Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Swirled Pumpkin-Bourbon Cheesecake Squares

I'm so pleased that it's fall again, and I can revisit recipes that I saved from last year and never got around to making them. The funny thing is that I even bought gingersnap cookies at the end of last fall to make the crust for this and still didn't make them. Last Friday, we had plans with some friends for dinner, and I offered to bring dessert. When I was calling out saved recipes to Joe, he zeroed in on this one. Who wouldn't? I had him at bourbon.

These don't have a very strong pumpkin flavor, but they're nice and creamy in addition to being festive. The bourbon flavor really comes through in the crust. It's almost like making a cheesecake but without nearly so much effort. These were a hit, and I'm glad I finally got around to making them.

Swirled Pumpkin-Bourbon Cheesecake Squares
source: Kelsey's Apple A Day

For crust:
about 20 gingersnaps, broken into large pieces

1/4 c. granulated sugar

3 TBSP butter, melted

1 TBSP bourbon

Cheesecake Filling:

11 oz. low-fat cream cheese, at room temperature

1/4 c. low-fat sour cream

1/3 c. granulated sugar

1 TBSP all-purpose flour

1 large egg

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 c. pumpkin puree

1 TBSP (packed) dark brown sugar

3 TBSP bourbon


1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Line the bottom and sides of a 9x9x2 in. square pan with foil. Spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray.

2. To make the crust: Process the gingersnaps in a food processor until very finely chopped. You should have one cup of crumbs. Combine crumbs, sugar, butter, and bourbon. Pat into an even layer in the bottom of the pan. Bake for 7 minutes. Cool on a rack.

3. To make the filling: Beat the cream cheese, sour cream, granulated sugar, and flour in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add egg, vanilla, and bourbon and beat until smooth.

4. Scoop 3/4 c. of the cream cheese mixture into a medium bowl and stir in pumpkin puree and brown sugar.

5. Spoon the plain cream cheese mixture evenly over the crumb layer in the pan. Dollop pumpkin mixture on top and swirl with a fork to make a decorative design.

6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until firm in the middle when gently shaken (Mine took about 35-40 minutes). Cool in the pan for one hour. Chill thoroughly.

7. To serve, lift cheesecake and foil from pan. Cut into squares.