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Crispy gingersnap crust, rich chocolate cheesecake layer and a light pumpkin cheesecake filling, i.e. a delicious dessert just in time for Thanksgiving

bars on plate 5

I may have served eight (yes, 8) varieties of pick-up desserts at my Thanksgiving with Friends, but these Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars won me over as the number one pick for the evening.  That wasn’t easy because all of the desserts were decadent and delicious.  Maybe it was the combination of two of my favorite flavors, pumpkin and chocolate.  Maybe it was the surprising spice from the gingersnap cookie crust.  Maybe it was the lovely creamy texture with a perfect thin crispy crust in one bite.  Maybe it was the balance of richness and lightness that allows you to eat not just one, but four two.  Frankly, it doesn’t matter.  These are delicious and if you like the sound of any of that, you must make them.

bars on plate 2

I saw Sharon’s recipe on the Curvy Carrot about a month ago and new right away I had to make it myself.  There were a couple of modifications, but the recipe is largely based on hers.  Just like she said, they were easy but a little time consuming.  Definitely worth every minute, though!

bars on plate 4

The first thing you will need to do is make the crust

crust 1

Grind up about 25 gingersnaps in a food processor until fine

crust 2

Set cookie crumbs aside

crust 3

Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in the microwave

crust 4

Pour butter over cookie crumbs

crust 5

Add 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar

crust 6

Mix until well combined

crust 7

Pour mixture into a 9×13 pan lined with tin foil and cooking spray

crust 8

Spread mixture evenly and set aside

crust 9

Now make your cheesecake filling

ingredients

Make sure your cream cheese is softened at room temperature

filling 1

Whip it well in your mixer until creamy and lumps are gone

filling 2

Then add granulated sugar

filling 3

Combine well until light and creamy

filling 4

Beat in eggs, one at a time

filling 5

Mix in 2 tablespoons of flour

filling 7

Now add your pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla and salt

filling 8

Beat until your mixture is thick and creamy

filling 9

Now, separate 1 1/2 cups of the pumpkin cheesecake filling and set aside in a large bowl

filling 10

Measure out 6 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate

filling 11

Melt with butter over low heat

filling 12

Mixture will get very thick

filling 13

Add chocolate to pumpkin filling that you set aside

filling 14

Stir thoroughly

filling 15

Pour chocolate batter over crust and bake for 15 minutes

filling 16

Pour remaining pumpkin cheesecake filling on top

filling 17

Bake for 35-45 minutes or until edges begin to separate from foil and middle bounces slightly when touched

 

 

filling 18

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight

bars

Remove cheesecake from pan and cut into small bars

bars on plate 1

Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

Adapted from The Curvy Carrot

Makes 36 small bars

Ingredients:

Crust:

1 1/4 cups of gingersnap cookie crumbs (about 25 cookies)

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

Filling:

2 8-ounce packages light cream cheese softened at room temperature

1 3/4 cup granulated sugar

3 large eggs

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon vanilla

pinch of salt

6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees

Line a 13×9 pan with tin foil and spray with cooking spray, set aside

To make the crust, grind up about 25 gingersnaps in a food processor until fine; set cookie crumbs aside

Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in the microwave and pour over cookie crumbs

Add 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar and mix until well combined

Pour mixture into a 9×13 pan lined with tin foil and cooking spray; spread evenly using fingers to push down crust mixture and set aside

To make your cheesecake filling, whip cream cheese in mixer until creamy and lumps are gone

Add granulated sugar and combine on medium-high speed well until light and creamy

Beat in eggs, one at a time, on medium speed

Mix in flour on medium speed

Add your pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla and salt and beat until your mixture is thick and creamy

Now, separate 1 1/2 cups of the pumpkin cheesecake filling and set aside in a large bowl

Melt chocolate chips and butter in a small saucepan over low heat; mixture will get very thick

Add chocolate to the pumpkin filling that you set aside and stir thoroughly

Pour chocolate batter over crust and bake for 15 minutes

Remove from oven and pour remaining pumpkin cheesecake filling on top

Bake for 35-45 minutes or until edges begin to separate from foil and middle bounces slightly when touched

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight

Remove cheesecake from pan and cut into small bars

Notes:

I used light cream cheese because I wanted a final product that wasn’t overly rich, but regular cream cheese would work as well

I actually meant to sprinkle additional gingersnap cookie crumbs on top of the pumpkin filling before baking but forgot! I think it would add a nice touch of spice to that layer

When cutting the bars, I recommend cleaning your knife with a paper towel between slices to keep from contaminating the layers with one another

bars on plate 3

What desserts are you making for Thanksgiving?

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