It seems that at this time of year I find myself gravitating towards recipes full of fall fruits and spice. Now I know that pumpkin isn’t really a fruit, but for the purposes of desserts I consider it close enough. I have been experimenting with pumpkin recipes this fall, but so far haven’t had much success (the two versions of marshmallows I tried came out awful)!
Pumpkin Cheesecake Spice Bars
Crust & Topping:
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
Slightly rounded 1/8 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
5 tablespoons cold unsalted margarine
1/2 cup finely chopped, toasted pecans
8 ounces toffuti cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 lightly beaten eggs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8 inch square metal pan with non-stick foil.
In a mixing bowl or food processor, combine flour, brown sugar and salt. Add margarine and cut or pulse until mixture is very crumbly. Stir in pecans. Measure out 3/4 cup mixture for topping, then press remaining mixture into bottom of pan. Bake for 13-15 minutes. You’ll know it’s time to take it out because it will smell really good.
In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese, granulated sugar, pumpkin, cinnamon, allspice, and vanilla; Stir, do not beat, in the eggs. Pour over crust and sprinkle with reserved topping. Bake an additional 30 minutes or until top is brown.
Cool completely on a wire rack. Lift from pan by grasping foil. Lay on a cutting board and score into bars.
These may be served room temperature or chilled
Yield: 8 inch pan
With such a small amount of pecans, you might want to toast them in the microwave. Spread pecan halves on a paper towel and microwave chopped pecans for 2 minutes or until they start to shine and release their oils. Let them cool, then chop.
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