Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars

Okay. Fall is HERE. Maybe if I say it enough times, it'll become true? Even though the weather doesn't feel like it, I can still bake with the flavors of fall, right? That's what I'm trying to tell myself...because it was 90 degrees outside two days ago.
Enter these Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars--moist, spiced, great big mouthfuls of fall :) Everyone who tasted them fell in love! These came together so quickly, and I appreciated that they used ingredients that I already had in the house.

Simple fall flavors like pumpkin, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg make this dessert extra special. And who doesn't love a dessert with a cream cheese swirl?? Come on. :) I adapted the recipe from Pop Sugar.

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for greasing the pan 
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided 
  • 3 large eggs, divided 
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
Preheat the oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 casserole dish; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the butter and 1 cup sugar until smooth. Whisk in 2 eggs, pumpkin, vanilla, and 1/3 cup water until well blended. In another mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and nutmeg. Fold into the butter mixture until no streaks of flour remain. Spread batter evenly in the prepared casserole dish.
In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese, remaining egg, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar until smooth. Drop cream cheese mixture in evenly spaced 1-tablespoon dollops over the batter. Use a butter knife to swirl the batter, gently folding some of the cream cheese mixture under the pumpkin batter.
Bake until the center of pumpkin batter (not the cream cheese mixture) springs back when touched, about 30 to 32 minutes. Let cool completely in pan, and then cut into 20 bars.
 Nutrition Facts-- Servings: 20 Size: 1 square Calories: 167 • Fat:5.8 g • Carbs: 27.2 g • Fiber: .8g  Protein: 2.6 g • Sugars: 18 g

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