Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars


I couldn't wait any longer! My pumpkin desire was burning inside of me until I just couldn't take it anymore! Fall is my most favorite time of the year, hands down. New York in the fall is absolutely gorgeous. I love the leaves, the colors, the brisk cool air, anything involving a scarf and most importantly all the wonderful flavors to be incorporated in cooking/baking. I love the tastes of pumpkin and all the amazing spices that go along with the season of Fall including cinnamon, cardamon, all-spice, nutmeg, etc. Ever since August hit, I knew Fall was right around the corner and promised myself that on the first day of Fall my seasonal baking will begin. However, clearly I couldn't wait another week so I began my Fall baking last night with these bars. I got the recipe from the Martha Stewart website and boy were these good. They baked beautifully and had a wonderful consistency made up of cream cheese, pumpkin, some spices and chocolate. Although I would have preferred a stronger pumpkin taste in these bars, they were a great starting point to build on for the season! I would highly recommend making these as everyone at work thus far has loved them!


INGREDIENTS

Makes 16.

  • FOR THE CRUST
  • 20 chocolate wafer cookies, (half a 9-ounce package) *I used chocolate Teddy Grahams*
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • FOR THE FILLING
  • 2 packages bar cream cheese, (8 ounces each)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin puree
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice *I also added 1 teaspoon of Nutmeg*
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. Set aside.
  2. In a food processor, blend cookies with sugar until finely ground (you should have about 1 cup crumbs); add butter, and pulse until moistened.
  3. Transfer crumb mixture to prepared pan, and press gently into bottom. Bake until fragrant and slightly firm, 12 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  4. Place cream cheese in food processor; blend until smooth. Add sugar, pumpkin puree, eggs, flour, pumpkin-pie spice, and salt; process until combined. Set aside.
  5. Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave in 30-second increments, stirring between each, until melted. Add 1 cup pumpkin mixture; stir to combine. Set aside.
  6. Pour remaining pumpkin mixture into prepared pan. Drop dollops of chocolate mixture onto pumpkin mixture; swirl. Bake until cheesecake is set but jiggles slightly when gently shaken, 40 to 50 minutes.
  7. Cool in pan. Cover; chill until firm, at least 2 hours (and up to 2 days). Using overhang, transfer cake to work surface. With a knife dipped in water, cut into 16 squares. Serve.

4 comments:

Jess said...

These look amazing...I'm getting that fall pumpkin urge too!

Erin said...

These look great! I baked with pumpkin this past weekend and it was so much fun!

vibi said...

That's an amazing picture! ...and what a great "ouverture" for the return of fall recipes!
Bet'ya the mix of pumkin and chocolate is great!

Megan said...

How funny, even though it's 98 degrees here, I simply had to bake something fall-ish!! I made Pumpkin Spice Bars and it tasted just like fall!!