Warning: highly addictive! Whenever I make these I take a couple and send the rest far, far away or else I’ll eat the whole batch.
Yield: 24 Bars – Baking Temperature: 350F – Baking Time: 12 to 15 minutes for the crust, and 20 to 22 minutes for the bars themselves
For the crust you will need:
- 1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
- 3/4 cup Sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, melted
- 1 cup toasted, finely chopped Pecans or Walnuts
For the filling you will need:
- Two 8 ounce packages of full fat Cream Cheese
- 3/4 cup Sugar
- 1 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 2 large Eggs
- 1/2 cup Strawberry Jam
Preheat your oven to 350F and lightly grease a 9×13 inch pan.
In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine your flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and melted butter. Give it a quick mix and then add in your chopped pecans or walnuts. Today I used walnuts and loved them!
Note: To toast your nuts, pop them in an oven preheated to 350 and bake them for about 8 minutes. 8 seems to be the magic number for me an my oven. You’ll know they’re ready when they’re aromatic – just be take care to not burn them.
Press the crust mixture into the bottom of your greased 9×13″ pan. Using some plastic wrap and a measuring cup can be helpful with getting the crust even and flat.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until it’s set. Once set, remove it from the oven and let it cool for about 15 minutes.
To make the filling, combine your cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl and mix until smooth. Having your ingredients at room temperature is essential here – your cream cheese and your eggs.
Speaking of eggs, once your cream cheese and sugar are nice and smooth, add your eggs one at a time and add your vanilla.
Once things are incorporated nicely, spread evenly over your crust. Using an offset spatula would be a great idea for this.
Add your 1/2 cup strawberry jam to a zipper bag if you have one available, making a small snip at one corner. If you don’t have a zipper bag, you can spoon your jam over the filling – it’ll still taste ah-mazing!
Pipe three straight lines lengthwise across your cream cheese filling. Using a knife, drag the jam in an up and down pattern.
Bake for approximately 22 to 25 minutes, give or take, or until your filling has set. The middle will still wobble slightly. Take the pan out of the oven and let things cool for an hour at room temperature. At this time you will also want to take a butter knife and run it along the edges of the pan to loosen the filling and keep it from cracking.
After an hour, you’ll want to refrigerate these until they are completely chilled. This will take a minimum of 3 to 4 hours, but it’s better if you let them chill overnight.
My apologies for not having a photo of the bars after they were done baking, I was dragged away by toddler drama and I simply forgot to get a picture.
Once chilled, slice into bars and enjoy!
For how absolutely amazing these are, I sure wish I could have gotten a better picture of them. This simply doesn’t do it justice. Maybe I was in a hurry wiping the drool from my chin while photographing them, trying not to stick one in my mouth!
And P.S. Sorry for missing Monday’s post, but it was my birthday. 🙂 Not that turning 31 is anything special, but I was out getting my Sephora shopping on. It slipped my mind that I had the site to report to!