A couple weeks ago, David and I had one of our dinner dates with Jeff & Debby. This time they were hosting the dinner, and we also invited Maren & Max. We’ve been talking about all having a dinner together since our wedding. Between six people, six jobs, and three of those people also students, it makes it very difficult to make our schedules work. With Maren requesting an earlier shift in the day, we were able to finally make it work!
We first started with a cheese plate, crackers, and meats. Jeff then served dinner which was barbequed pork chops with a sauce, a delicious simple green salad, and hasselback potatoes. I brought dessert which were these pumpkin cheesecake bars. Of course we also enjoyed endless tasty wines, but for the night I stuck to whites. First a glass of La Crema Carneros Chardonnay and Thumbprint’s white blend called Arousal. After all the cheese, dinner, and wine, we had to wait a while before we were ready for these babies.
I love baking for people so I try to always bring dessert. Dinner parties, birthdays, holidays — I like to take the responsibility! I love cheesecake, but I reallllly love making cheesecake into bars. I think they are much easier to bake. These bars were a tad different because they didn’t have a gingersnap or graham cracker crust. This was more of a shortbread crust with the addition of oatmeal and walnuts. I really liked this crust and think it set it apart from most recipes. Another selling aspect of this recipe was that it only required 1 package of cream cheese. So, minimal ingredients makes this recipe a winner in my book.
Overall it was well received and didn’t last long at all, espcially for making a 9″x13″ casserole dish size. Luckily 8 people total tried them. My mom has requested I make them for Thanksgiving, so I might forgo my infamous sweet potato pie and substitute it with these babies. They weren’t too sweet and have a very pumpkiny flavor. I highly recommend them!
Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
Recipe from Betty Crocker
1 cup old fashioned oats*
1/2 cup walnuts
1 cup flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, cold and sliced
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
1.5 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1 (16 oz) container sour cream
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9″x13″ baking dish with nonstick spray.
2. In a food processor; pulse oats and walnuts until finely chopped. Remove and place into a large bowl. Place food processor bowl back on base and add flour, brown sugar, and butter. Pulse ingredients until grainy and small clumps form. Place the mixture into the bowl with the oats/nuts and mix to combine. Press mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven.
3. While the crust is baking; prepare the filling by beating the cream cheese and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Beat in pumpkin, cinnamon, and ginger. Beat in eggs one at a time until combined. You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Pour filling into baked crust and bake for 20-25 minutes until filling is set.
4. Prepare topping by mixing all ingredients in a bowl. Top baked pumpkin cheesecake with dollops of the sour cream mixture. Carefully spread topping all over and bake for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Once cooled, place in the fridge for at least 3 hours or over night. Cut into bars and serve.
* You can use quick cooking oats and forgo pulsing the oats in the food processor. If you do this, chop up your walnuts finely, or go ahead and chop those in the food processor. Using quick cooking versus old fashioned won’t change the recipe.