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Chocolate-Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

I created this by taking my favorite cheesecake brownie recipe, which is about 40 years old, and kicking it up with pumpkin and spices. These will disappear fast, so consider doubling the recipe. —Judy Castranova, New Bern, North Carolina
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Bake: 20 min.
  • Makes
    2 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup butter, cubed
  • 1-1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • CHEESECAKE BATTER:
  • 1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

  • In a microwave, melt butter and chocolate; stir until smooth. Cool slightly.
  • In a large bowl, dissolve coffee in water. Stir in the pumpkin, eggs and chocolate mixture. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt; gradually add to chocolate mixture. Transfer to a 15x10x1-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray.
  • For cheesecake batter, in a small bowl, beat cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Beat in the sugar, vanilla and spices. Add egg; beat on low speed just until combined. Spoon over chocolate batter. Cut through batter with a knife to swirl the cheesecake portion. Sprinkle with chocolate chips.
  • Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs (do not overbake). Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Refrigerate leftovers.

Test Kitchen Tips
  • If you're feeling adventurous, add a small amount (1/8 teaspoon) of cayenne pepper or chipotle chili pepper to the brownie batter. Tastes just like Mexican hot chocolate!
  • For an extra flavor boost, sprinkle 1/2 cup of toasted pecans over the top of your batter with the chocolate chips.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 bar: 197 calories, 8g fat (5g saturated fat), 40mg cholesterol, 157mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate (19g sugars, 2g fiber), 4g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 fat.