Gooey chocolate pecan meringue shortbread bars

Gooey Chocolate Pecan Meringue Shortbread Bars. (Courtesy of Gay Lea)

Gooey Chocolate Pecan Meringue Shortbread Bars. (Courtesy of Gay Lea)

Rita DeMontis, National Food Editor, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:25 PM ET

Gooey Chocolate Pecan Meringue Shortbread Bars

Easy to make and oh, so yummy! These simple bars will become a holiday favourite.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup (175ml) pecan halves
  • 1 3/4 cups (500ml) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups (375ml) lightly packed dark brown sugar, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. (2ml) salt
  • 1 cup (250ml) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 1/4 cups (300ml) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup (150ml) Naturegg Simply Egg Whites, well shaken
  • 1 tsp. (5ml) vanilla extract

Directions:

Base: Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Press dough into prepared pan. Bake, on lowest rack, for 20 minutes or until golden. Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over crust. Beat egg whites with vanilla on high speed until medium-stiff peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining brown sugar until uniformly combined and shiny. Spread evenly over chocolate chips. Bake, on lowest rack, for 20 minutes or until golden and set. Cool completely before slicing. Store bars at room temperature for up to 1 day or in the freezer in an airtight container for up to 1 month. Serve at room temperature.

Makes 36 bars.

Perfect Slices: Use foil to lift dessert onto a cutting board. Use a large chef's knife and wipe between slices with a warm, wet kitchen towel.

Chocolate Candy Cane Cheesecake

Chocolate and peppermint are a timeless pairing that will make this delicious cheesecake a holiday favourite. The base is shortbread personified!

Ingredients:

Base:

  • 3/4 cup (175ml) softened unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups (300ml) all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (75ml) unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp. (2ml) salt

Filling:

  • 1 pkg. (250ml) plain brick-style cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup (250ml) 18% sour cream
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. (2ml) peppermint extract
  • 2 eggs

Glaze:

  • 3/4 cup (175ml) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 Tbsp. (45ml) corn syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. (30ml) unsalted butter
  • Crushed candy canes (optional)

Directions:

Base: Preheat oven to 325F (160C). Grease a 9-inch (25 cm) springform pan lightly. Beat butter with sugar until fluffy. Stir flour with cocoa and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix until dough comes together. Press dough into bottom of prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes.

Filling: Beat cream cheese with sour cream, sugar and extract until very smooth. With mixer on low, mix in eggs, just until combined. Pour over prepared crust. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until just jiggly in centre. Run a thin knife around the edge cake. Cool to room temperature.

Glaze: In a small bowl set over simmering water, melt chocolate chips with corn syrup and butter until smooth. Spread evenly over cooled cheesecake. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes (if using). Chill for at least 4 hours before removing ring and slicing into wedges.

Makes 10 servings.

Tips:

  1. Perfect Slices: Use the foil to lift the dessert onto a cutting board. Use a large chef's knife and wipe between slices with a warm, wet kitchen towel.
  2. Cheesecake Bars: To make smaller cheesecake bars, bake in a 9-inch (23cm) baking pan instead of a springform pan. Cut into 25 portions.

 

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