Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Pie BarSo I got Trader Joe’s latest flyer in the the mail this week, and I laughed because every page was devoted to pumpkin products. (The rest was for alcohol mainly, I’m surprised someone hasn’t made a pumpkin flavored chardonnay.)  (Also, I think it’s very important to inform you all that they have a pumpkin coconut body butter this year, run, don’t walk, to the nearest Trader Joes. I have quietly been enjoying smelling like pie all day.)  Given the festive time of year, it was no surprise that the schedule for this week is for Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars. Baked Elements has an entire chapter devoted to this beloved American squash, and that right there is one of the main reasons I bought the book. While I fully support pumpkin recipes and their ubiquitous arrival at the start of fall, I’m unfortunately just not into cheesecake, even when it is hidden behind layers of cinnamon and toasted pecans.  IMG_2775This recipe is kind of intense. You know those recipes, where you start to get your ingredients together, and your heart kind of skips a beat? More of an “Oh my God I am going to have a coronary if I eat this,” and not the sort of heart skipping I get when a recipe has enough chocolate to buy a small Aztec city?

Because wow this is a lot of cream cheese and butter. (Serendipitously, my local grocer had cream cheese on a two for one special.)  Nothing about it is terribly difficult, it is a sort of hurry up and wait kind of recipe. My husband was really excited about it, and kept asking all day if he could eat a cheesecake bar yet. Telling him he had to wait about another three hours did not improve his mood. Cue pout face.

Basically, I started making these at 8:30 this morning, and  finished putting the topping and pecans on at 6. And even at that point the recipe said to refrigerate for another half hour.

IMG_2783It’s not a lot of active time, but it still took up a small part of the back of my mind all day. Definitely take advantage of the parts of this that you can make ahead, like the dough base and the topping.

And now, at the end of the day, as I suspected, I really don’t like this dessert. This recipe was definitely more for the husband to try and for my co-workers to enjoy tomorrow.  It came out fine, and I can appreciate that it’s probably actually a fantastic recipe, because the texture and flavor is spot on, I just don’t happen to like that particular flavor. (I’m actually a little relieved.) I kind of wish the filling was just regular pumpkin pie! That, I would probably polish off in no time.