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Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

on November 3, 2012

I only had time to carve one pumpkin, this year, so I had two left over to cook with (I think my “inner chef” planned it this way because I had every intention of making three jack-o-lanterns this year). 

I cut the two remaining pumpkins in half, scooped out the seeds (yes, I roasted them, of course) and strings, and baked them, cut side down on a foil-lined cookie sheet for about 70-90 minutes (or until fork tender).  Once they were cool, I scooped out the innards and put them through the blender (you can use a food processor).  I only needed about 2 cups for this recipe so I will freeze the rest of the pumpkin to use for something else.

It’s not often I can find one recipe that I like, start to finish…and this was no exception. I didn’t like the crust on one, the topping on another, wanted to change up some of the spices…well, you get the idea.  So, this is what I came up with…

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Crust

  • 1 pouch (appx 15 oz). Sugar Cookie Mix
  • 1/2 cup Gingersnap Cookies, crushed
  • 1/2 cup Walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Butter, cold

In a large bowl, stir in the cookie mix, cookies, and walnuts. Cut in the butter (remember the trick I told you about using a grater with frozen butter?) until the mixture is crumbly.  Reserve 1 cup of the mixture for the topping. Press the rest of the mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 13-9″ pan. Bake 10 minutes. Cool 10 minutes (before adding filling).

Filling

  • 1 (8 oz) package Cream Cheese, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 cups Pumpkin (you don’t have to use fresh but don’t use pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1-1/2 tsp. ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground Nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground Cloves
  • 3 Eggs

In a large bowl, beat the filling ingredients until well blended. Pour over the warm crust, sprinkle evenly with the remaining 1 cup of crust mixture, and bake 20-25 minutes at 350F or until the center is set (and a knife or toothpick in the center comes out clean).

Topping

At this point you can add no topping OR you can add whipped cream, or 1/3 cup of chocolate and/or caramel sauce, ice cream, or a delicious combination of all of them (or whatever else you can come up with —  your choice!).

For this photo, I used a homemade caramel sauce ( http://www.food.com/recipe/caramel-sauce-69479), but I think I’ll add a little bit of whipped cream next time…

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2 responses to “Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

  1. Pumpkin + Cheesecake = heaven on earth

  2. LB Driver says:

    I KNOW, right!?!? 🙂

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