Oct 12, 2012

Gingersnap Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

The other day I was at our local grocery store getting, well you guessed it, food. When what do my fall-loving eyes behold?

A whole ginormous crate full of the most beautiful gourds ever. I hardly ever buy gourds to decorate with, but I simply could not pass them by. I am not kidding you when I say they are gorgeous. I gathered several white, blue, and bright orange squash.

My sister was quite appalled that I would buy such lovely squash with only the intent of decorating. She kind of thinks squash-eating is dreamy. Still, much to her horror, I got home with my gourds and displayed them around the house...some on the mantle which is still on my blog-to-show-you list.

These gourds reminded me that I have yet to purchase pumpkins for the family. I am pretty horrible at this Halloween tradition. Cutting, gutting, and carving pumpkins is not my favorite thing to do.

Don't judge me!

However, Hubby and the Little Men really enjoy all the mess and weilding of knives. So we get them. So I guess I had better get some soon.

I prefer my pumpkin in food form.

Pumpkin carved versus pumpkin in food form...

Yup the food is going to win every time.

With that little insight into my pumpkin preferences, you will not be surprised that in that same shopping trip I passed the display of canned pumpkin and grabbed a couple of cans to add to the couple of cans I already have in my pantry.

It is Fall after all. A girl can never have too much canned pumpkin.

As I was trying to drown out the loud misbehaving of my children typical for a grocery store outing, I was day dreaming about what to do with my new canned pumpkin.

These bars were almost an instant creation in my head. I figured how could I go wrong by combining several of my favorite things into one bar. Then I simply had to put all of the wonder components together.

Streusel topping-DUUHHNN!

A gloriously Fall and utterly scrumptious treat was born. A gingersnap crust gives these bars just the right amount of crisp and chewy. Then you have a creamy pumpkin pie inspired cheesecake layer. Oh then the streusel. Well how can you go wrong topping something with an oatmeal, brown sugar, and butter crumble? You can't friends. You just can't.

Could you just die???

Well before you keel over, be sure to make yourself some of these and enjoy.

Gingersnap Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

3/4 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups flour
1 1/2 t ginger
1/2 t salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon

Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling:
1-8oz package of cream cheese, softened
1-14.5 oz canned pumpkin puree
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Streusel Topping:
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
6 Tablespoons butter, cut up 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare crust first. This is basically a ginger cookie dough that I use for my favorite gingersnap cookies. To make, first cream shortening and sugar. Then add egg and molasses. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Then slowly combine dry and wet ingredients until well combined.

Press the dough into a lightly greased 9x13 pan. Set aside.

To make the filling, combine all of the ingredients and mix until well combined. Pour over the cookie dough already pressed into the pan.

To make the streusel topping, combine all of the ingredients either in a food processor or a bowl. If you mix with a food processor, pulse until the butter is fully incorporated and you have a crumb mixer. Without a processor, wash your hands, roll up your sleeves and get in there and combine everything with your own hands.

Sprinkle the topping evenly over the filling.

Bake for 35-40 minutes. Until the center is just set. Make sure to not cook too long so that you don't over cook the crust/cookie layer.

Let cool on the counter completely.

Then refrigerate for at least two hours.

Cut up and serve. 

And...you're welcome!

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