Friday, November 16, 2012

Pumpkin Cheesecake Crumble Bars {Foodie Friday}

You know why fall is my favorite season, right? It’s because I get to make all the pumpkin goodies I want.
I am ashamed to say that I didn’t like pumpkin until I was somewhere in the teenager range. My sister always wanted a pumpkin pie for her birthday in October, because she didn’t care much for cake. I always thought that was crazy. I still prefer chocolate over pumpkin, but you can have chocolate all year long. Pumpkin, well it’s generally only socially acceptable for about 2 or 3 months.
I don’t own a cheesecake pan, so this is about as close to pumpkin cheesecake. And even if you do have a cheesecake pan, you should still make this. MMmm good..

Pumpkin Cheesecake Crumble Bars

*Makes 16 squares

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled butter, diced
1 cup pecan halves (about 4 ounces)
3/4 cup old-fashioned or quick rolled oats
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese (light or regular), room temperature
1 1/2 cups canned pure pumpkin (a little less than a full 15-ounce can)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger


2 cups sour cream
4 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly coat a 9X13-inch metal baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside. Blend the flour, brown sugar, salt, and butter by pulsing (in a blender or food processor) until the texture is like coarse meal. Add the pecans and pulse until the nuts are chipped. Add the oats, and again pulse until the mixture is moistened by not clumping. Press about 3 cups of the crumbs onto the bottom of the prepared 9X13-inch pan. Transfer the remaining crumbs to the lined baking sheet. Bake the crumbs until golden, stirring once, about 8-10 minutes. Cool crumbs. While they cool, bake the crust until golden, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside while preparing filling. Keep the oven turned on.

For filling, blend all the ingredients in the same blender or food processor (no need to clean it in between) until smooth. Spread the filling over the warm crust and bake until it is slightly firm to the touch and the edges are just slightly risen, about 18-20 minutes. Keep that oven on!
For the topping, whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl. Spread the topping evenly over the hot, baked filling. Bake until the topping sets and bubbles at the edges, about 5-7 minutes. Cool the bars completely in the pan set on a cooling rack. Once cooled, sprinkle the golden crumbs over the topping and gently press them into the topping. Cover the bars and chill until cold, about 2 hours. Cut into squares and serve.

Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

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