Monday, November 3, 2014

Pumpkin Praline Cheesecake Bars

How can it already be this time of year?  I probably say this every single year, but, the older I get the older time seems to go.  My mom said it would, boy was she right. 

It is time to start thinking about and planning our Thanksgiving menus!  While I love changing a few things up every year, there are definitely dishes that are tradition that are NOT to be messed with.  Is it like that for you all as well?  If I ever omitted, baked mac and cheese, or coleslaw from a holiday meal, I would be disowned!  This year I am definitely looking forward to Thanksgiving, since our kids have moved here now!  We get to have a real holiday together!  WOOHOO!  I haven't been able to spend a Thanksgiving with my son for about 6 years.  We are just thrilled! 

With all that said, I have a pumpkin loving family.  I wanted something other than a plain pumpkin cheesecake, (however, they are one of my fav's).  I just decided to experiment and when it turned out, I had to test it a second time, I wasn't sure how it turned out this good, but, when I tried it for the 3rd time and my daughter in law informed me, "This is BOMB", I knew it was share worthy!  The texture is crazy awesome and the flavor, well, I mean come on, "pumpkin praline cheesecake".  Pffttt, delish.  I think it will be part of our Thanksgiving dessert table this year.  I hope you make it part of yours too!

OH!  I almost forgot.  The pan you will need...   I used about an 7x10 or something close to that.  A 9x13 will be to big, unless you double your cheesecake layer recipe.  A 9x9 should work nicely.  WHY did I use such an odd size?  I don't know either, but I did.  So just keep that in mind when picking what size to use!

1 yellow cake mix
3/4 cup melted butter
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
8 oz. cream cheese (softened to room temperature)
2 eggs
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup pecans
2 T-1/4 cup maple flavored pancake syrup or maple syrup

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  In a bowl combine dry cake mix and melted butter. 

Press into the bottom of your pan evenly and bake for 15 minutes.  Remove and let cool while you mix up your filling.

Combine, pumpkin puree, cream cheese, eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth and creamy.  Pour over crust.  Top with pecans, and then drizzle over your syrup.  Bake for 35-40 minutes, until almost set in the middle.  It will jiggle a wee bit.  Remove and let sit until it is room temperature.  Now chill for at LEAST 6 hours.  I think it is best chilled overnight.  Serve with a some sweetened whipped cream, or a small scoop of ice cream even!

MMMM-mmmm good!!

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