frosted pumpkin cheesecake bars with chocolate crust
adapted from Baked Elements
2 ¼ cups flour
5 TB high quality cocoa powder (not dutch process)
½ cup sugar
¾ ts salt
16 ounces cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 large eggs
pumpkin cheesecake filling:
1 lb cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
½ cup canned pumpkin (plain, not pumpkin pie)
3 oversized TB of pumpkin butter
½ ts salt
2 large eggs
cream cheese frosting:
4 oz unsalted butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 TB pure vanilla extract
1/2 ts salt
Grease the sides of a 9x13-inch baking pan. Line with parchment paper and then grease again. Or do whatever greasing method works for you.
For the pastry dough, put the flour, cocoa powder, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until combined.
Add the butter and pulse a few times, until it resembles coarse sand. In a separate small bowl, whisk the eggs.
Add it to the food processor and pulse just until the dough starts to come together. Pat the dough into a disk and wrap it in plastic wrap.
Refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight. I did all this by hand, using my hands to incorporate the butter with the flours and then the eggs; worked fine.
I also left dough in fridge for 3 days and it was fine.
When ready to use dough, roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper until it is a bit larger than the pan (9x13-inches).
Turn the dough into the pan and lightly press it into the bottom and corners. Trim off any excess. Freeze for 30 minutes.
After I rolled out the dough, I used wet fingers to push the dough into the corners. Then back into the freezer to set up again before baking.
Preheat the oven to 375.
Line the dough with aluminum foil and fill it with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes.
Remove the foil and beans and bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.
I don’t have pie weights and this step was NOT necessary at all, my crust came out perfectly.
Allow the crust to cool while you make the filling.
Reduce the oven to 300.
For the pumpkin cheesecake filling, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium until it is smooth.
Add the sugar and beat again until combined.
Add in the pumpkin, and the pumpkin butter, and mix.
Add in the salt, and then the eggs and mix again until nice and smooth.
Pour the cheesecake into the prepared crust and bake for 20-27 minutes, or until set and the middle is not runny; a little jiggle is ok.
You must let this cool for at least an hour and it needs to go in the fridge to set up for at least 2 hours.
For the cream cheese frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment
(I don’t have a mixer so I mixed all this by hand): cream together the butter and cream cheese until well combined and fluffy.
Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt and mix until smooth.
Using an offset spatula spread the frosting over the pumpkin cheesecake filling.
Allow to set up in the fridge for 30 minutes before cutting and serving (I skipped this step).