At the urging of some Twitter friends, I joined The Secret Recipe Club. I kept reading how they were enjoying participating in the online food blogging club so I decided to join in on the fun that they were having. This is my first month for the club so it was a new fun experience of getting someone’s blog to make a recipe of my choosing, while some mysterious member of my group had mine.
I ended up in Group D and was given Cookin’ with Cyndi. I browsed her recipes and as soon as I was the post for Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars I knew we had a winner. It would be perfect for a fall recipe and it reminded me of the Cheesecake Cookie Bars I had been making in the spring. I loved the simple bar that consists of a creamy cheesecake filling sandwiched between 2 layers of cookie bar crust.
Another thing that appealed to me about this recipe was that it could easily be made Gluten Free very easily. No special mixtures or reworking of the recipe for me. I have plenty of Gluten Free Bisquick on hand so I just used that and did not have any issues with flavor or texture with the substitution.
I brought most of the bars into work and they were well received. Everyone thought the bars had a very good pumpkin flavor, creamy cheesecake middle texture, and nice contrasting nutty crust. They were even surprised that they were Gluten Free since still so many people think Gluten Free is not as good as regular baked goods. My neighbor is already requesting for me to bring in some more when I make another batch.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
*yields 24 bars*
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups Bisquick baking mix
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
12 ounces cream cheese (1.5 packages), softened
½ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup sugar
¾ cup canned or fresh pumpkin puree
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
1 heaping tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
Preheat oven to 350˚. Generously grease a 13″ x 9″ pan. Cream together the brown sugar and butter. Once they are combined add in the pumpkin pie spice. Gently add in the Bisquick and nuts until mixture is crumbly. Reserve two cups. Press remaining mixture in pan with fingers. Bake 10 minutes.
To make the filling, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add sugars, eggs, pumpkin, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice. Mix well until smooth. Pour mixture over crust in pan, and sprinkle with remaining two cups of crust mixture. Bake until center is set and top is golden, about 30 minutes. Cool completely before cutting, serve well-chilled.
Check out all the other great Secret Recipe Club recipes for this reveal!