White Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

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While spending time with your family and enjoying a traditional home cooked meal are all perks of Thanksgiving, many of us give extra thanks for the desserts that come after! Pies, cakes, cookies, and even cheesecake often crowd the table after the dinner dishes have been removed. The challenge with Thanksgiving desserts is deciding which one to go with.


Sure, you can sample small pieces of different pies, but why not offer your family and friends a smaller-sized dessert that they can enjoy with other the other confectionary wonders? These White Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars are the perfect fit for a dessert if you and your family enjoy “sampling” all of the goodies on the table. Pumpkin and cheesecake combine along with smooth and sweet white chocolate chips, which offer a twist on the standard pumpkin cheesecake.

Plus, if you have to divide your time amongst more than one relative’s house, these bars are perfect to enjoy on the go!

Ingredients:
Crust
1 cup of graham cracker crumbs (roughly 10 sheets)
2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
2 tablespoons of butter (for melting)

Cheesecake Filling
12 ounces cream cheese (1 1/2 bricks of cream cheese)
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 cup white chocolate chips

Directions:
1) Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9-inch square backing pan with either cooking spray or butter and set aside.
2) Crush the graham crackers into crumbs (can be easily done with the chopping blade in the food processor).
3) Prepare the crust. Mix graham cracker crumbs with sugar in a small bowl and then add the melted butter. Stir until fully moistened.
4) Using your hands, press the graham cracker mixture into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, or until set. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
5) Make the filling. In a large bowl beat the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, and flour together until smooth. Be careful not to over mix, as this brings in too much air to the batter and can cause cracking as it bakes.
6) Add the egg to the mixture and beat on low. Add the pumpkin, brown sugar, and cinnamon to create the pumpkin cheesecake filling.
7) Mix in (by hand) the white chocolate chips until evenly distributed.
8) Pour the batter into the pan with the cooled crust and bake at 325 for 20 to 25 minutes, or when the center is mostly set.
9) Cool for an hour on a wire rack and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours (best if done overnight).
10) Cut the chilled cheesecake into squares and enjoy!

Adapted from a recipe by Alida’s Kitchen

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