Monday already? Don’t you hate that the weekend always seems to slip by you and the work week always seems never ending? I had a really lovely, relaxing weekend, so I guess I can’t really complain. I spent my Saturday afternoon at the state fair and it was definitely an experience. The fair was packed of cows, horse shows, and even tractor pulls … things that aren’t your everyday life here in Connecticut. But, that’s what made it unique and so much fun! After spending my day embracing the farming life style, and after sampling countless amounts of award winning pumpkin goodies, I couldn’t wait to get back home to whip up a batch of pumpkin cheesecake bars. The pumpkin flavor in this dessert is subtle and certainly is not over powering, but enough flavor for me to get my pumpkin fix. With the creamy texture and spicy kick from the gingerbread crust, these bars can easily replace a pumpkin pie during the holidays. Yum!
2 cups finely crushed gingersnaps (about 30 cookies)
1/4 cup salted butter, melted
1/3 cup canned pumpkin
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
-Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly grease a 13×9 inch pan.
-Combine crushed gingersnaps and melted butter in a small bowl. Press mixture into bottom of the prepared baking pan. Even out with the flat bottom of a glass, if needed.
-Bake the crust for 10 minutes or until crust is firm. Set aside to cool.
-While the crust is cooling, stir together pumpkin, flour, and pumpkin pie spice in a medium bowl.
-In a large mixer bowl, beat cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth. Add sugar and vanilla, and beat until combined. Add eggs one at a time, beating to incorporate completely after each addition.
-Stir 1 ½ cups of the cream cheese batter into the pumpkin mixture until smooth. Pour the remaining cream cheese batter over cooled crust.
-Spoon the pumpkin batter over top of cream cheese batter and using a butter knife, gently spread evenly over the cheesecake mixture.
-Bake for 25-30 minutes or until center is set. Cool at room temperature for about an hour, then chill in the refrigerator before cutting into bars.
PS – Unfortunately, I haven’t charged my dslr camera in quite some time (silly me!) but I was able to take a quick snap shot of my cheesecake bars (hence the not so lovely picture above) with my phone, so all photos via Craving Chronicles.)