Here’s the thing – I keep trying to like pecan pie, but I don’t think I can do it. I’ve made a handful of spinoffs of pecan pie and even though I think they are all quite delicious, they still gross me out a bit. Does that even make sense? Probably not. I don’t know what it is. I know that doesn’t quite sell the recipe I’m currently proposing to you, but I gotta be honest with you. This is an honest relationship we have. Did I eat one of these bars and think it was tasty? Duh. Did I wish it was pumpkin pie cheesecake instead? Duh. I would pick pumpkin pie over pecan for 100 more lifetimes after this one…whatever that means. Pumpkin pie is my boo. Pecan pie, you’re just the friend I had in high school and never talk to anymore. You have a purpose, but I’m just not quite sure what it is.
It’s currently 4:20 am here in Cabo and I’m awake. Why, you (probably don’t) ask? Because I reluctantly said yes to going on a fishing boat and now I’m having major regrets. My husband and I are here in Mexico with our amazing neighbors, having a lovely little vacation. We raced around on razors, we got massages while our husbands golfed, and then they all decided fishing was a good idea. They decided that waking up at 4:30am on vacation, to flop around on a boat for 5 hours, was a good idea. I told my husband earlier in the week that I didn’t want to go and he was supportive of that decision, but he somehow guilt-tripped me into thinking I should go a couple days later. And since I try to be a supportive wife that does things outside of my comfort zone, here we are. At 4:30am. On a Thursday. On vacation.
Here’s the thing I’ve figured out in the short 4 years we’ve been married – my husband tends to get bamboozled while traveling. He got us into a timeshare that I pretty much despise around this time last year while in Mexico. And then when we were in Bali in August, he booked us on a “luxury” boat ride to a little island…the boat smelled like vomit, boiled eggs, and gasoline. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times…while now you’re just an idiot, Juli. I fear today will be the third time getting bamboozled while traveling. I’ve heard some not-so-fun stories about being on fishing boats in Mexico. I’m trying to be more of an optimist since I’ve already mastered being a pessimist, but I don’t know, guys. This could be it for our marriage. We are one sketchy bamboozled boat ride from this marriage going up in flames.
I’m kidding. My husband is the best and I need to learn to calm TF down and go with the flow more, even if that means I’m forced to get up early on vacation. I’ve already woke up most days around 6am, so what’s an hour and a half earlier, right? I think my early morning attitude today stems from the fact that I found a scorpion in our shower last night. So when we went to bed, it’s all I could think about. My husband would move his feet and I would quickly jump to the mindset that I was about to get stung by the scorpion’s little tail and quickly die in my sleep. I guess that’s not a terrible way to go and then I wouldn’t have to go fishing this morning, but the time just didn’t feel right to me. As I reread through this post, I think it’s pretty obvious how early it is here. I’m losing my mind. But I must go now. Please remember me if this turns out to be my last blog post.
Pecan Pie Cheesecake
1 hour 45 minutes
10 hours 5 minutes
For the crust
- 1 package of Simple Mills Crunchy Pecan Cookies
- 3 tablespoons ghee
For the cheesecake layer
- 16 ounces almond milk cream cheese*, softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup maple sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
For pecan topping
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons ghee
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup roughly chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8×8 glass baking dish with parchment paper and spray with coconut oil spray.
- Add cookies to a food processor and pulse to break down. Then add ghee and pulse to combined until a crumbly mixture is created. Place crumbled mixture in the baking dish and press down until evenly throughout the entire dish.
- Add softened cream cheese to a food processor and pulse the cream cheese until smooth. Then add sugar, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and pulse to combined for 1 minute. Lastly, add eggs and blend, scraping down the sides until completely smooth. Fold in pecans.
- Pour cheesecake mixture over crust and smooth throughout. Place in oven to bake for 20 minutes until the cheesecake has only slightly cooked through. While the cheesecake is baking for 20 minutes, place coconut sugar, maple syrup, molasses, vanilla extract, ghee, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk together until sugar has dissolved and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and let slightly cool for about 5 minutes. While continuously whisking, add in an egg and beat until combined, then repeat with the other egg. Fold in pecans. When the cheesecake has cooked for 20 minutes, pour the pecan mixture on top of the cheesecake. Place back in the oven to bake for another 25 minutes.
- After the 25 minutes, turn off the oven, crack the oven door open, and let the cheesecake rest for 1 hour in the oven. After an hour, remove cheesecake from oven, let cool completely then place in the fridge overnight until set.
- Cut into 16 squares before serving!
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