Tiz' the season of the great pumpkin and while most of us think of it in terms of pie, like any other member of the squash/gourd family, it can be used in sweet or savory dishes. We'll be show casing squash this week as a recurring theme so I thought we'd start the enjoyment with something familiar and our sweet treat of the week.
Inspired by a Rachael Ray recipe, I took the liberty of changing it up a bit by using crushed gingersnaps as the base instead of chocolate wafer crumbs. For some strange reason, chocolate wafer cookies are a little hard to find these days and I didn't want to go the Oreo route because the leftovers are too tempting. No matter though, because the spices in the cookie are synonymous with pumpkin anyway. I added more spice to the cream cheese, sugar and egg combination too along with a wee dram of bourbon...please don't be telling Big Guy I'm using his Knob Creek to cook with or he'll be locking the liquor cabinet on me. I figured he wouldn't miss 2 teaspoons of the stuff unless he's marked the bottle. Yikes...I'd better check.
Anyway, there's lots of versions of pumpkin chocolate cheesecake bars out there and while most of them place the chocolate layer next to the crust, this particular version has the chocolate combined with a portion of the cheesecake filling and swirled into the top.
I think they're pretty good, if I do say so...incredibly rich, creamy and oh so slightly decadent.
Pumpkin Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake Bars (from JBug’s Kitchen adapted from Rachael Ray)
1 cup gingersnap crumbs (approximately 10 cookies)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 – 8 ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
Dash ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons bourbon or vanilla
4 ounces dark chocolate, melted
Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8 inch square pan with aluminum foil or parchment and set aside.
Combine cookie crumbs, sugar and butter in a small bowl and mix well. Pat into bottom of pan and bake for 10 minutes or until slightly firm to the touch. Cool on a wire rack.
Meanwhile pulse cream cheese in a food processor until smooth. Add sugar and pumpkin puree and mix until very smooth. Add flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves and salt and pulse to combine then add eggs and bourbon or vanilla. Combine. Remove 1 cup of cheesecake mixture into a small bowl and combine with melted chocolate. Pour remainder of cheesecake mixture onto cooled crumb crust and top with spoonful’s of the chocolate mixture. Swirl with a knife to combine.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until set but slightly soft in the center. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature then refrigerate for at least 2 hours before slicing. Cut, wiping knife between each use.
A year ago - Sweet Potato, Beef and Black Bean Enchiladas
Two year's ago - Coq au Vin