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Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

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Serves: 12

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients for Pecan Shortbread Crust

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 cup roughly chopped pecans

1 stick unsalted butter, melted

Ingredients for Cheesecake Filling

6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate cut in small pieces

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

8 ounces Mascarpone cheese (or substitute cream cheese)

1 cup granulated sugar

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Ingredients for Chocolate Ganache

6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate cut into small pieces

4 ounces heavy cream

OPTIONAL GARNISH

2 ounces of chopped pecans

Preparation

01Preheat oven to 350°F.
02In a large bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, chopped pecans and melted butter until well combined. Press the dough into ungreased 9x9x2 pan. Bake shortbread crust for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow crust to cool on a wire rack for approximately 10 minutes.
03 Using a stainless-steel bowl over a pot of simmering water, melt 6 ounces of semi- sweet chocolate and allow to cool.
04In the bowl of your stand mixer, whip the cream cheese and mascarpone cheese until smooth and creamy, approximately 5-7 minutes. Add the sugar and whip until blended. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing in between each addition, to make sure each egg is fully incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and cooled melted chocolate, blending until all of the chocolate is completely mixed into the cheese mixture.
05Pour batter into prepared crust. Place pan into preheated oven on center rack and bake for 20-25 minutes or until cheesecake is cooked and not loose in the center. Allow to cool on wire rack for 20 minutes.
06In a stainless- steel bowl over a pot of simmering water, melt chocolate and mix in cream until smooth and glossy to make ganache. Pour over the top of cooked cheesecake, spreading evenly with an offset spatula. Allow cheesecake to cool for at least 4 hours to overnight.
07If adding pecans as a topping, sprinkle the pecans on top of the ganache before chilling. Cut cheesecake into squares and serve!

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