I'm one of those few people that doesn't like cheesecake. I guess I shouldn't say I don't like it...one bite is fine but that's usually where I have to drawn the line. I don't know if it's the richness or the texture or what, but it's just not my favorite. Other important people in my life don't share my opinion of the sweet treat, so I tried these out this week. And I'm so glad I did!
The combination of caramel and chocolate and pecans was a great topping for the rich cheesecake. And the 2-bite portions were way more manageable than the obscenely large pieces of cheesecake you are usually offered when you eat out.
Caramel-Pecan Cheesecake Bars
1 cup pecan pieces, divided
1.5 cups crushed Nilla Wafers
1/4 cup butter, melted
4 8oz packages of cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
3 T flour
1 T vanilla
1 T water
3 squares (or 3 oz) semi-sweet chocolate
1. Finely chop 1/2 cup of pecans and mix with wafer crumbs and melted butter. Press into bottom of foil lined 13x9x2 pan. Be sure the foil hangs over the sides of the pan (you'll use this to lift the cheesecake out later). Refrigerate.
2. Beat cream cheese and sugar until well blended (yay for stand mixers!). Then add sour cream, flour and vanilla and beat well. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low until just blended. Pour over prepared crust.
3. Bake at 325 for 45-50 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool completely.
4. Microwave unwrapped caramels and 1 T water on high for 1 minute or until caramels are completely melted when stirred. Pour over cheesecake.
5. Top caramel with remaining 1/2 cup pecan pieces. Melt chocolate and drizzle over cake. Refrigerate for 4 hours. Use foil handles to remove cake before slicing and serving.
**One tip, when slicing these bars, make sure you point the knife straight down. Dragging the knife through at an angle can take the topping off.