Does anyone else feel like they have so many fall recipes that they want to try, but there simply isn't enough time?! I have felt this way for several years, and have an ongoing list that I just roll-over to the next year. I am really trying to make an effort to enjoy this fall to the fullest and squeeze in as much baking as I can, especially because I'm told I'll have a lot less free time in a couple months :-)
This recipe is one that I found on MarthaStewart.com, perhaps last year? I had it saved, and it jumped out at me as I was looking through my recipes. I really love the combination of pumpkin and chocolate (most notably in the Pumpkin-Chocolate Tart), and adding in cheesecake (like the mini-pumpkin cheesecakes) just made it sound even more appealing.
I really cannot gush over these as much as they deserve - they are fantastic! I knew I would like them, but I didn't expect this much. These bars consist of a basic chocolate cookie crust, topped with pumpkin cheesecake, and a portion of the cheesecake mixture is combined with melted chocolate and then swirled in to create pockets of pumpkin-spiced chocolate cheesecake! The cheesecake is perfectly creamy and the chocolate adds a nice touch but isn't overpowering. If you love pumpkin, chocolate, and cheesecake as much as I do, you are sure to love these!
Chocolate-Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
For The Crust:
20 chocolate wafer cookies (half a 9-ounce package) (I used 4.5 ounces of chocolate animal crackers/cookies)
2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For The Filling:
2 8-ounces packages cream cheese (I used light cream cheese)
1 cup sugar
1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin puree
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (I used chocolate chips)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. Set aside.
2. In a food processor, blend cookies with sugar until finely ground (you should have about 1 cup crumbs); add butter, and pulse until moistened.
3. Transfer crumb mixture to prepared pan, and press gently into bottom. Bake until fragrant and slightly firm, 12 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
4. Place cream cheese in food processor or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; blend until smooth. Add sugar, pumpkin puree, eggs, flour, pumpkin-pie spice, and salt; process until combined. Set aside.
5. Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave in 30-second increments, stirring between each, until melted. Add 1 cup pumpkin mixture; stir to combine. Set aside.
6. Pour remaining pumpkin mixture into prepared pan. Drop dollops of chocolate mixture onto pumpkin mixture; swirl by dragging paring knife through the chocolate and pumpkin several times to create marbled pattern. Bake until cheesecake is set but jiggles slightly when gently shaken, 40 to 50 minutes.
7. Cool in pan. Cover; chill until firm, at least 2 hours (and up to 2 days). Using overhang, transfer cake to work surface. With a knife dipped in water, cut into 16 squares. Serve.
Source: Adapted from MarthaStewart.com