Oh, lord. Here I go with the cheesecake again.
I mean, it’s pretty much impossible not to love cheesecake, so why not one more push for pumpkin? Or wait…I might have yet another post in the pipeline with that lovely form of orange squash. Can you take one more after this?
Either way, this one is quite a literal winner. I entered these bars in a D.C. top chef-style contest a few years ago, and they cleaned up. I won not only the dessert category, but also the overall grand prize. So believe me, you want to make these.
Thanksgiving makes me bubbly excited, which is kind of nice. I like seeing people, I like eating pie, and I really like the Macy’s parade. It’s very reassuring to have these annual traditions, especially with all the turmoil and sadness surrounding us in the world right now.
It’s hard to know what to tell my children sometimes. I’m sure many of you feel the same way. How do we explain evil? How do we even begin to get into all of that when we don’t understand it ourselves?
I used to think that adults had the answers, and one of my largest moments of disillusionment occurred when I realized that nope, they don’t know a whole lot more than kids do. Who can truly give us answers? Who can protect us? Who can make sure this world stays safe for our children?
If I knew, I’d tell you. A lot of survival depends on having faith that all will be okay, but of course, that’s not a guarantee. It’s hard to live without letting fear take too much hold.
It’s in those moments of fear and doubt that I hide in a closet with dessert. It’s dark and I can just close my eyes, wipe my mind of everything but the flavors in my mouth, and forget for just a minute that our world is in some serious trouble.
Oh, and I should probably stop watching episodes of Heroes Reborn. It’s a lot of fun, but according to the show, the world is ending. Maybe I should watch more cute, funny TV. Or more reality baking shows. There can never be enough!
And there can never be enough cheesecake on top of brownie. This time of year, it’s pumpkin cheesecake. I really don’t have anything more to say about that, except that if you eat this, you will be very happy. I have some in the fridge waiting for another moment of panic.
As a bona fide grown-up, I wish I had more answers. Instead, all I have is dessert. So I guess that will have to do for now!
Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownie Bars
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flour
8 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- Preheat the oven to 350. Line an 8-inch square pan with foil and spray it with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix the cocoa into the melted butter until it dissolves. Add the sugar and stir again. When the sugar is incorporated, mix in the vanilla and eggs. Add the salt and flour, mixing until just combined.
- Spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes until nearly, but not quite done.
- While the brownies are baking, prepare the cheesecake batter. In a mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and sugar until creamy. Then add the pumpkin, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg and beat again until all ingredients are thoroughly and evenly incorporated.
- Pour the cheesecake batter over the brownie layer and put the bars back in the oven for 25-30 minutes until firm and set.
- Cool completely, then refrigerate overnight. Cut into squares and serve. Store chilled.