Saturday, November 7, 2015

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Kenzie was craving the Cheesecake Factory's pumpkin cheesecake last month, and she came over with some of the ingredients for a copycat recipe.  Unfortunately I did a really bad job of poring over my pantry and telling her what I had and what I needed (I was like 16 ounces of cream cheese short), so I ended up not having everything necessary for them.  She was not happy, but I had a giant can of pumpkin that I needed to utilize.  I decided if I couldn't make a cheesecake, I could make cheesecake bars.  Close enough!

These bars have a sweet crust with chopped pecans in it, and a creamy pumpkin filling spiced with cinnamon and allspice.  More of the crust is crumbled over the top so that the pumpkin filling is just peeking out.  Your whole house will smell like Thanksgiving when you bake them.

My family made the mistake of eating these right out of the oven because they were impatient, but they all agreed afterwards that hot pumpkin bars are not a good thing.  You really do need to wait for them to cool.  Trust me, they are worth it.  Crunchy on the bottom and smooth and creamy in the middle, these bars taste like fall.  Maybe they'll be your offering to your Thanksgiving dinner?  It's coming in a couple weeks, you know.  You'd better get planning. I should probably start planning too, since I am hosting 30 people...


pumpkin cheesecake bars
from Taste of Home
makes 16 servings

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
5 tablespoons cold butter
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice


1)Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8-inch square baking pan.   In a large bowl, combine flour and brown sugar.  Cut in butter until crumbly.  Stir in pecans; set aside 3/4 cup for topping.

2) Press remaining crumb mixture pan.  Bake for 15 minutes to until edges are lightly browned.  Cool on a wire rack.

3) In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth.  Beat in the pumpkin, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon and allspice.  Pour over crust.  Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.

4) Bake for 30 - 45 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack.  Cut into bars.  Store in the refrigerator.

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