Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars with Chocolate & Pecan Cinnamon Streusel

Ingredients:

For the Crust:

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ cup rolled oats

½ cup brown sugar

4 ounces butter, melted

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cinnamon

 

For the Filling:

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 cup cream cheese, room temperature

2 eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

¾ cup brown sugar

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ teaspoon cloves

¼ teaspoon ginger

 

For the Streusel:

½ cup brown sugar

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup pecans, toasted and chopped

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

2 ounces butter, cold and cut into small chunks

¾ cup chocolate chips 

 
Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Combine all of the crust ingredients in a medium sized bowl.  Combine mixture with the back of a fork until crumbly.  Press into a 9x9 inch pan and bake for 15 minutes. 

While the crust is baking, combine all of the filling ingredients in the bowl of a stand-up mixer (hand mixer is also fine) and mix on medium speed for about 1-2 minutes; set aside.

Combine all of the streusel ingredients except for the butter in a medium bowl.  Stir to combine.  Add the cold chunks of butter and work them into the dry ingredients using your fingers or a pastry cutter until the mixture is crumbly.

Once the crust has finished baking, remove from oven.  Pour filling mixture over the hot crust. 

Place chocolate chips in a small bowl. Mix with about 2 teaspoons of flour. Transfer chips to a sieve and shake off any excess flour. This step ensures the chocolate won't sink to the bottom of the bars.

Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over the filling.  Using your fingers, gently break apart the streusel crumbles evenly over the chocolate chips to create an even layer.

Bake for 30-35 minutes until streusel is set.  Let cool completely on wire rack.  Bars are best served cold.  Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and dust with cinnamon.  Enjoy!