A smooth cheesecake layer, a nutty crust, and a praline-like topping make this dessert extra special. I fix these squares often for friends or when my big Italian family gets together. -Barbara McCalley, Allison Park, Pennsylvania
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup butter, melted
- 2/3 cup finely chopped pecans
- 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
- 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, butter, pecans and confectioners' sugar. Press into an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Bake at 350° for 20-24 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add the milk, vanilla and lemon peel. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour over crust.
- Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.
- In a small saucepan, combine brown sugar and cream. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in pecans and vanilla. Pour over cheesecake. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Cut into squares. Yield: 15 servings.
Originally published as Cheesecake Praline Squares in Taste of Home June/July 2004, p33
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