Monday, January 31, 2011

Chocolate-Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

I receive a lot of daily emails - some with retail sales, some with recipes, some with house listings back home (hey, I can dream!). This recipe came in a Martha Stewart daily email around Thanksgiving. Now, I usually hesitate when I'm excited by a Martha idea (usually the crafts) because they're often more involved/difficult than I anticipated. This one, however, really is simple. Just make sure you remember to leave enough time for the bars to chill in the refrigerator!

Makes 16 bars
Prep time: 25 minutes
Total time: 5 hours

Ingredients for the Crust:

  • 20 "chocolate wafer cookies" (*We LOVE Oreos!)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Ingredients for the Filling:
  • 2 packages bar cream cheese, (8 oz. each)
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 C canned solid-pack pumpkin puree
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp pumpkin-pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350. 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 C 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 microwave-safe bowl; microwave in 30-second increments, stirring between each, until melted. Add 1 C 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 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.

    Et voila!

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