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Caramel Pecan Cheesecake Bars

By 12:32 PM , , , ,

Omg, where to ever begin with these. There are seriously not words. Hubby said it was quite possibly the best thing he's ever put in his mouth. I made these this past weekend when my family came in town for our limousine wine tour. I found the recipe in the Kraft Foods magazine. A little time consuming, but well worth it.

Caramel Pecan Cheesecake Bars

1 cup pecan pieces, divided
1-1/2 cups crushed vanilla wafers* (about 50)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
4 pkg (8 oz. each) reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup low fat sour cream
3 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. vanilla
4 eggs
24 caramels
1 Tbsp. water
3 squares semi-sweet chocolate

* (I actually used gluten free vanilla animal crackers because my dad is gluten intolerant, and it was still AMAZING)

HEAT oven to 325°F. Line 13x9-inch baking pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides. Remove 1/2 cup nuts; set aside. Finely chop remaining nuts; mix with wafer crumbs and butter. Press onto bottom of pan. Refrigerate until ready to use.

BEAT cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with mixer until blended. Add sour cream, flour and vanilla; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Pour over crust.

BAKE 45 min. or until center is almost set. Cool completely. Microwave caramels and water in microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1 min. or until caramels are completely melted when stirred. Pour over cheesecake; top with reserved nuts. Melt chocolate; drizzle over cheesecake. Refrigerate 4 hours. Use foil handles to remove cheesecake from pan before cutting to serve.

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