Viennese Pecan Bars

Kathy Neufarth, Director of Consumer Affairs, received this recipe from a good friend while they were in Europe. The rich cream cheese crust is accented with chocolate and crisp pecans. These cookie bars may be made ahead of time and frozen, if desired.

Cream Cheese Pastry:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
(1) 3-oz pkg cream cheese
1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
2 eggs
1tsp instant coffee, dissolved in 1 tsp water
1 1/2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped

Cream Cheese Pastry: Beat butter, cream cheese, and sugar together until blended. Gradually add flour.

Baking Procedure: Prepare cream cheese pastry; pat evenly over bottom of buttered 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Sprinkle 1 cup pecans over the pastry (save 1/2 cup for top of bar); add the chips.

Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat together butter, sugar, eggs, and the dissolved coffee until well combined; add the flour mixture. Spoon it over the chocolate chips and pecans, and spread gently to cover. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup pecans.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake bars 30 minutes or until firm on top and lightly browned at the edges. Cut into 1½-inch bars.

Makes 36 servings

Allergy Warning: Contains MilkContains EggsContains WheatContains Other Nuts

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