Pumpkin cheesecake squares
Creamy dessert bars with streusel topping are perfect for fall and oh-so-pumpkiny.
Right around mid-October a strange bug hits the stores – I call it the pumpkin bug. We’ll start seeing pumpkin flavored everything – pumpkin lattes, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin muffins, you name it, they’ve got it. So why not pumpkin cheesecake squares?
And we'll admit, we've been bitten. We've cut down on the fat by using Earth Balance spread instead of butter and reduced-fat cream cheese, but that doesn’t take away from the divine taste of these squares – one bite and you’re sure to catch that bug, too. Enjoy!
- 1 cup flour
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup Earth Balance or unsalted butter
- 1 cup pecans
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1 8-ounce package Neufchatel or reduced-fat cream cheese
- 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg or ginger
- 1 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg or 1 teaspoon vanilla
Crust and streusel:
Preheat oven to 350° F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray an 8” square pan with non-stick spray.
In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, salt and butter and pulse until coarse crumbs form. Add pecans, and continue pulsing. Add oats, pulse briefly until just incorporated.
Pour 3/4¾ of the crumbs into the 8” pan. Pour remaining crumbs onto baking sheet and spread apart. Bake 10-12 minutes or until just turning golden. Remove from oven.
Pour remaining crumbs into 8” pan and press down firmly. Bake 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine cream cheese, pumpkin, egg, cinnamon and nutmeg in food processor. Process until smooth, scraping sides of the bowl as needed.
Pour over hot crust, and bake 20 minutes.
Remove from oven, and spread topping over warm top. Bake an additional 7-9 minutes, or until topping is set.
Cool, and then sprinkle pre-baked crumbs over the top. Press down lightly to stick. Refrigerate for several hours, and then cut into squares and serve chilled.