Sunday, November 28, 2010

What PICU nurse does when she has days off....Baking Edition!!

This year, my birthday fell on the day after Thanksgiving. Nothing like trying to pick out what kind of "Birthday Cake" you want when you know you'll be overstuffed for weeks after all that turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoe casseroles, mashed potatoes, etc. etc. etc.!

But this year I picked a GOOD one (thanks to the very enticing picture on my betty crocker calender)!! With a few modifications I'll be bringing this one to holiday or fall parties for years to come! It was super easy to make (which is saying a lot coming from me!) and turned out Oh SO DELICIOUS!! Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars (ingredients you'll need):
Cookie Base- 1 pouch Betty Crocker oatmeal cookie mix (1 lb 1.5 oz)
1/2 cup crushed gingersnap cookie
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1/2 cup cold butter or margarine

Filling- 2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
2 tablespoons all-purposeful flour
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
2 tablespoons whipping cream
2 eggs

Toppings- 1/3 cup chocolate topping
1/3 caramel topping

1.) Heat oven to 350F. In large bowel, stir together cookie mix, crushed cookies & pecans. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Reserve 1 cup mixture for topping. Press remaining mixture in bottom of ungreased 13 x9 in. pan. Bake 10 minutes. Cool 10 minutes.

*Yes, PICU Nurse has one crazy sister!

2.) Meanwhile in large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add remaining filling ingredients; beat until well blended. Pour over warm cookie base. Sprinkle with reserved topping.

3.) Bake 35-40 minutes or until center is set. Cool 30 minutes. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until chilled.
4.) Before serving, drizzle with chocolate and caramel toppings. Cut into bars. Store covered in refrigerator.

*The finished product- ready to eat...along with chocolate birthday cake (thank you grammy!) and ice cream of course! hello dessert!!

*Next time I do this (and there WILL be a next time with this one!), here is what I'll change:

-Prepare in pie tin, or round cake pan. I didn't care for eating the bar (you couldn't use your hands anyways!)...I want this as a slice of cheesecake with a delicious crumbly crust instead!

-Double the pumpkin pie spice...once cooled, the pumpkin flavor was a bit too mellow for me

-Just drizzle caramel on top...the chocolate seemed to overpower the pumpkin flavor I love so much