Chocolate Cheesecake Bars with Pecan Shortbread Crust

Author: Chef Dennis (shortbread crust by Paula Deen)

Yield: 12 servings
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

Chocolate Cheesecake Bars with Pecan Shortbread Crust

Ingredients

Pecan Shortbread Crust

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup roughly chopped pecans
  • 1 stick unsalted butter-melted

Cheesecake Filling

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 8 ounces Mascarpone cheese (or substitute cream cheese)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate cut in small pieces

Chocolate Ganache

  • 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate cut into small pieces
  • 4 ounces heavy cream

Garnish

  • 2 ounces of chopped pecans (optional)

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Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Pecan Shortbread Crust

Mix together the flour, brown sugar, chopped pecans and melted butter in bowl, until well blended.

Press the dough into ungreased 9x9x2 pan.

Bake shortbread crust for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Allow crust to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes or more before filling

Cheesecake Filling

Using a stainless steel bowl over a pot of simmering water, melt 6 ounces of semi- sweet chocolate and allow to cool (you will reuse this bowl for the ganache)

In the bowl of your stand mixer add the cream cheese and mascarpone cheese and whip until smooth and creamy 5-7 minutes.

Add the sugar and whip until blended

Add the eggs one at a time, mixing in between each addition, to make sure each egg is fully incorporated.

Add the vanilla extract and cooled melted chocolate, blending until all of the chocolate is completely mixed into the cheese mixture.

Pour batter into prepared crust

Place pan into preheated oven on center rack and bake for 20-25 minutes or until cheesecake is cooked and not loose in the center.

Allow to cool on wire rack for 20 minutes.

Chocolate Ganache

Place chocolate and cream in a stainless steel bowl over a pot of simmering water and melt chocolate and mix in cream until smooth and chocolate has been completely melted.

Pour ganache over the top of cooked cheesecake, spreading evenly with an offset spatula.

Allow cheesecake to cool for at least 4 hours, but overnight is best.

If you are adding pecans as a topping sprinkle the pecans on top of the ganache before chilling.

Cut cheesecake into squares and serve!