Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

It's that time of year again; where we all come together around a table and a turkey and give thanks. I've always loved thanksgiving; family, food, not to mention the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade! It's a time to reflect on all the many wonderful things we have to be thankful for. And I would just like to take this moment to express my thanks for three amazing blessings that I just do not feel worthy of: pumpkin, chocolate, and cheesecake...for without which I would've never been able to bake these lovely Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars! :) And seeing as how fall tends to revolve around the almighty pumpkin, if you're tired of the usual pumpkin pie, these bars are a delish alternative! Happy Thanksgiving! :)

Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars -
(Recipe found & photo found @ hostessblog.com)

pumpkin cheesecakebars 


(This is a photo of mine. It come out pretty close to the one above. I wanted to take a picture of an individual slice but didn’t get the chance… they were gone so fast. But I guess that’s a good sign!)

It's just not fall without a lovely pumpkiny dessert! And it's just not a special occasion without a cheesecake (or at least that's my philosophy anyway). But you put the two together along with my favorite ingredient, chocolate, and it creates an amazing seasonal combo! I made these Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars for a family get together on Saturday and let's just say by Saturday night, they were pretty much gone. I was a little nervous seeing as how it's a new recipe but they turned out so delish! A crumbly and buttery graham cracker crust, a thick layer of chocolate cheesecake, rich and creamy pumpkin cheesecake filling, and a velvety sour cream topping. Add a sprinkling of pumpkin pie spice and chocolate shavings on top, and you have a perfect fall dessert! If you're not yet tired of pumpkin everything, give these bars a shot!

1-1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter

2 8-ounce pkg. cream cheese softened
1-3/4 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt

6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, cut up, or 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate pieces
2 tbsp.

1-1.4 cups sour cream
1/4 cup sugar

Garnish : pinch of pumpkin pie spice & chocolate curls or chocolate shavings

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and 1/4 cup sugar. Stir in the 1/3 cup melted butter. Press mixture evenly into bottom of the prepared baking pan; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and the 1-3/4 cups sugar. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Beat in pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, and salt on low speed just until combined. Remove 1-1/4 cups of the mixture.

In a heavy saucepan, combine the 6 ounces chocolate and the tbsp. butter. Cook and stir over low heat until melted. Whisk chocolate mixture into the 1-1/4 cups of pumpkin mixture. Pour over crust, spreading evenly. Bake for 15 minutes.

Carefully pour the remaining pumpkin mixture over baked chocolate layer, spreading evenly. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes more or until filling and center is set. Cool on wire rack for 30 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine sour cream and 1/4 cup sugar. Gently spread over bars. Cool completely. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours. Cut into bars.  Before serving, sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice or nutmeg and/or chocolate curls. Makes 24 to 36 bars.

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