To prepare Caramel Pecan Dream Bars, follow this step-by-step recipe:
For the Crust:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- Pinch of salt
For the Pecan Layer:
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup caramel sauce (store-bought or homemade)
For the Cream Cheese Layer:
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9×9-inch baking dish or line it with parchment paper for easy removal.
- Prepare the Crust: a. In a medium bowl, combine the softened butter, powdered sugar, and salt. b. Gradually add the all-purpose flour and mix until the dough comes together. c. Press the dough into the bottom of the prepared baking dish to create an even layer.
- Bake the Crust: a. Place the baking dish with the crust in the preheated oven. b. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the crust turns lightly golden. Remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes.
- Prepare the Pecan Layer: a. Evenly spread the chopped pecans over the baked crust. b. Drizzle the caramel sauce over the pecans, covering the entire surface.
- Prepare the Cream Cheese Layer: a. In a separate bowl, beat the softened cream cheese until smooth and creamy. b. Add the granulated sugar, egg, and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.
- Pour the Cream Cheese Layer: a. Carefully pour the cream cheese mixture over the caramel-pecan layer in the baking dish. b. Spread it gently using a spatula to create an even layer.
- Bake the Bars: a. Return the baking dish to the oven. b. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or until the cream cheese layer is set and the edges turn golden.
- Cool and Chill: a. Once done, remove the baking dish from the oven and let it cool completely at room temperature. b. Once cooled, place it in the refrigerator for a few hours to chill and set properly.
- Cut and Serve: a. Once the Caramel Pecan Dream Bars have chilled and set, remove them from the baking dish using the parchment paper (if using) and transfer them to a cutting board. b. Cut them into squares or bars of your desired size. c. Serve and enjoy these delicious treats!
These Caramel Pecan Dream Bars are sure to be a hit with anyone who loves the combination of caramel, pecans, and cream cheese. Enjoy!