Recipe: Chocolate-Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

11.22.2012


This recipe was quite an intimidating one if I'm honest... cheesecake with a special crust... mixing chocolate and pumpkin flavors... and the swirls! I think if I had thought about it too long, I might have passed on to a more sensible sweet. But luckily that day I happened to be wearing my big girl pants (trousers) and just scribbled down ingredients and that was that. The outcome, it was a little bit tricky and I have got to start reading recipes before I start making the dish... I didn't realize how many parts there were and how much cooling time was required. My guests that night had slightly warm and gooey bars. After refrigerating the remains overnight, the rest were easy cut into bars and perfect to hand out at work. Actually when I first mentioned what they were, all the Brits curiously asked about them but none were daring enough try them. All it took was four o'clock tea and biscuits time to roll around... being out of biscuits (score for me and my pumpkin bars!)... and J, the first desperate Brit to dive in and report that actually, um they were amazing! Then the rest of the Brits flocked on over and that was how I (the little American obsessed with pumpkin) introduced a new and exciting flavor to the Brits. You are welcome guys! I've promised them some more pumpkiny treats and they are very excited!

 Martha Stewart Recipe, makes 16 bars

Ingredients
for crust
  • 9 oz. chocolate wafer cookies (I used Oreos!)
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted melted butter
for filling
  • 16 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 oz. semisweet chocolate chopped up
Directions
  • Preheat your oven to 350 F (176 C)
  • Fully line an 8" square baking pan with aluminum foil, allowing for an over hang on all sides... you'll see why later.
  • You need finely ground cookie crumbs which you may use a food processor to achieve. I don't have one... I improvised. Brake cookies by hand, place them in a zip-lock baggy, wrap with a dish towel, and hammer those suckers into crumbs... I kid you not, works like a charm!
  • Combine your cookie crumbs with the sugar and butter until moistened. For this I used a hand held mixer.
  • Place crumb mixture into your foiled lined pan, pressing down softly to cover the entire bottom with a thin and even layer. Bake for 15 min. or until firm. Set aside to cool.
  • Blend cream cheese until smooth, I again used my handheld for this. Add sugar, pumpkin, eggs, flour, pumpkin pie spice, salt and mix well. Set aside.
  •  Microwave your chopped up chocolate pieces in bowl for 30 second increments, stirring in-between, until melted. Add 1 cup of pumpkin mixture and mix well. Set aside.
  • Pour your remaining pumpkin mixture into the crust lined pan. Drop dollops of chocolate mixture into the pumpkin mixture and swirl around. I was skeptical about this, and although mine didn't come out quite as pretty as Martha's it still turned quite nice I think.
  • Bake for 45-50 minute or until cheesecake is set and jiggles slightly.
  • Once baked, let pan cool for a few hours on a counter top. I waited about 3 hours before covering and transferring to the refrigerator for another 6 hours. The original recipe doesn't ask for that much time but I found mine was still falling slightly apart by their recommended times so I left a bit longer. I think general rule is allow for as much cooling and chilling time as possible.
  • When finally ready, use the overhanging foil (there it is!) to transfer your cake to a counter top. Use a knife dipped in water to cut cake into 16 squares. Of course try one right away!
Check out some other amazing pumpkin based recipes on the Pumpkin Series!

***Today I am thankful for this recipe actually, I'm not a huge sweets fan and this was the perfect balance of sweet and bitter from the chocolate***

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