When I take this crowd-pleasing treat to a potluck, I come home with an empty pan every time. Cooking and baking come naturally for me - as a farm girl, I helped my mother feed my 10 siblings. -Jeannette Nord, San Juan Capistrano, California
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup chopped macadamia nuts
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 can (15-1/4 ounces) pear halves, drained
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Gradually add flour to creamed mixture. Stir in nuts.
- Press into a greased 8-in. square baking pan. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.
- In a small bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the sugar, egg and vanilla. Pour over crust.
- Cut pears into 1/8-in. slices; arrange in a single layer over filling. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over pears.
- Bake at 375° for 28-30 minutes (center will be soft-set and will become firmer upon cooling). Cool on a wire rack for 45 minutes.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before cutting. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 16 bars.
Originally published as Pear Custard Bars in Taste of Home August/September 2000, p25
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