Desert Lineup: Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Now, let’s say for a minute that I didn’t like brownies, cheesecake, or pumpkin pie.  Outrageous, I know.  But, if that were the case, these delectable delights would change all that.  Please meet the Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownie Bar.

 I was in search of a tasty treat to take over to my mister’s family’s house for Thanksgiving, and I happened upon these in the latest issue of Taste of Home.  They have just enough ingredients and steps to keep things interesting, and still, prep is easy and relatively quick.  My only advice is to allow for at least 20 minutes of cooling time before cutting (duh right?). You see, I’m super impatient and want to start enjoying the tasty little devils right away.  Anywho, I altered the recipe a bit, so I am going to share it with you.

1/3 cup butter cubed
1 1/2 oz, unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 Chai Tea Bag (I used Tazo Chai Tea) {The Taste of Home recipe calls for 1 Tbsp. instant coffee granules}
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups AP flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Cheesecake Batter:
1 package (8oz) reduced fat cream cheese
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 egg
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1.  In the microwave, melt butter and unsweetened chocolate in a microwave safe bowl.  Stir until smooth-cool slightly.
2.  In a large bowl, steep Chai tea in boiling water.  Stir in the pumpkin, eggs, and chocolate mixture.  Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt; gradually add the chocolate mixture.  Transfer to a 15X10X1 in. baking pan coated with cooking spray.

3.  For cheesecake batter, in a small bowl, beat cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth.  Beat in the sugar, vanilla, and spices.  Add egg; beat on low speed just until combined.  Spoon over chocolate batter.  Cut through batter with a knife to swirl the cheesecake portion.  Sprinkle with chocolate chips.

4.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean.  Cool.


Recipe by Judy Castranova

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!


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