Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Serves 20 (can halve the recipe for a 9×9 pan)
          CRUST

 

  • 1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, melted
          CREAM CHEESE LAYER

 

  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (low-fat Neufchatel works just fine), room temperature
          PUMPKIN LAYER

 

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 15 ounces canned pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 envelope gelatin
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 3 egg whites (see TIPS)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
          WHIPPED CREAM LAYER

 

  • 1/2 pint heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger (or cinnamon or nutmeg)
  • Cinnamon
  • Maraschino cherries, snipped

Preheat oven to 350F.

CRUST Spray a 9×13 baking pan with baking spray. Mix all ingredients until sandy, press into the pan with the back of a spoon.

CREAM CHEESE LAYER In a bowl, beat the eggs til smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and beat til smooth. Pour over crust. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheesecake layer is firm all the way through.

PUMPKIN LAYER In a saucepan, whisk the egg yolks, then whisk in the sugar. Add the pumpkin, milk, spices and salt. Gently bring to a boil, stirring often. Let cool slightly. In a small bowl, stir together the gelatin and water, fold into pumpkin mixture. Let mixture cool. In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy. Slowly add the sugar, beating the entire time. Beat until stiff peaks form. Fold into pumpkin mixture. Spread evenly over cream cheese layer.

WHIPPED CREAM LAYER Whip cream and sugar until soft peaks form. Add spices and continue whipping until quite stiff. Spread evenly over whipped cream layer. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

SERVING Refrigerate for at least an hour and up to a day before serving. Cut into pieces, top each one with a snip of maraschino cherries.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per Serving: 258 Calories; 13g Tot Fat; 8g Sat Fat; 91mg Cholesterol; 299mg Sodium; 28g Carb; 1g Fiber; 24g Sugar; 8g Protein.

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