Wednesday, October 14, 2009

National Dessert Day


While no one really knows when it originated, October is “National Dessert Month,” and today, October 14th is recognized as “National Dessert Day”.I cannot think of a better excuse to indulge in a day of decadent desserts. So in honor of the season and this most precious day (precious to those of us who are trying to eat healthier)it seems only fitting to include a dessert made with pumpkin. 


Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars


Crust: 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon Red Monkey Organic Sea Salt Seasoning
8 teaspoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
Cooking Spray

Filling: 1 1/4 cups canned unsweetened pumpkin
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 package fat-free cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup egg substitute
1 teaspoon Red Monkey Organic Ground Cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon Red Monkey Organic Ground Allspice
1 large egg Remaining Ingredients: 1/4 cup chopped pecans and 2 teaspoons water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To prepare crust:

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.  Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add flour to pan; cook 5 minutes or until light brown, stirring often.  Remove pan from heat.  Transfer flour to a bowl; cool completely.Combine cooled flour, ½ cup brown sugar, and salt in a food processor; pulse 5 times or until combined.  Add chilled butter; pulse until mixture resembles fine meal.  Press 1 cup of flour mixture evenly into the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray; reserve the remaining flour mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until crust is lightly browned.


To prepare filling,

spread pumpkin in an even layer on several layers of paper towels; cover with additional paper towels.  Let stand 5 minutes.Combine granulated sugar, ½ cup dark brown sugar, and cream cheeses in a bowl.  Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed 2 minutes or until smooth.  Scrape pumpkin into bowl using a rubber spatula.  Add egg substitute, cinnamon, vanilla, allspice, and egg; beat until smooth.  Scrape batter into baked crust.Combine reserved flour mixture and pecans in a small bowl; sprinkle with 2 teaspoons water.  Squeeze handfuls of topping to form large pieces.  Crumble over filling.Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until filling is firmly set.  Remove from heat; cool in pan on wire rack.

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