Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares

So a few weeks ago, it was National Pumpkin Cheesecake day.  And I’m not sure why, but I felt the need to celebrate.  And since it’s Thanksgiving tomorrow, I decided to blog this recipe today.  Pumpkin cheesecake.  Cheesecake in general.  Creamy center with a crunchy crust.  And what else can I say about pumpkin, one of the standard fall flavors.  I love pumpkin cheesecake.  Although I do have to say there are so many different variations on cheesecake, it might be kind of hard for me to pick my favorite.   I put a twist on a standard graham cracker crust for this recipe and used ginger snaps.  I felt it would pair well with the pumpkin and different spices I added to the custard.

The most important thing about cheesecake is you don’t want to over-bake it.  For these cheesecake squares I did not use a water bath.  But for most cheesecakes a water bath should be used since it keeps the moisture level in the oven high and ensures that the cheesecake bakes gently.

Start by making the crust.  Process ginger snaps in a food processor.

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Add melted butter.

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Then press into a foil lined, greased 9 x 13 inch glass baking dish.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside.

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Next make filling.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together cream cheese, sour cream and sugar.

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Add canned pumpkin and eggs.

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Add flour, pumpkin pie spice (or sub for cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice – equal parts), vanilla and salt.  Mix together for about 2 minutes.

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Filling will look like this.

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Pour into crust.

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Bake in a 375 degree oven for 40 minutes – or until center is set.

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Cut into squares and enjoy!

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Recipe:

Crust:
12 oz ginger snaps
1/2 cup butter, melted

Filling:
3 – 8 oz packages cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup pumpkin
3 eggs
3 Tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a food processor, process ginger snaps until they become crumbs.  Place in a bowl and add melted butter.  Mix to combine.  Press crust mixture into a foil-lined, greased 9 x 13 inch glass baking dish.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside.  Meanwhile, make the filling.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine cream cheese, sour cream and sugar.  Mix together.  Add pumpkin, eggs, flour, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract and salt.  Mix for about 2 minutes (do not over-mix).  Pour filling into crust.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 40 minutes or until the center is set.

Serve and enjoy!

Caroline