Yesterday, while cleaning out my refrigerator, I discovered an unopened jar of pumpkin butter. Opening the jar, I took in its rich smell of pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. It brought me back to the crispness of fall, when the leaves are starting to change, apple festivals are in full gear, and the cold winter months have yet to bluster. Not being a toast person, I needed to figure out a way to use the pumpkin butter that didn't involve spreading it on bread.
An internet search led me to this Williams-Sonoma Pumpkin Dessert Squares recipe. I saw this as a starting point and modified the recipe to make it even more delicious. Below is my take on the pumpkin dessert square.
As the snow gently falls outside my kitchen window and the warm, comforting smell of pumpkin spice comes from my oven, I hope that this recipe invokes the coziness of fall in your home as well. Enjoy!
Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
Prep time: 30 minutes; Cook time: 40 minutes; Cool time: 2 hours and 30 minutes
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- 8-10 graham crackers, crushed
- 13oz jar pumpkin butter
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/2 sticks butter (3/4 cup)
- 1 8oz package light cream cheese, softened
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease a 9x13" glass baking dish and set aside.
3. Reserve 1 cup of yellow cake mix and set aside.
4. Melt 1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter in a large microwave proof bowl. Add the remaining cake mix and 1 egg. Stir until well blended. Pour this mixture into the baking dish and spread evenly, pressing the mixture into the bottom of the dish.
5. In a separate bowl, whisk together 1 egg, cream cheese, and 1/4 cup of sugar until well blended. Pour this mixture into the baking dish and spread evenly.
6. Using the cream cheese bowl (no need for more dishes), add the jar of pumpkin butter, 2 eggs and milk. Stir until blended. Pour this mixture into the baking dish and spread evenly.
7. Mix the remaining 1 cup of cake mix with 1/4 cup of sugar, 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) of softened butter, graham crackers, and cinnamon (this mixture will have a slightly gooey graham cracker crust like consistency). Crumble over the pumpkin layer.
8. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden (note: the cream cheese and pumpkin layers will thicken in the cooling process). Let cool on the counter for 30 minutes. Place dish in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Cut into squares and enjoy.