These days I’m trying to be more conscious of making my home feel like a sanctuary. I want our space to be warm and inviting and nothing does that better than fall scents. Pine cones. Coffee beans. Gingerbread. Pumpkin. For a season these aromas are out in abundance, naturally creating the atmosphere I crave.
And, once the leaves start to turn and air gets crisp, I have one go-to recipe that makes my taste buds happy and entire house smell better than any candle – pumpkin chocolate cheesecake bars. Take a look at a picture and salivate, my friends. I found it in a magazine and shared it with my blog readers years ago. Now that we’re friends I think you need in on the secret too.
Here is what you will need:
For the Graham Cracker Crust:
1 ¼ cup graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup sugar
1/3 cup melted butter
For the Filling:
2 (8oz) softened cream cheese packages
1 1/3 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon vanilla
6oz semisweet chocolate chips
2 Tablespoons butter
1 ¼ cup dairy sour cream
¼ cup sugar
Grated fresh nutmeg
1) Lightly grease 9×13 pan and set aside. For crust, in a large bowl mix crumbs and sugar. Add melted butter and mix thoroughly. Press evenly in pan. Set aside.
2) Preheat oven to 325 degrees. For filling, in large bowl beat together the cream cheese and 1 1/3 cup sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, beating at a low speed after each additional until just combined. Stir in pumpkin, spice, vanilla, and salt. Pour 1 ¼ cup of filling in medium bowl. Set both bowls aside.
3) In a small saucepan over very low heat melt the chocolate chips and butter, stirring frequently until smooth. Stir melted chocolate into the 1 ¼ c reserved filling. Carefully spread chocolate mixture evenly over the crust. Bake 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Slowly and carefully, pour remaining pumpkin filling over baked chocolate layer, spread evenly.
4) Bake for 40-45 minutes or until mixture is slightly puffed around edges and just set in center. Remove from oven, cool 30 minutes. Meanwhile, combine sour cream and ¼ cup sugar. Cover and let stand at room temp until pan cools.
5) Spread sour cream mixture over bars. Cool. Refrigerate several hours or overnight before cutting.
6) Sprinkle lightly with nutmeg before serving.
Trust me when I say if food is a ministry, this is solid for the win.