Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

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Adapted from a recipe at tasteandtellblog.com, from Americas Favorite Food

Just the right texture and flavor.  The perfect combination of pumpkin pie and cheesecake.

Crust:
2 cups Trader Joe’s chocolate cat cookies, or gingersnaps, or shortbread cookies, or other cookie of your choice, or a combination!
2 Tablespoons ground flax seed (optional)
3 Tablespoons butter, melted

filling:
2 eight oz packages of low-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line an 8 inch baking pan with foil, extending the foil beynd the edges of the pan.  You’ll use these “handles” to remove the finished cheesecake from the pan so you can cut nice clean pieces.  Spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

Place the cookies in a food process and pulse until you have fine crumbs.  Drizzle in the melted butter, add the ground flax, if using, and pulse again until well mixed.  Pour into the prepared pan and press into the bottom of the pan with your fingers.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

Beat the cream cheese and sugar in a mixer on medium speed until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Beat in the pumpkin.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition.  Beat in the vanilla, flour, pumpkin pie spice and salt, just until combined.

Pour the cream cheese mixture over the crust.  Place the baking dish in a rimmed baking sheet.  Place in the oven.  Pour water on the baking sheet until it is nearly filled.

Bake until the cheesecake is set at the edges and barely jiggles at the center, about 45 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cool completely.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours.  If it weeps a little in the fridge, gently lay a large paper towel on the surface to absorb the water, then remove.

Store in the fridge.  To serve, pull out of the pan using the foil handles.  Using a sharp knife, cut into bars or squares.

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Published in: on November 15, 2013 at 3:57 pm  Comments (1)  
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