Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Bars.

Fall baking and cooking is now fully underway at my house.  I want to bake with apples, pears, and pumpkins.  I want to use cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves.  I want to make mashed potatoes, stuffing, and hearty soups.  I want to come in from the cool evening air to delicious homemade goodness.  But what I really need to do is slow down!  We won't be able to keep up if I continue as I'm going.  

These pumpkin swirl cheesecake bars were definitely worthy of my weekend time this weekend.  My taste-buds were delighted with the ginger snap crust and swirls of "pumpkiny" goodness. 

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake
(adapted from Philadelphia Cheesecakes & More Cookbook)

1 1/2 cups crush ginger snaps
1/2 cup pecans pieces 
1/4 cup butter (melted)
4 8-ounce packages of cream cheese (softened)
1 cup sugar (divided 3/4 & 1/4)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Combine ginger snap crumbs, pecans, and butter.  Press firmly into the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.  

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Beat cream cheese, 3/4 cup sugar, and vanilla.  Add eggs - one at a time.  Beat until well blended after each egg.  Remove 1 1/2 cups mixture and set aside.  Stir the remaining sugar, pumpkin, and spices into the remaining mixture.  Beat until smooth and well combined.  Pour half of the mixture on top of the prepared crust.  Using half of the reserved mixture, drop spoonfuls of mixture on top of pumpkin.  Repeat with remaining mixtures.  Use a knife to cut through the layers to create a swirl effect.

Bake for 45 minutes or until center is almost set.  Cool completely.  Refrigerate.  

Monday, September 20, 2010

Caramel Pear Bars.

After my long hiatus I am happy to bring you a delicious autumn recipe that you will want to make sooner than later.  I like to stock up on pears specifically for this recipe.  And its so good that I had this earlier this month as my birthday treat!

Caramel Pear Bars
(adapted from Taste of Home)

2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups oatmeal
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 cup butter (melted)
1 package of caramels
1 1/2 tablespoons milk
5-6 medium pears (sliced thin - peeled or unpeeled)

Combine flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, and cinnamon.  Stir in melted butter - mixture will be someone crumbly.  Set aside 1 1/2 cups to use as topping.  Press the remaining mixture into an ungreased 9x12 baking dish.  Melt caramels and milk until smooth.  Place pear slices on top of crust.  Drizzle caramel sauce over the top of pears.  Sprinkle with reserved mixture.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes.  Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes.

Most delicious served slightly warm with vanilla ice cream.  If you are lucky enough to have leftovers, store them in the refrigerator.  Mmmm.  I think I need to get some more pears!