This is another recipe from the Muirhead people -- the ones who make that wonderful pecan pumpkin butter that Williams Sonoma sells for $10.00/jar. Visit their website for more recipes with pecan pumpkin butter: http://www.muirheadfoods.com/. If you're not near a Williams Sonoma store, or if you would rather make your own pumpkin butter, the knockoff recipe is on my blog under Jams and Preserves category. It's not hard and it's so delicious. I followed the Muirhead recipe, except I added toasted pecans to the crust and topping; added a chocolate drizzle to the topping; added cinnamon, vanilla and flour to the filling; and subbed heavy cream for the milk. Instead of serving this as the main dessert, I cut them into small, cookie-size squares and will include them on my Christmas cookie tray.
Pecan Pumpkin Butter Cheesecake Squares
CRUST: 2 cups all-purpose flour, lightly spooned and swept
2/3 cup packed brown sugar (I used 1/3 cup sugar + 1/2 Tbsp. Stevia Plus +
1 Tbsp. molasses
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) + 2 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter
1 cup toasted finely chopped pecans
FILLING: 16 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup Muirhead Pecan Pumpkin Butter (or homemade)
3 Tbsp. heavy cream (or milk if you prefer)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. flour
DRIZZLE: 1/2 - 3/4 cup chocolate chips
2 Tbsp. condensed sweetened milk
DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil, letting it hang over the edges. (This will be your "handles" to pick up the cheesecake squares when they are cool.) If using mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar. Mix in flour and salt until just combined, then add nuts. Mixture will be crumbly. If using food processor, pulse flour, sugar and salt together till combined. Add cold butter, cut into small chunks. Pulse till crumbly. Add pecans and pulse till combined. Set aside 1-1/2 cups for topping. Press remaining dough into bottom of the baking pan. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden. Cool slightly while preparing filling.
Have all filling ingredients at room temperature before starting. With electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth in medium sized bowl. Mix in eggs, cream, cinnamon, vanilla and pumpkin butter. Stir in flour. If using food processor, pulse cream cheese and sugar till smooth and fluffy, about 5-6 pulses. Add eggs, pulsing till combined, about 3 pulses. Add cream, cinnamon, vanilla and pumpkin butter, pulsing again till combined, about 4-5 pulses. Add flour and pulse till it disappears, about 2 pulses. Spread filling on pre-baked crust. Crumble remaining dough on top evenly. Bake 35-40 minutes or til filling is set. Cool completely on wire rack.
When cool, pick up "handles" and transfer cheesecake to cutting board. Heat the chocolate chips and condensed milk in a small saucepan over low heat till melted, then drizzle over the bars. Cut into squares. Refrigerate or freeze these till you are ready to serve them. Best served cold rather than room temperature.