Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars with Pumpkin Swirl
Graham Cracker Crust
- a scant 1½ cups gluten-free graham cracker crumbs I used one (1 5.6oz box Schar Gluten-Free Honeygrams, finely ground into crumbs using a food processor)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons butter or dairy-free butter melted
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of ginger
- 2 8 oz bars cream cheese or dairy free cream cheese room temperature
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1 tablespoon gluten-free all purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line an 8 inch baking pan with parchment paper
Graham Cracker Crust
- Add ingredients in a small bowl and mix until well combined and "moist". Add mixture to lined baking pan and gently press into pan.
- Bake 8 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Place cream cheese and sugar in a large mixing bowl and using an electric mixer, blend until very smooth. Add eggs, milk and vanilla. Mix until well combined and smooth, about 1-2 minutes.
- Pour mixture onto warm and baked crust in pan. Use a spatula to smooth the top or put on oven mitts and gently rock the pan from side to side. (remember the pan will still be HOT!)
- Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl using a spoon or spatula.
- Using a small spoon, spoon pumpkin on to cheesecake filling a few spoonfuls at a time. Then using a toothpick, gently swirling the pumpkin into the top of the cheesecake. The toothpick should just barely grab the cheesecake filling. A few notes: The pumpkin is "heavy" relative to the cheesecake, so it will sink a little into the cheesecake giving you that wonderful pumpkin flavor throughout. So that you get the pumpkin swirl on top, just add a few spoonfuls at a time so that it doesn't sink too much before you can swirl it. And if you don't want much pumpkin in the middle of the cheesecake layer, just use less of the pumpkin mixture AND swirl as soon as you spoon it onto the cheesecake layer so it doesn't have time to sink. Finally, there is no right or wrong here, have fun with it and add more pumpkin and swirls as needed or desired.
- Bake 30 minutes, then cover with foil and bake an additional 10 minutes or until set (filling should jiggle only slightly when pan is gently shaken).
- Cool completely in pan. Cover pan loosely with wax paper and chill in the refrigerator until firm --about 2 hours.
- Gently lift the parchment paper and squares from the pan. Gently pull parchment paper away from sides. Cut into 16 squares.
- Make ahead: Store in the refrigerator, covered until you cut into squares.
- Once cut, store in the refrigerator in a sealed container.