Treats, Not Tricks
That’s just how I roll, keeping it fresh and one step ahead.
If I’m being completely honest, it’s not even a fresh idea. I took it from Pinterest, but it came out so freaking on point for once, that I had to share. And since I played around w/ the recipe and it turned out so well, I thought I’d share for anyone who’s ever wanted to bake something and didn’t b/c they didn’t have exactly what the recipe called for. B/c you know what? I’m sick of all the “cooking is an art, baking is a science, if you don’t follow a sweet recipe to the T it will turn out like crap.” To that, I say psshhhh. Read on and weep, you baking purists.
The inspiration: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars from Shugary Sweets. Aimee keeps a ton of drool inducing recipes over there. And, hello, I can’t see something w/ pumpkin and chocolate chips and cheesecake in the recipe and not make it #basicbitch
I didn’t plan on veering from the course on this one. I really thought I had all the ingredients it called for. The only thing I had to pick up at the supermarket was the Pillsbury cookie dough. So that’s all I picked up at the supermarket. Well, that and some Lucky Charms and bananas, so Brent has some breakfast choices tomorrow.
Then I got home and saw my 8oz cream cheese package was opened and more than halfway gone. Nothing throws a wrench in your plans faster than realizing you don’t have enough cream cheese for your cheesecake. So I improvised. The half empty cream cheese was sitting right next to a nearly full container of Greek yogurt. Cue the light bulb going off over my head.
The original recipe doesn’t call for baking your crust ahead of time, but I always find baking it helps to solidify your crust so you don’t have graham cracker crumbles all over your plate. This time I actually left it in the oven a minute or two longer than usual (I may have lost track of time looking at cats in Halloween costumes) and it turned out fantastic. The grahams were a cohesive crust for once and I’m going to add 1-2 extra minutes to bake my crust in the oven from now on.
Let's get to the good stuff, shall we?
for once, a recipe that looked as good in my kitchen as it did on the website #winning
For the crust:
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
For the cheesecake:
1 package (8oz) cream cheese, softened – or if you’re like me, and only have half of this, it works. The rest of the package wouldn’t be the worst thing to happen to your cheesecake, though.
1 cup canned pumpkin – I didn’t actually measure this out. I had used about half a can of pumpkin last week and just threw what I had left in the bowl; it looked to be more than 1 cup, but I didn’t hate it
1/2 cup Greek yogurt - my filling was a little tart, but I figured the sweetness of the cookie dough would balance it out. If you don't like Greek yogurt, you might want to add some sugar, probably around 1/4 - 1/2 cup
Cinnamon – to taste, I probably added at least 1 tablespoon
Ground Cloves – ¼ tsp
Nutmeg – ¼ tsp
Allspice – ¼ tsp
For the cookie dough:
1 package refrigerated Pillsbury Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough - you can certainly make your own chocolate chip cookie dough, but my lazy ass had some New Girl to watch
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line your baking dish (I used about 9.5 x 7.5) w/ aluminum foil or parchment.
Melt butter in the microwave. Add graham cracker crumbs and mix together. Press into the bottom of pan until evenly spread out.
In a stand mixer or w/ an electronic mixer, beat the cream cheese until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Add the Greek yogurt and pumpkin and beat until smooth. Add your spices and blend until smooth, about 2-3 more minutes. Pour this layer over your crust.
Press the refrigerated dough over the cheesecake layer – I bought the dough that comes portioned out for individual cookies and pressed them flat and laid them all over the top.
Bake for about 30-35 minutes. The center may jiggle when you pull it out, but will firm up as it cools. Cool completely, then refrigerate for 3-4 hours (or overnight). Once completely chilled, cut into bars and feast!
These bars should be stored in the fridge and are good for about a week after making.