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      Mary Anne's Mini Cheesecake Squares With Raspberry Topping

      Don't have time to bake a cheesecake, but you still want the taste of that delicious dessert? These mini cheesecake squares are super easy, taste oh-so-yummy, and they don't take all that long to make! Perfect for after-school treats, ladies' luncheons or even picnics!

      Crust:

      1 cup all-purpose flour

      1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

      1 1/2 - 2 cups finely chopped pecans, toasted first

      1 stick unsalted butter, melted

      Dash nutmeg

      Zest of 1 lemon and/or lime

      Filling:

      2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened, not light or reduced fat

      1 cup granulated sugar

      3 large eggs, room temperature

      1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

      1 teaspoon lemon juice

      Zest of 1 lime and lemon, for topping

      Raspberry Sauce, optional

      • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place chopped pecans on cookie sheet and toast for approximately 5-10 minutes until browned. Note: Watch closely to make sure pecans do not burn.
      • In a medium size bowl combine flour, brown sugar, pecans, butter, nutmeg and zest. Press
        dough into 13x9x 2-inch pan sprayed lightly with Pam. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly
        browned. Remove when done.
      • In your mixer's bowl beat cream cheese and granulated sugar until smooth. Add eggs, extract and zest and beat well. Pour over crust. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove and sprinkle lemon and lime zest on top of cheesecake squares. Cool completely. Cut into squares before serving on a plate. Top with a dollop of Raspberry Sauce, if using. Makes about 2 dozen cheesecake squares.

      Raspberry Sauce:

      1 half-pint fresh raspberries, rinsed thoroughly

      1/2 cup sugar

      1 cup seedless raspberry jam (12 ounces)

      1 Tablespoon Chambord or Crème de Framboise raspberry liqueur, optional

      • Combine the raspberries, sugar, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 4 minutes. Pour the cooked raspberries, jam, and framboise into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until very smooth. Chill. Makes 2 cups.
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