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Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares with Maple Whipped Cream

October 5, 2010

Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares

Last year around this time, we had just moved into our new home in our new city, and I was blissfully enjoying my first experience with unemployment. It was the best 6 months of my life. I drank coffee in bed, I read books, I watched Oprah, I went to the gym, I visited friends at all hours of the day, I went shopping. Sometimes I applied for jobs. I loved my life. Amongst my extremely strenuous schedule, I found myself in the kitchen a lot, and this was one of the first treasures I discovered. It was my first time baking with pumpkin and I was completely skeptical. Pumpkins were meant for carving, not for creating cheesecakes (gasp, I know). I created a monster. I realized pretty quickly that friends were inviting us over on the condition that I bring the squares. And then there was my husband who was only eating three bites of dinner before pulling the cheesecake out of the fridge on the excuse that he likes to eat his sweets with his salty. It’s actually true –  I have seen him with an Oreo in one hand and a forkful of ham in the other. This coming from Mr. Picky. I know. It’s hard to keep up.   

I don’t know what I am doing bringing this recipe out again, knowing full well that I am going to have to go through this mayhem all over again. The fact is, it’s totally worth it. The cookie-ish bottom, the crumple on top, the fact that there is cream cheese in it (my fav), the taste of cinnamon and pumpkin… It’s everything I love about fall in a square. It’s freaking delicious. It is my hope that perhaps by sharing this recipe that I can spread the love a wee bit and perhaps we can ALL enjoy this delightful dessert together.  

mmmm, you are my favorite it all the land

  

Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares
adapted from Company’s Coming   

1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 tsp almond extract (optional)
6 tbsp hard butter, softened   

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans   

Filling:
8 oz light cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup canned pumpkin, without spices
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs   

Measure flour, brown sugar, almond extract and butter into small bowl. Mix in butter (or margarine… but as I have recently discovered, margarine is the devil) until crumbly.   

Stir in pecans. Reserve 3/4 cup for topping. Can I repeat that? Because I tend to miss it pretty much every time, and you do not want to miss this part. Reserve 3/4 of the topping – NOT just the pecans as I always seem to think, but everything mixed together. You are going to use this 3/4 cup of goodness later on. Got that? Good, moving on. Press remaining crumbs in ungreased 8 x 8 inch pan. Bake in 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Cool slightly.  

Filling: Beat cream cheese and sugar in small bowl. Add pumpkin, cinnamon, allspice and vanilla. Beat. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just to blend after each addition. Spread over crust. Sprinkle with reserved crumbs. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in fridge for a few hours before serving. Cuts into 36 squares.  

Now for the cherry on top: Maple Whipped Cream. Oh why did I not think of this myself? It’s soooooooooo easy and sooooooooo delicious. Whip the cream, whip whip whip, and when you come to the part where you are supposed to add the sugar and vanilla, just add real maple syrup instead. That’s it. I did end up putting in a bit of sugar to sweeten things up a tad, but for some people the maple syrup will be enough sweetness. Plus the cheesecake has plennnnnty of sugar, so you don’t need the whipped cream to be super sweet. But feel free to add sugar and/or vanilla if you like.  

Easy peesy, and so yummy. So much so that I have been commissioned to make it when we go home to visit family in Saskatchewan this weekend. I’m warning you that if you make this once, you will be making it OFTEN.  Such is the power of the Pumpkin Cheesecake Square.

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22 Comments leave one →
  1. October 5, 2010 8:57 pm

    uhhh….. UM! haha i’m making these this weekend as a dessert for thanksgiving! i can totally make that and impress the socks off people!

    half a can of pumpkin- 14oz or 28 oz can?

    • October 5, 2010 9:03 pm

      You’re quick!

      Not half a can, but half a cup (which worked out to about half of a 14 oz can).

      for a big crowd you could consider doubling the recipe and putting it in a 9 x 13… I haven’t tried that but it would probably work! let me know how it goes!

  2. October 5, 2010 8:58 pm

    that was supposed to be YUM (not UM) haha i’m tired.

  3. tmo permalink
    October 5, 2010 9:35 pm

    also making this for the weekend gobble gobble meal 😀 Thanks for posting!! I will attempt the doubling – possibly…..and may switch up the allspice for some ginger + a smidge of cloves

  4. October 5, 2010 9:43 pm

    Mmm pumpkin and cheesecake…two of my favorite things! This looks like a must-make for the fall!

  5. October 6, 2010 8:00 am

    Now this is about as Canadian as you can get. YUMMMM. ANd, timely. I am having my daughter’s future in=laws over for Thanksgiving and need a few desserts. This is a keeper.
    Big Hug!
    Valerie

  6. October 6, 2010 8:20 am

    Looks amazing! I have to call my sister-in-law today to find out what she wants me to bring to Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday… HOPEFULLY she says dessert so that I have an excuse to make these! I won’t make them for just my house… I’m sure I’d eat way too many of them.

    • October 6, 2010 11:11 am

      it’s easier to not eat them when you have a husband like mine who eats them half a pan at a time 🙂

  7. October 6, 2010 8:46 am

    Oh how I love pumpkin. I have also been dying to try a maple buttercream…but this whipped cream is genius!

  8. camille permalink
    October 6, 2010 9:30 am

    Yep! Definitely making this for my family this weekend!

  9. October 6, 2010 11:57 am

    I seriously need to make these!!!
    (Not to mention that I would do anything for one right now!!!)

  10. October 6, 2010 3:52 pm

    These look so yummy. I love the idea of combining pumpkin and cheesecake, two of my favorite things.

  11. Lisa permalink
    October 8, 2010 3:37 pm

    Can’t wait to try this one out. That sounds way to good to pass up!

  12. April H. permalink
    October 11, 2010 9:32 pm

    Hey girl!
    I was talking to my mom this morning and she mentioned that she made a dessert off your food blog and I exclaimed, “Me, too!!”. I came across your blog via your FB link and I’m so happy I did. This recipe is a real keeper. I was drawn to it because I needed a dessert for my turkey dinner and I noticed that it was easy to adjust to make it gluten-free. And it tastes amazing g-free, too!! I’m going to send this link to my g-free buddies. Thanks so much for the recipe! 🙂

  13. camille permalink
    October 12, 2010 12:34 pm

    Ok i made these on sunday for monday night. sooo yum. except i couldn’t find by 8×8 pan, so i used a 7×9 pan… which made them less “tall”… more flat. If that makes sense. Anyways, they are soooo easy and delish. Loved the whipped cream too!

  14. amanda permalink
    October 12, 2010 3:06 pm

    made this for my thanksgiving contribution and it was so yummy. Unfortunately I had to omit the nuts (brother has nut allergy). But i can’t wait for the next batch WITH nuts! Thanks for the great recipe!

  15. October 13, 2010 6:09 am

    Wow, This looks truly amazing! I’d love to have it for breakfast right now!

  16. October 22, 2010 6:31 pm

    Mmm, these sound delicious 🙂 That whipped cream is to die for!

  17. Chantel Pemberton permalink
    October 26, 2010 9:25 am

    Hey Kristin,

    I made these for my parents while they were here and they were SO yummy. We are gluten free around here and it was really easy to adapt it. Our Thanksgiving is coming up and I will most certainly make these again. Thanks for the great recipe!

  18. Meg permalink
    November 22, 2010 2:57 pm

    I made these this weekend and there were delicious, awesome, and easy! I like that almost all of the ingredients I generally have on hand. It was very similar to pumpkin pie, I think, but sweeter.
    Great recipe! Thanks for sharing!

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