Jelly and cheese in a dessert bar may sound like a strange combination, but the combination of salty, savoury cheese, sweet fruity jelly and crumbly, crunchy pecan shortbread crust works perfectly together. Don't be thrown off by the cheese because it tastes amazing once you put it all together! As a kid I remember having Cheez Whiz and jam or jelly together on toast, and if you've never tried it I highly recommend it! My family has made this recipe around Christmas for as long as I can remember, and we usually use my grandma's homemade crabapple jelly. If you don't happen to have any crabapple jelly then you can definitely substitute it with a strawberry or raspberry jelly or jam instead!
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup white sugar
1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup crabapple jelly
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8" or 9x9" baking pan with butter or non-stick cooking spray, or line with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth with an electric mixer. Add in the flour, cheese, and pecans and continue to mix until it is crumbly. Press half of the crust mixture into the prepared pan in an even layer. Spread the jelly over the crust and then crumble the remaining crust mixture over the top.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares. Store in an airtight container or freeze for longer storage.
*Recipe from Karen McMillan