Here we have the ultimate pumpkin experience, a creamy filling with lots of pumpkin, given that extra kick of richness by adding cream cheese. The crust and top are full of fall flavors and crunch, thanks to gingersnap cookie crumbs and chopped pretzels. This is just right for sitting in front of a roaring fire, watching the rain come down, and sipping your favorite hot beverage, which may or may not include caffeine and/or alcohol.
As is the case with most of our recipes, this one is super-easy to put together, and the whole thing can be done in a food processor if you happen to have one of those laying around. Just pulse the topping ingredients, add butter, and pat them down in a pan. Bake for a few minutes to set the crust, and while that’s happening you can wipe out your food processor and get your filling going. Don’t have a food processor? No worries. For the crust, just put your gingersnaps in a ziplock bag, get our your favorite hammer, and let nature take it’s course. Same goes for the pretzels, just not so much elbow grease needed in that endeavor. Grab your mixer, hand mixer, or strong whisk and the filling will still be a cinch.
….and when these guys come out of the oven, you can just see that crunchy top sitting right over that super-rich and creamy center, all sitting pretty on that sweet & salty crust. Let’s stop talking and start eating!!
Arrange on a platter, or if you can’t wait, straight from the pan. One word of caution though…leave these guys in the refrigerator when you aren’t devouring them. They get super-soft pretty fast.
Hope you enjoy these! Happy Fall!! And, as always, thanks so much for reading today. xoxoxo
- FOR THE CRUST & TOPPING
- 1.5 cups gingersnap crumbs (measure after made into crumbs)
- 1 cup chopped pretzels (Pulse pretzels in a food processor, but do not make into crumbs. There should be mostly small pretzel bits. Measure after chopping.)
- 1 ¼ cubes (10 tablespoons) of salted butter, melted
- FOR THE FILLING
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 15-oz can of pumpkin puree
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 Tablespoon of vanilla
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon (use a strong cinnamon like Vietnamese or increase to 1.5 teaspoons)
- 1 Tablespoon pumpkin spice (we like Penzeys)
- ¼ cup sour cream (you can substitute Greek yogurt)
- Preheat oven to 325. Line an 8X8 or 9X9 square pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.
- Gently mix ground gingersnap crumbs, pretzels and melted butter. Add a bit more butter or crumbs if mixture appears too dry or wet. Mixture should be moist. Reserve ½ cup of crust & topping mixture. Press mixture into bottom of prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven.
- Increase oven temperature to 350. Blend softened cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs and blend thoroughly. Add remaining ingredients and blend until creamy. Pour mixture onto warm crust. Sprinkle remaining ½ cup of crust & topping mixture. Bake for 50 to 65 minutes.
- Note: You may want to lightly cover or tent your bars after 40 to 45 minutes to prevent over browning. Bars are done when edges are light brown and the center is set.
- Cool bars at room temperature for at least 1.5 hours and then refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight. Do not slice while warm. Bars are best kept refrigerated and consumed in 1 to 2 days.