These yummy colorful bars from Renee Anderson of Franklin, Tennessee have a nutty shortbread crust and a sweet cream cheese filling.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup cold butter
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 to 1 cup M&M's minis
- In a large bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in pecans. Set aside 1/2 cup for topping. Press remaining crumb mixture into a greased 9-in. square pan. Bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
- In a bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar. Add egg, milk, lemon juice and vanilla; mix well. Pour over warm crust. Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until set. Immediately sprinkle with M&M's. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 16 servings.
Originally published as Candy-Topped Bars in Taste of Home October/November 2004, p45
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