit, chocolate, or even just plain, its just sweet enough with just a little tang, and is guaranteed to make anyone smile. By making little bite-sized bars, you can please a whole crowd of folks without fussing in the kitchen all day.
 
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Step 1: You'll Need. . .

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Software
For the Crust
  • 1/3 cup pecans
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup spelt flour (or substitute whole wheat or regular flour)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • Pinch of salt
Or, if you want an even easier crust:
  • About 12 packaged shortbread cookies (I like Walker's)
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • Tablespoon of sugar
For the Filling For the Topping
  • About 6 ounces of chocolate, chips or chopped

Hardware
  • Food processor
  • 8" x 8" baking dish lined with foil
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Plastic bag or piping bag with small tip (for topping)
  • Sharp knife

Step 2: Getting Crusty

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  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Line your baking dish with foil to form a sling (one piece each way)
  3. In the bowl of the food processor, combine pecans, flour, spelt flour, butter, sugar, and salt (or, if you're using pre-made cookies instead, combine them with the sugar, butter, and salt)
  4. Pulse until well combined
  5. Pour mixture out into the baking pan and press evenly into the bottom
  6. Bake about 25 minutes or until lightly golden
  7. Mix the filling (per the next step) while the crust bakes
  8. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes

Step 3: Fill'er Up

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  1. While the crust is baking, in the food processor combine the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract (and cream cheese extract if using)
  2. Add eggs and cream and pulse until the mixture is smooth and creamy
  3. Pour the mixture into the crust and spread evenly
  4. Bake for about 40 minutes or until the top begins to brown and the filling is puffy and is slightly jiggly (like a custard)
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 30 minutes
  6. Refrigerate for at least an hour or until fully cooled

Step 4: Finishing Touches

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  1. Remove from the pan by lifting the foil
  2. Place on a cutting board and carefully cut off the edges (feel free to gobble these up - this just makes for more consistent appearance of your cheesecake bites)
  3. Cut into 16 bars by making 3 cuts in each direction
  4. Place your chocolate inside your plastic bag and microwave until melted (about 45 seconds depending on your microwave)
  5. Snip off a corner of the bag and use it to drizzle chocolate over the cheesecake bars
  6. Allow to cool, then transfer to a pretty plate and enjoy!