1. Food

Best-Ever Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

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These amazingly delicious bars combine the spicy flavors of a pumpkin pie, the creamy richness of a cheesecake, and a tangy topping of sweetened sour cream. You may want to make a double batch of these, as they will disappear quickly! The cheesecake bars are best made a day ahead, so they'll have time to chill and firm up before serving.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Yield: Makes 12 bars

Ingredients:

  • Nut Crust
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup chopped walnut (about 4 ounces)

  • Pumpkin Filling
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkinpuree
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • Sour Cream Topping
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation:

1. To make the crust: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan.

2. Combine the flour, brown sugar, salt and butter in a food processor and pulse on/off until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the walnuts and process briefly until blended and chopped.

3. Press the crust mixture into bottom of prepared pan. Bake the crust until golden, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven while preparing filling.

4. To make the filling: Wipe out the food processor bowl, put the cream cheese into it and process until smooth. Add the sugar, pumpkin puree, eggs, flour, pumpkin-pie spice, and salt, and process until the mixture is blended and almost smooth.

5. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the prepared pan. Bake until the cheesecake is set but jiggles slightly in the center, 40 to 50 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, make the topping. In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, sugar and vanilla and mix until blended and smooth.

7. Remove the cheesecake bars from the oven. Spread the sour cream topping over the surface, and then bake for 5 minutes more, or until topping begins to bubble.

8. Cool the cheesecake bars in the pan set on a wire rack. Cover and chill until firm, at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days. When ready to serve, cut the cheesecake into bars using a knife dipped in hot water.

Recipe Notes

•To freeze the cheesecake bars, remove from the pan, place on a tray, and freeze until firm. Wrap in plastic, then foil and freeze up to 3 months. Thaw in the wrapping in the refrigerator.
• To prevent the cheesecake from cracking as it cools, run a thin knife around the edge of the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven.
• Dip a knife in warm water and wipe dry before slicing each piece.
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