Yes it’s fall and pumpkin recipes are out in full force. I’m really sorry if you are one of those people who don’t like pumpkin flavored food. What a shame. So sad. Well I may not change your mind (or your taste buds) with this recipe, but these are pretty tasty.
If you like cheesecake and pumpkin, these are the bars for you. There is a fantastic shortbread crust, with an oat and nut topping, that adds a much-needed crunch to combat the richness of the filling.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars
Slightly modified from here
(makes 32 bars)
1. There was no salt called for in the original recipe and that is blasphemous. I’m not a salt-fiend by any means, but just a little salt is crucial for you to really taste all the flavors. Especially since I use unsalted butter in my baking, it’s even more necessary to add salt. You may ask, why not use salted butter and kill two birds with one stone? Characteristically I tend to be a bit lazy when it comes to projects, and I love a good shortcut (there’s a reason my sister, Aubrey, and I call ourselves lazy painters). So, if I’m completely out of unsalted butter then I’ll use salted, and maybe only put half the recommended salt in. Ok, enough about salt!
2. I added more of the pumpkin pie spice, than originally called for, and it really needs that extra flavor. Otherwise, the cream cheese overpowers the pumpkin flavor.
3. I also like the nuts just on top of the bars (the original recipe has them mixed into the crust and topping).
Crust & Topping
1 1/3 Cup flour
¼ Cup sugar, divided
½ Cup packed brown sugar
½ tsp. salt
¾ Cup cold butter (or 12 Tbs.)
1 Cup oats (I use old-fashioned oats)
½ Cup chopped pecans or walnuts
½ Cup sugar
8 oz. cream cheese, softened (I used low-fat)
1 can pumpkin (19 oz.)
½ tsp. salt
1 ½ Tbs. pumpkin pie spice
1. Heat oven to 350° F
2. Line a 13x9 inch pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides; spray foil with cooking spray.
3. To make the crust place flour, sugar, brown sugar and cold butter in a medium sized bowl. Cut the butter with either a pastry blender, or two butter knives, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in oats.
4. Reserve 1 cup of the crust mixture. Press remaining crust mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, beat all the filling ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Pour over the partially baked crust and sprinkle reserved 1 cup topping, as well as chopped nuts, over the top.
6. Bake for 25 minutes, or until slightly brown on top. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then use the foil handles to remove from the pan. Place on a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, keep them stored in the refrigerator.