Nobody can resist cheesecake. These squares make it easy for everyone to partake!
- ⅔ cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
- 6 TBSP butter, cold and cut in small pieces
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 8 oz. packages cream cheese (not whipped), room temperature
- 2 eggs, beaten, room temperature
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 TBSP lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla
- optional: ½ cup raspberry preserves
Toast pecans in 325° for about 8 minutes until slightly browned, cool and chop finely. In bowl of stand mixer combine all ingredients and mix until pea-sized crumbs are formed. Press into a 9x9" or 8x8" well-sprayed baking dish. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in preheated 350° oven until lightly golden on the edges. If using optional preserves, allow to cool slightly before spreading.
In bowl of stand mixer, whip cream cheese with sugar until very rich and creamy. Add eggs one at a time and whip well after each addition. Finally add milk, lemon juice, and vanilla and mix until well combined. Pour over crust and bake in preheated 350° oven for about 30 minutes. It is done when a sharp knife is inserted and comes out nearly clean, and the middle will still have a very small jiggle (the custard will keep cooking after removing from the oven). For best results, let cool one hour and chill overnight.
Chef's Note: For the ultimate decadent dessert, serve with rich caramel sauce sprinkled with a little coarse sea salt.