I love cheesecake and I love pumpkin pie equally. Well actually I retract that statement, I think I like pumpkin pie more. I think it has something to do with my love of Fall.
This weekend I was in the mood for both but I didn’t want to go through the process of making a whole pie or a whole cheesecake- I was super busy and being really lazy. I wanted something bite size that I could just pick up and eat as well as something really easy to make – again, I was super busy and being really lazy.
So with that said I ended up with Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Squares – the best of both worlds. Well, all worlds really- cheesecake, pumpkin, easy and delicious. And cheesecake.
The crust makes the cheesecake. I prefer mine sweet and moist.
After your process your graham crackers and Nilla wafers, pour them into the sheet pan and begin to level them out.
The great thing about this is you can experiment with many types of cookie crusts.
The cheesecake. Technically the recipe requires you to do the cheesecake ingredients in steps (see recipe below) but I choose to put them all in one bowl and go for it.
All of my ingredients were totally room temperature so that helped avoid lumps and other unsightly issues that can arise when you are skipping steps or being really lazy.
Mix, mix, mix. Plop the cheesecake mix onto your crust and smooth out.
Next up the pumpkin butter swirlage (I love making up words). Just dollop the pumpkin butter and swirl with the skewer. You can do circles or lines like me. Anything goes. Regarding the swirling, less is more.
I ended up making my own pumpkin butter because I was a bit early for the Trader Joe’s version which isn’t in stores yet. I was a little annoyed being October and all and the fact that I was being lazy and didn’t want to make my own. So, I dejectedly took myself home and figured out how to make it. The recipe is below.
One note though – if you aren’t going to use the pumpkin butter for anything else, I suggest you either half, or even quarter the recipe or purchase mason jars so that you can give it away. The recipe makes a lot of pumpkin butter. I’m talking like, a lot.
Or you could just stockpile some from Trader Joe’s when its in stores.
After its done baking and cooling you want to take it out of the pan and slice it up, cleaning your knife every once and awhile to ensure clean cuts. Check out how even that crust is. I even impressed myself.
I cut the edges off for the sake of my photos but you can just leave them on. More crust, more cheesecake.
Yeah, ummm – I have no words. These were good. You need to make them. I have nothing more to say. Enjoy.
1 (29 ounce) can pumpkin puree
3/4 cup apple juice
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg (fresh ground)
Combine pumpkin, apple juice, spices, and sugar in a large saucepan; stir well. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes or until thickened. Stir frequently.
Transfer to sterile containers and chill in the refrigerator until serving.
1 1/2 cups crushed graham cracker and Nilla Wafers
3 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
½ cup melted butter
Add cookies and sugar in a food processor; pulse until ground. Add in butter and pulse. Press mixture into a 13×9 buttered or parchment lined pan.
3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons flour
8 oz. sour cream
1 Tablespoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Cream the sugar, cream cheese, and flour with an electric mixer on medium until light and fluffy.
On medium low, add eggs one at a time, mixing well with each addition.
Add sour cream and vanilla and mix until just combined. Pour over crust and evenly smooth out.
Pumpkin Swirl Assembly
Add dollops of approximately ½ teaspoon of prepared pumpkin butter (recipe above) every few inches. Take a wooden skewer and run it gently through the pumpkin butter and cheesecake mix to make swirls.
Bake for approximately 35 – 40 minutes or until set. Let cool and then chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hrs before slicing.