Thursday, November 27, 2014

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
Happy Thanksgiving, and early Christmas all baked into one!  This delectable dessert brings together my favorites from both holidays (pumpkin and gingerbread) into one taste of heaven. Not too sweet, and full of flavor, this dessert was so good that the large pan of them were eaten by my small family of four within a couple of days.  I actually put half of them into the freezer, only to take them out two days later for breakfast. I found a recipe like this online, but used whole wheat flour, cut the sugar in half and replaced the cool whip with organic whipped cream and a touch of sugar. They do take a little more work than most of the desserts I throw together, but this one is worth the extra effort.  So even if you don't have time today to make something extra for the big feast, this sweet treat will be in season for at least another month, if not all winter!  Happy Holidays everyone!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

For the crust:
2 C. organic whole wheat pastry flour
2 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 C. (packed) brown sugar
3/4 C. organic unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large organic egg
1/4 C. molasses
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

For the cheesecake layer:
1 pkg.  (8 oz.) organic cream cheese, softened
1 C.  canned pumpkin
1/2 C. organic white sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 C. freshly whipped organic cream *

In a small bowl, combine the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt. Using an electric mixer, beat the brown sugar and butter in large bowl until fluffy. Add in the egg, molasses and vanilla and beat until well blended. Add in the flour mixture and mix just until combined. Press the dough into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan and bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool. Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese, pumpkin, sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg with an electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Gently stir in the whipped cream. When the crust has cooled off, spoon the cream cheese mixture into crust and smooth it out. Refrigerate for 3 hours, or overnight, before serving and keep stored in the refrigerator.

making the dough

ready to add flour

finished dough

ready to bake

hot from the oven

pumpkin and cream cheese

ready to fold in the whipped cream

ready to spread on the cheesecake layer

ready for the fridge


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