Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

The fall flavors are humming along, with Halloween here to (once again) make food a highlight of a holiday. Food is prominent in Halloween celebrations, you can make scary stuff to emulate guts and eyeballs, make cool punches with dry ice, you could even freeze blocks of ice shaped like severed body parts to keep said punch cool. I mean, we have our youth dress in costumes and walk door to door asking neighbors and strangers to put candy in a pillowcase? And why, do we do this again?

It's too soon for the heavy winter stuff to come out like chili and casseroles, but I'm sure by now you've had plenty of butternut squash soup, (thanks MB) perhaps a simple, warm pasta, maybe some late harvest roasted pears with tasty chunks of blue cheese and toasted pine nuts.

There aren't too many desserts on BLT for a reason. Cheesecake, though, is in the top 6 most-liked desserts. And this recipe is super easy, it tastes like Halloween and good times.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

1 C AP flour
1/3 C brown sugar, packed
5 TB butter, diced
1 C pecans, chopped
8 oz cream cheese
3/4 C white sugar
1/2 C canned pumpkin
2 large eggs
1 ts vanilla extract
1.5 ts cinnamon
1 ts allspice

In a bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in pecans; set aside 3/4 cup for topping. Press remaining crumb mixture into a greased 8-in. square baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. In the bowl of your stand mixer or a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar. Beat in the pumpkin, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon and allspice. Pour over crust. Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and all delicious. Cool on a wire rack, then cut into bars. Stash leftovers in the fridge.