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.

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Ingredients:

Caramel:

 

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

 

Crust:

 

  • 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

 

Cheesecake:

 

  • 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

 


 

Directions

 

  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.

 

Pumpkin Granola


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It’s October and to me that means Halloween, falling leaves, pumpkin spiced lattes, and the smell of crisp fall weather.  I thought it was time for another yummy recipe so I chose pumpkin granola and, let me tell you, it turned out DELICIOUSLY!  The recipe is very easy to make and contains the following ingredients:

  • 5 cups rolled oats
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • dried cranberries, to taste
  • almonds, to taste

As you can see, this recipe contains A LOT of sugar.  But there is nutritional value in some of the ingredients.

  • Oats – high in fiber, which helps keep your digestive system regular; iron, which aids in oxygen being transported around your body; and magnesium, key for nerve conduction and cell membrane health as well as muscle repair.
  • Almonds – high in fiber, protein, and vitamin E.

Cranberries can be yummy but dried cranberries contain too much sugar for the nutrients to counter-balance.  A healthier addition would be raisins, which also aid in digestion and help to lower blood pressure and are high in iron and copper.

So how do you make this?  It’s EASY and can be done in about 45 minutes.  A major perk, it makes your home smell wonderful so it’d be great to make before you host a get-together.  Check out the steps below then enjoy your delicious granola on its own or with yogurt and fruit or just milk.

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Farenheit and cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. In a bowl, combine oats with spices and salt and mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine brown sugar, pumpkin puree, applesauce, maple syrup, and vanilla extract and mix until smoothe.
  4. Pour the wet ingredient mixture over the oats and mix to coat the oats evenly.
  5. Spread the mixture over the baking sheet evenly then bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove the granola and stir, then place in the oven again for 15-20 minutes or until the granola is golden and crisp.
  7. Remove from the oven and stir in dried cranberries, raisins, nuts, or even pumpkin seeds.  Let completly cool then store in an airtight container until ready to eat.

 

 

Pumpkin Pie Dip


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A pumpkin dip that is perfect for your next party or after school snack.

Ingredients
15 oz can of pumpkin
1 box of instant vanilla pudding powder
16 oz container of fat free cool whip
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 tbsp Cinnamon

Instructions
In a large bowl combine all ingredients.
Stir until well blended
Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving

ENJOY!!

Notes
Each 2 Tbsp serving is ONLY 1 WW+ point

Nutritional Info

Calories: 24 Total Fat: 0.6 g Saturated Fat: 0.1 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 1.7 mg

Sodium: 149.3 mg Total Carbs: 4.6 g Dietary Fiber: 0.7 g Sugars: 2.5 g Protein: 0.2 g

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This is What Happens when You Cook Everything Delicious Inside a Pumpkin


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Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good

The name says it all: this pumpkin is filled with the savory goodness of bacon, cheese, and bread; it makes a hearty main course or side dish. The recipe comes from “Around My French Table,” by Dorie Greenspan.

1 (3-pound) pumpkin
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 pound stale bread, thinly sliced and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 pound Gruyere, Emmenthal, or cheddar cheese (or a mix of all three), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 to 3 cloves garlic, split, germ removed, and coarsely chopped
4 slices bacon, cooked until crisp, drained, and chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives or sliced scallions
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
1/2 cup heavy cream
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with a rack set in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with a nonstick baking mat or use a Dutch oven that is slightly larger in diameter than your pumpkin (in which case, you will need to serve your pumpkin from the Dutch oven, as it may stick, but it will keep its shape better this way).

2. Using a sharp, sturdy knife, cut off top of pumpkin, working around the top with the knife inserted at a 45-degree angle to cut off enough to make it easy to work inside the pumpkin; reserve top. Remove seeds and strings from cap and pumpkin. Season inside of pumpkin generously with salt and pepper. Place on prepared baking sheet or in Dutch oven; set aside.

3. In a large bowl, toss together bread, cheese, garlic, bacon, chives, and thyme until well combined. Pack into pumpkin; it should be well filled but not overstuffed. You may need to add some bread and cheese or some of the filling may not be necessary to use. In a small bowl, stir cream and nutmeg to combine. Pour over filling; filling should be moist but not swimming in cream — you may need to use more or less accordingly.

4. Place top on pumpkin and transfer to oven; cook until filling is bubbling and pumpkin flesh is tender, about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Remove top and continue baking until liquid is slightly evaporated and top of filling is browned, 20 to 30 minutes more.

5. Carefully transfer pumpkin to a serving platter (or serve in Dutch oven, if using) and serve.

Source

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