Thursday, December 19, 2019

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars with Salted Caramel Top

Ready to make your holiday sweeter with these decadent and indulgent pumpkin cheesecake bars, over a gingersnap cookie crust and topped with a layer of salted caramel?! A must-try recipe!

Here is a recipe that I'm sure you are going to love. This pumpkin cheesecake is the perfect fall dessert and quite hard to resist. 

Look at the rich and luscious, thick and comforting filling, topped with an indulgent layer of homemade salted caramel sauce, over a gingersnap buttery and crumbly cookie crust. All served up in individual slices. 
Dangerous, I'm telling you!

Now tell me, don't you wish that was your hand holding this adorable plate, grabbing the little fork, and digging right into this slice of heaven?!? 
Even in the silence of my own kitchen, I can hear your gentle sounds of approval.

This caramel pumpkin cheesecake combines the warm, spiced flavors of pumpkin and the sweet and crunchy goodness of gingersnaps. 
And with its cinnamon and nutmeg aroma, this dessert will make your kitchen smell like the holidays and get you singing Christmas carols in no time! 
Look at the stunning plates on which I've served up my dessert. This is the Tuxton  Concentrix 12-piece dinnerware set in cobalt blue and white. I love the simple and bright design. 
This set comes with four 10-inch dinner plates, four 7-inch salad plates, and four 13-oz bowls. It's available in 7 different colors, so you can decorate your table based on the current mood. 
Make sure to check out their website to see all they have to offer. Thank you Tuxton Home for the amazing present! 
Now, enough with the talking. Let's get baking!

Here are a few details about the ingredients to make this caramel pumpkin cheesecakes:

Pumpkin puree: For this recipe, I like to use canned pumpkin puree. It's ready and easy to use and will give a more consistent result than homemade puree. Careful not to buy pumpkin pie filling, which is sold near pumpkin puree but it's not the same!
Cream cheese: I recommend the traditional full-fat cream cheese for this recipe. Remember to remove the cream cheese from the refrigerator ahead of time, so it will be a room temperature when used. This helps prevent lumps when mixing and cracks after baking!
Spices: in this recipe, I'm using cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla extract. If you prefer, you can substitute with pumpkin spice. 

Here are a few suggestions to make this the best pumpkin cheesecake you've made:

- Line the pan with parchment paper to cover the bottom and the side of the pans. This not only helps easily remove the cheesecake after baking from the pan but also allows the cheesecake to shrink a little when baking, which ultimately prevents cracks!

- Water bath: you can use a water bath when baking if you're used to it. But if you follow the recipe (room temperature cream cheese, line the pan with parchment paper, don't overbeat the batter, don't open the door when baking, and let rest the cheesecake in the oven after baking) you won't have cracks, even without the water bath!

- Salted caramel: The salted caramel on top makes an additional level of YUMM. But if you're not a fan of salted caramel, or want to keep this dessert simpler, you can skip this part, and maybe garnish with whipped cream. 
If adding the salted caramel, remember to adjust the salt according to your preference. 

How to store this pumpkin cheesecake:

Store your pumping cheesecake bars in the refrigerator,  tightly wrapped in plastic wrap or in an airtight container. 


YIELD: 8-inch (20 cm) square dessert cut into 16 small bars
    For the crust:
    • 9 graham cracker sheets, crushed (140 gr)
    • 9 gingersnap cookies (80 gr)  
    • 3 oz (80 gr) unsalted butter, melted
    • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
    For the pumpkin filling:
    • 24 oz (680 gr) cream cheese, at room temperature
    • 1 cup packed (180 gr) light brown sugar  
    • 1 1/2 cups (420 gr) pumpkin puree
    • 3 large eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
    For the caramel sauce:
    • 3/4 cup (150 gr) sugar
    • 2 oz (55 gr) unsalted butter
    • 4 oz (120 ml) heavy cream
    • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt 


    TIME: 20 minutes to prepare, 60 minutes to bake, 4 hours inactive
      Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F(175 C). Line an 8-inch pan (20 cm) with parchment paper.
      In a food processor, add the graham crackers and ginger snaps and pulse until finely ground.
      Add the melted butter and sugar to the find crumbs, and pulse until all moist. Transfer the graham cracker crumbs mixture to the prepared pan, make an even layer and press to the bottom with the bottom of a cup or glass.
      Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
      In the meantime prepare the filling. In a large mixing bowl, mix at medium speed the cream cheese with the sugar until light and fluffy. You can use a stand mixer or a hand mixer. Beat well.
      Beat in the pumpkin puree.
      Beat in the eggs one at a time.
      Add the vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cornstarch, and salt. And beat until combined. Don't overbeat. Pour the cream cheese mixture into the pan, and level.
      Bake for 60 minutes or until the middle is mostly set. Turn off the oven, open the door slightly and let the cheesecake cool in the oven for 30 minutes. Cool for an hour.

      Caramel recipe: In a saucepan melt the sugar over medium-high heat while stirring constantly When it's deep amber color, add the butter and mix. Cook for 2 minutes and add the cream while mixing (careful with the hot bubbles). Add the salt and cook for one minute.
      Remove from the heat, cool for a couple of minutes, and pour over the cheesecake. Cool the cheesecake and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
      Cut in squares and serve!

      PRINTABLE RECIPE CARD: Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars.

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