Tuesday, November 23, 2010

mmm! Pumpkin!

I just can't get enough pumpkin! I really think Fall is my favorite time of year because of pumpkin alone (although, I am mesmerized by the amazing colors of the changing leaves!). I made these bars a few weeks ago, when we hosted our small group Bible Study. They were quite yummy, I must admit. . . but can you really go wrong with pumpkin. . . and cheesecake?

Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

2.25 cups crushed gingersnap cookies
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1 stick (8 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, melted
2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 (heaping) tsp. ground cloves

Preheat the oven to 350 and lightly grease a 9×13 baking pan. In a large bowl or in your food processor (which is what I use, since I already used it to crush the gingersnaps), combine the gingersnaps, pecans, and butter. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for 10-12 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl or in your stand mixer bowl, mix the cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, and vanilla just until smooth. Mix in the eggs one at a time, blending after each addition. Set aside one cup of the mixture. To the remaining mixture, mix in the 1/4 cup sugar, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

Spread the pumpkin batter into the crust. Drop the remaining plain batter by spoonfuls onto the top. Swirl with a knife to create a marbled effect.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until filling is just set (the middle will still jiggle a little bit). Cool the bars in the pan and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours before serving (I stuck mine in the freezer for about 2 hours and then took it out a couple minutes before and it was perfect).

Happy Baking!!!!

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