I love this time of year. Not just because of the changing leaves and the need for cozy sweaters and tall boots, but because it’s pumpkin season! And while I toss pumpkin in plenty of savoury dishes, my favourite way to use this fall staple is in dessert. Like in Chatelaine’s pumpkin and chocolate cheesecake bars.
These delightful little bars of dessert heaven are *practically* healthy…well, maybe not quite, but at least they contain a vegetable. They also have a graham crumb base and a hard chocolate top, which perfectly complement the smooth and sweet pumpkin cheesecake-like middle.
These bars are made in three easy steps: One, you mix the graham crumbs with some melted butter and chopped candied ginger, and then bake for 10 minutes; two, you blend the pumpkin purée (make sure to use pure pumpkin versus the pie filling version) with brown sugar, an egg, ginger, nutmeg, and cream cheese until smooth, then pour it over the crumb base and bake for about 25 minutes; and three, once the pumpkin mixture has cooled, you combine chocolate chips with warm whipping cream to melt, and then spread it over the pumpkin filling. After about an hour in the fridge to make sure the chocolate layer has hardened, the whole thing pops out easily from the baking dish (thanks to the lining of parchment paper), and you’re ready to cut into bars.
We gobbled up a few right away, and then put the rest in the freezer where they can apparently stay quite happily for up to a month (not that they’ll last that long). These bars would be a great alternative to a traditional pumpkin pie, and a fun Halloween treat for a potluck party. Best of all they were easy, yummy, and right in season. Plus, how can you go wrong with pumpkin and chocolate? (You can’t.)
Try this recipe: Pumpkin and chocolate cheesecake bars