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Spiced Maple and Pecan Cheesecake Bars

We have been collectively baking for nearly eighty years and we do have a predilection for sweets: that’s a lot of recipes! Well, stop the presses . . . this has to be in the all-time Top Ten! Rich with seasonal flavors of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and maple, these hand-held delights would be hard to resist at any time of year — they’re just perfectly delightful!

Spiced Maple and Pecan Cheesecake Bars

9 oz. ginger nut biscuits [or ginger snaps], (to yield 4 cups crumbs)
5 oz. salted butter, melted
7 oz. pecans (1½ cups)
24 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1¼ cups sour cream
5 fl. oz. maple syrup
3 oz. light muscovado sugar (½ cup)
3 medium eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 tbs. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ whole nutmeg, grated

For the topping:

6 fl. oz. maple syrup
4 oz. salted butter
3 tbs. light muscovado sugar
4 oz. pecans, roughly chopped (¾ cup)

Heat the oven to 400°F. Line an 8×12″ baking tin with parchment. Put the biscuits in a food processor and blitz to fine crumbs. Add the butter and pecans and blitz again until well combined and the pecans are finely chopped but still have a little texture. Tip into the baking tin and press into a compact, even layer. Bake for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool.

Beat the cream cheese and sour cream in a large bowl until smooth and combined. Add the maple syrup, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, flour, and spices. Beat again until smooth. Pour onto the biscuit base and bake for 15 minutes.

Lower the oven temperature to 250°F and continue cooking for a further 30 minutes. Turn off the oven, then leave for 1 hour more with the door ajar. Finally, leave at room temperature to cool completely, then chill for 3 hours, or even better, overnight.

To make the topping, melt the remaining maple syrup with the butter, sugar, and a good pinch of salt. bubble for 2-3 minutes, then stir in the pecans and leave to cool and thicken a little. Before serving, remove the cheesecake from the tin, spoon the topping over and cut into bars. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.

 

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