Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars with Caramel Swirl

These decadent chocolate-crusted bars are topped with a homemade caramel that sinks into the pumpkin cheesecake batter during baking.






  • 1/4 cup(s) sugar
  • 2 tablespoon(s) heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) pure vanilla extract
  • Salt




  • 13 ounce(s) chocolate wafer cookies, crushed (about 3 cups)
  • 1/4 cup(s) sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
  • Salt
  • 1 stick(s) unsalted butter, softened




  • 1 1/2 pound(s) cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup(s) sugar
  • 1 can(s) (28-ounce) pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup(s) sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon(s) pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • Hot water





  1. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and 2 tablespoons of water and bring to a boil. Using a wet pastry brush, wash down any crystals on the side of the pan. Boil over high heat until a deep amber caramel forms, about 6 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and carefully whisk in the cream, butter, vanilla and a pinch of salt. Let the caramel cool to room temperature.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. In a food processor, pulse the chocolate wafers with the sugar and a pinch of salt until fine crumbs form. Add the butter and process until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Using your fingers, press the crumbs into the prepared baking pan in an even layer. Bake the crust for about 10 minutes, until set. Let cool completely.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with the sugar at medium speed until blended. Beat in the pumpkin puree, sour cream and vanilla, then beat in the eggs until just incorporated. Transfer 1/3 cup of the cheesecake batter to a small bowl and stir in the caramel sauce.
  4. Set the pan with the crust in a large, deep roasting pan. Pour the pumpkin cheesecake filling over the cookie crust and carefully drizzle the caramel mixture over the top. Using a toothpick, decoratively swirl the caramel sauce. Transfer the roasting pan to the oven and carefully pour in enough hot water to reach halfway up the side of the baking pan. Bake the cheesecake for about 55 minutes, until the filling is barely jiggly in the center. Transfer the roasting pan to a rack and let the cheesecake cool completely. Remove the baking pan from the water bath and refrigerate the cheesecake overnight. Cut into bars and serve.



Easy Homemade Recipes: Pumpkin Banana Bread

I may have mentioned once or twice that I am a huge fan of pumpkin.  What I don’t really tell people is that I start my cooking with pumpkin the beginning of August and don’t stop until at least January.  And the months that Im not baking, Im thinking of new recipes to try and more ways to add a little more orange to my life.  [True story.]  Like today’s easy homemade recipe, I think I made this in January.  Its one of my favorite recipes because it has all my favorite things in one place.  Pumpkin, bananas and chocolate chips.  Yes, please!


I was going to make the title of this post ‘Pumpkin banana bread.. with chocolate chips!’ but who doesn’t put chocolate chips in their banana bread?  Ok, I know.  Most people don’t add the chocolate chips, I just think that chocolate and banana go great together.  [Case in point – chocolate covered banana popsicles.]  And pumpkin and chocolate together isn’t too shabby either.  [Its pretty amazing actually.]


To make this easy homemade recipe you will need:

  • Butter cake mix
  • Two ripe bananas
  • 1 Can of pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup of oil

Preheat the oven to 350.  Mash your bananas and add them to the cake mix.  Pour in the oil [I used canola], pumpkin and mix well.  Add the chocolate chips.  Spray your bread pan before adding the mixture.  Bake for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees.


This bread came out so moist it was crazy.  I think the banana and the oil together make it just melt in your mouth delicious.  And there are no eggs since I used the mashed bananas.  If it weren’t for the chocolate chips and the cake mix, I’d even go so far as to say this is healthy.  I mean its got two fruits baked in, it has to be healthy.  Right?  [Just say yes.]


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Homemade Soft Caramels



1 c light corn syrup
2 c packed light brown sugar
1 can(s) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 lb butter


1 Combine corn syrup, brown sugar, milk and butter in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook for 20 Minutes stirring constantly. Pour into buttered oblong pan.
2 Cut into squares when cool.

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Top 15 DIY Fall Wreaths To Try This Year

As you may have noticed, the weather starts to send us hints that summer is over and that we should get ready for autumn. Fall is a beautiful season with rich colors and all sorts of goodies. And what better way to welcome it into our lives and homes than with a beautiful wreath displayed on the door or window…


This lovely wreath is made with floral sticks and stems. Wrap them to make the base of the wreath and then start adding the decorations. Use foam pumpkins and gourds and stick them in place, then add a few feather, leaves and other small details


Flowers are also perfect for making wreaths. This one, for example, is made with a wire wreath form and some hydrangeas in different shades. The burlap ribbon fills the remaining space beautifully and you can tie it anywhere you want.


To avoid the mess natural flowers and leaves might create, you can decorate the wreath with fabric roses and other similar elements. Search the house for leftover pieces of fabric and start making the flowers. Attach them to a wreath made of twigs and use the larger pieces of fabric to wrap a portion of the wreath.


This wreath has all the beautiful colors of the autumn. It’s made with leaves, pinecones, acorns and berries. The orange Japanese lantern pieces and the tiny scarecrows complete the design and the orange bow makes everything look beautiful.


Although simple-looking, this wreath is also very beautiful and chic. To make it, get some floral pieces and foliage and start decorating a twig wreath. Keep adding them and securing them with floral wire and use a hot glue gun to attach the leaves.


This is a wreath you can make in just a few minutes. The leaf stems need to be stuck under the strips of fabric and you don’t even need glue for this project. When you’re done with that, make a bow and wrap the ribbon ends around the frame.


This sunburst wreath is also very interesting. The idea is to use leaves that have different colors. Sort them by color and then create an ombre effect. Use a hot glue gun to attach them to a flat wooden ring. It’s a very inexpensive project.


This wreath might look complicated but it’s actually quite easy to make as well. Use a grapevine wreath and decorate it with faux berries and garlands. It’s easy to add elements to the wreath using floral wire. At the end, add the larger pieces of fruit.


Perfect for the entrance door, this wreath even has a message for all the visitors. To make it, start with a stick wreath and a mini-chalkboard. Get some autumn ribbon and wired silk flowers as well. Attach the decorations to the wreath with a hot glue gun. Place the flowers in the ugliest portion of the wreath to cover up the nasty sticks.


For this simple wreath all you need to do is collect some fallen leaves from the garden or the street. Spray paint them in different shades and attach them one by one to the wreath form until you cover it all up. You can use both painted leaves and natural-colored ones.


Here’s a wreath that has a rustic and vintage look. It’s a simple grapevine wreath decorated with a few paper doily flowers and berries. It’s very easy to make and the most difficult part would be making the paper doilies.


The focal point of this wreath is the accordion pumpkin in the center. To make it, cut out a pumpkin shape from fall printed paper. Then cut 20 strips of solid gray card stick, thicker for the middle and thinner for the ends. Then begin gluing onto the pumpkin shape one strip at a time.


For this wreath the main color is yellow. It was chosen for its brightness and the fact that it’s closer to summer and its cheerfulness. Cut out two round pieces of cardboard and glue sticks onto one of them. Then make the yellow fabric flowers and attach them to the wreath.


For this project all you need is a wire hanger and some leftover pieces of fabric in fall colors. Unfold the hanger and twist it into a circle shape. Then start tying scraps of fabric to the wire with a simple knot. Continue until you wrap the wire completely. Add a ribbon and that’s all.


The last project we’ve chosen is a modern fall wreath. At first, put a little glue on the back side of the wreath form, put one end of the ribbon on top and pin. Then wrap the wreath form tightly. After that, start adding the circles. Glue the beads or dowels onto the back of the wooden circles and paint them the color that coordinates with the paper. Glue the circles onto the wreath

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