These Brûléed Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars definitely happened.
The crust. First off, the crust is made from crushed gingersnaps so it has this molasses and dark brown sugar kinda thing going on. Plus butter. So everything good.
The filling. Is the perfect combination of creamy cheesecake and pumpkin. It’s not overly sweet, it bakes up like a dream, and it takes about 10 minutes to make.
The brûlée. I have a thing for slightly burnt things. I like my toast just a little bit too dark. I like the crusts of my tarts or quiches to be slightly overdone. So anytime there’s any amount of burnt sugar involved, I’m in.I love the way the sugar forms a crunchy little candy crust on top of the cheesecake. Both the flavor and the texture take some otherwise solid pumpkin cheesecake bars and make them something really special.
And if you want to get realllly crazy, I would recommend a little bit of whipped cream on top.
- 1 16 ounce box gingersnap cookies
- ½ cup salted butter, melted
- 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups cooked mashed pumpkin (you can use canned)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- ½ cup sugar (I recommend demerara sugar)
- In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the gingersnaps until they are a fine crumb. Transfer to a medium bowl, add the butter, and stir until combined. Dump the crumbs into a 13X9 inch pan, lined with foil. Using clean hands, press the crumbs evenly into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes in a preheated 350 degree F oven. Cool for 20 minutes.
- While the crust is baking/cooling, beat together the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed for 2-3 minutes. Add the pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla, and salt and continue to beat on medium until incorporated. Add the eggs, one at a time. Stop the mixer and remove the bowl. With a spatula, gently fold in the flour.
- Pour the mixture into the pan and bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes. The center should still be slightly jiggly when you move the pan. Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
- Cut into 20 bars with a sharp knife. Top each bar with a few tablespoons of sugar and use a kitchen blowtorch to brûlée the tops.