Thursday, October 10, 2013

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Oreo Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars


This post is supposed to be about pumpkin cinnamon rolls. I stocked up on all the necessary ingredients this weekend, but every time I thought about dealing with yeast, my zeal for cinnamon rolls dissipated. 

Besides, I have a jar of Oreos getting staler by the second. (Without fail, my guests ask for an Oreo, and I have to warn them about the compromised quality, thanks to my non-air-tight cookie jar. That's what I get for buying a $4 jar.)

I wasn't sure how Oreos would taste with pumpkin, especially Birthday Cake Oreos, which have been lingering around my house for months. But I plunged ahead. (Don't be alarmed by the colored dots in the photos. Those are from the Birthday Cake creme filling.) 

I found the recipe on Something Swanky, but modified it slightly. The recipe calls for Oreos crumbled on top, which I did, but with an extra flair: I tossed the cookie pieces in butter, then covered them in yellow cake mix, creating a crumb-like topping. I ditched the chocolate chips on top, since that might be TOO sweet (if that's even possible).

My first tester was a sugar fanatic like me, so she, of course, wanted a second serving. But the true test was my husband, who had just eaten a steak (which to him is the definition of culinary heaven). He gave me a fist pump, which in Frank language means a job well done (and also means I'm apparently married to a teenage boy). 

Oreo Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

What you need

The crust:
20 Oreo cookies + 5 for topping
2.5 Tbsp butter + 2.5 Tbsp for topping
1/3 cup yellow cake mix 

The filling:
2 (8-oz) packages cream cheese (I used lower-calorie neufchatel) 
1 cup sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp flour
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (I just used cinnamon)
1/4 tsp salt

Put it all together
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8" square baking dish with foil, then lightly coat it with cooking spray.
  2. Crush the 20 Oreos for the crust in a food processor (I hand-crushed them for a chunkier crust), then toss with 2.5 Tbsp melted butter. Press into the prepared pan, and bake for 10 minutes.
  3. To make the filling, beat the cream cheese (at room temperature) with the sugar. Once smooth, add the pumpkin puree, followed by the eggs one at a time. Finally, incorporate the flour, spice, and salt. Pour the mixture over the crust.
  4. Crumble the remaining 5 Oreos, toss them in 2.5 Tbsp melted butter, then coat them in the cake mix. Sprinkle evenly on top of the pumpkin mixture.
  5. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Cool completely, then cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours before serving.


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