PECAN PIE CHEESECAKE BARS
by Charlotte Jane Davis
In this irresistible mash-up, a buttery speculaas cookie crumb crust gets layered with a silky cheesecake filling and decadent pecan pie-esque topping. These Pecan Pie Cheesecake Bars boast a beautiful mixture of textures, with the crisp crumb crust, lusciously smooth cream cheese filling, and nutty, brown sugar-pecan layer. Striking a lovely balance between sweet and tangy and with a hint of salt, these bars are sure to impress. A dollop of Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream on top serves as the perfect light and creamy finish to cut through this indulgent treat. For this multilayered creation, only the Baker’s Secret® 9.5″ Non-stick Aluminized Steel Square Cake Pan would do. Part of the Superb Collection, this pan combines the strength of aluminized steel with the ease of two coats of premium nonstick coating, eliminating the need for buttering or oiling your pan. With this pan in your repertoire, gone are the days of baked goods sticking to the surface.
With more than 130 years of heritage behind them, Baker’s Secret® is an expert in smart and durable bakeware that not only simplifies the baking process but also makes it accessible to all levels. Baker’s Secret® designs its products with both the home baker and the professional pastry chef in mind. Each pan is made to last, with a 10-year warranty built into every purchase. So, no matter what you’re baking, Baker’s Secret® proves that a successful baker’s best-kept secret is often their tried-and-true tools.
- 1 cup (156 grams) packed finely crushed speculaas cookie crumbs* (20 to 22 cookies)
- 3 tablespoons (42 grams) unsalted butter, melted
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 3 (8-ounce) packages (680 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
- ⅔ cup (133 grams) granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons (24 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons (9 grams) vanilla bean paste, divided
- 3 large eggs (150 grams), room temperature
- ⅔ cup (147 grams) firmly packed dark brown sugar
- ⅓ cup (80 grams) heavy whipping cream
- ⅓ cup (113 grams) golden syrup
- 3 tablespoons (42 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- 1¾ cups (198 grams) chopped pecans
- Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream (recipe follows)
- Preheat oven to 325°F (170°C). Spray a Baker’s Secret 9½-inch Superb Collection square baking pan cooking spray. Line pan with parchment paper, letting excess extend over sides of pan.
- In a medium bowl, stir together cookie crumbs, melted butter, and ¼ teaspoon salt until well combined; press mixture evenly into bottom of prepared pan.
- Bake until set, firm, and fragrant, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Leave oven on.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese at medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add granulated sugar, flour, 1 teaspoon (6 grams) vanilla bean paste, and ¼ teaspoon salt; beat at medium-low speed just until combined, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until combined after each addition. Spread mixture evenly over cooled crust.
- Bake until ½ to ¾ inch of edges are slightly matte and just set but center is still very jiggly, about 15 minutes. Carefully place on a wire rack. Leave oven on.
- In a medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, cream, golden syrup, softened butter, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in pecans and remaining ½ teaspoon (3 grams) vanilla bean paste. Gently spoon pecan mixture evenly over top of filling. (It will be a generous layer.)
- Bake until edges are set but middle 6 to 6½ inches are still quite jiggly and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 150°F (66°C) to 155°F (68°C), 13 to 18 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 1 hour. Refrigerate in pan for at least 4 hours or up to overnight, loosely covering with foil only when completely cool to prevent condensation from forming.
- Using excess parchment as handles, remove from pan. Using a serrated knife, cut into bars. Serve with Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream. Refrigerate bars without whipped cream in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- ¾ cup (180 grams) cold heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon (12 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon (6 grams) vanilla bean paste
- In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients until medium-stiff peaks form. Use immediately.