Desserts, Food

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars

Remember this post where I mentioned our upcoming trip to Hilton Head for one of my college friend’s wedding?

Well, we headed out early Friday morning. (Much to the hubby’s consternation “early” in this case meant 9 am.  I just can’t seem to get going earlier than that in the morning.  Oh, and I had to make pancakes for our guests, obviously.  And I swear I made a double batch because it felt like I was flipping pancakes for-ever!)

Anyway, so we headed out early at 9am Friday morning.  The hubby desperately wanted to take me to a little restaurant called the Sea Shack once we got to Hilton Head, but I was getting hungry by lunchtime.  Luckily for me, we stopped at a gas station right around lunch time.  It was one of those nice trucker-stop stations.  You know, the kind with all the food?  I spent a good 5 minutes deciding between a donut, a jumbo muffin, and a slice of pizza.  Seriously, I am pathetic.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars 3

I know you are dying to know, but the pizza won out. (Although the muffin probably would have been much better because all I could taste in the pizza was salt, man!)  Needless to say, I wasn’t terribly hungry when we rolled into Hilton Head around 2:30.  We spent another 15 minutes driving around looking for the restaurant since our GPS was absolutely no help.

Although I only had a crab cakes and some hush puppies, the restaurant was terrific.  (I knew we were about to go to a rehearsal dinner also.)  The hubby ordered mahi mahi, black bean chutney, and grits.  I think he might have gotten one bite of the black bean chutney.  Expect to see a recipe in the near future.  I’d never had black bean chutney before, but it was a-maz-ing.

This story is getting a little long, sorry.  I’ll try to speed things along. Anyway, the rehearsal dinner was great, albeit cold outside. The wedding was beautiful, overlooking the waterway and the bride was gorgeous.  We greatly enjoyed the day away and the company of old friends.

Speaking of events, that reminds me of these pumpkin cream cheese bars.  They are delicious and claim to taste like a pumpkin roll, without the fuss.  I do admit they are great and taste similar to a pumpkin roll, although nothing can taste quite like a pumpkin roll besides, well, a pumpkin roll.

I really do try to cook healthy for the hubby and I. However, when anyone comes to visit, or I take a dish to an event, all healthiness gets thrown out the window and I consider it the perfect excuse to pig out on sugar and fat.

I guess that should be a warning to you about what is coming, but at least there is no oil in this recipe, and I added a bit of whole wheat flour.  So that means it’s healthy, right?  …as all the cool kids say YOLO.  Just stop your arguing and eat them.

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Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars
Author: Adapted from Macaroni and Cheesecake
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 16 squares
Ingredients
  • For the Cake:
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • For the Cream Cheese Filling:
  • 1 block (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar.  Add eggs, pumpkin, water, and vanilla extract and beat on medium until well combined.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine flours, spices, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Mix.  Stir into the wet just until combined. (Or if you’re lazy like me, add the dry ingredients directly to the bowl of wet ingredients and wait to stir them together until all the ingredients are in.)
  3. In a separate small bowl, beat together cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract, and an egg until smooth.
  4. Line a 9 x 13 pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.  Pour in 2/3 of the cake batter.  Spread the cream cheese filling over top and top with the final 1/3 of the cake batter.  Using your knife, gently swirl the cake batter and cream cheese layer together.
  5. Bake in a preheated oven at 350° for 30-35 minutes, or until cake springs back when you touch it and center is set and no longer jiggly.  Cool completely.  Cut into bars and refrigerate.

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