Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars: creamy, decadent little pumpkin pie bars, made with lots of love, spice, and cream cheese!
I decided against sharing a plain ol’ pumpkin pie this week, in favor of creativity with the flavors instead.
But I guess this is kind of a pie. It’s a pie in a bar. That you can eat from your hand instead of a fork.
And it’s kind of a cheesecake?
The story behind these Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars is a short one, but yummy all the same.
In case you didn’t know, when I’m not baking and blogging here, I’m a bakery manager for a beloved supermarket chain here in the South.
Southerners (and a lot of Snowbirds) know and adore this chain – we do pretty well for ourselves.
For the most part, we carry the same items all year round, but when holidays hit, corporate likes to send us new and exciting products to get people obsessing over, just so they can take them away in a couple of months.
Sounds an awful lot like Dunkin’ Donuts (I’m already counting the numbered days of my beloved Pumpkin Swirl items.)
This year, they sent us something we’d never seen before, and became immediately enamored with. They called them Pumpkin Decadence Bars.
I (and everyone else that works in my department) called them addicting, and knew immediately that I had to figure out the secret to what made them so good.
So these bars are my attempt at recreating the deliciousness that is those store-bought delicacies.
And with perfect timing too – we’ve sold out of them, and they’re not an item we can reorder!
They’re not an exact replica. They need a bit more experimentation, but they are super tasty, and make eating pumpkin pie that much easier, since they’re practically a pumpkin cheesecake blondie.
Hmmm. Maybe that’s the name I should have gone with.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×9 cake pan with parchment, then trim pie crust to fit in the bottom of the pan, allowing it to come slightly up the sides and using trimmings to cover any gaps that may form. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer), cream butter and cream cheese for 2 minutes, until blended.
- Add in the egg, sugar, and vanilla, beating until combined.
- Add the pumpkin puree, spice, and cinnamon, and mix until combined.
- Finally, add flour and salt, mixing until just combined.
- Pour mixture into pie crust and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until set, and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Allow to cool to room temperature before refrigerating, then cut 3×4 to create 16 mini bars.
- Top with a dollop of whipped cream, and enjoy without a fork!