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Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bar Cookies

Pumpkin Bars Are Like Cake With the Frosting Already Swirled In

Take pumpkin puree and add the heady, warm flavors of pumpkin pie to the mix, and you have a delicious batter; spread it out in a pan and then swirl in a generous dose of what is essentially cream cheese frosting, and you have a near-unbeatable treat.

Tender, tangy, and moist (sorry if that word makes you shudder, but it's an apt descriptor), these squares straddle the line between bar cookie and snacking cake.

Perfect for the Fall season, these three-bite nibbles would be a wonderful addition to a bake sale, an excellent extra to that mailed care package for a friend, or a fitting finish to a casual autumnal dinner. Or, if you're feeling a bit indulgent, a great stand-in for your morning muffin.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bar Cookies

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bar Cookies

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bar Cookies

Ingredients

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for greasing the pan
1 3/4 cups (12 1/4 ounces) granulated sugar, divided
3 large eggs, divided
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 3/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 13-by-9-inch casserole dish.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar until smooth. Whisk in 2 eggs, pumpkin, and 1/3 cup water until well blended. In another mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and nutmeg. Fold into the butter mixture until no streaks of flour remain. Spread batter evenly in the prepared casserole dish.
  3. In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese, remaining egg, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar until smooth.
  4. Drop cream cheese mixture in evenly spaced 1-tablespoon dollops over the batter. Use a butter knife to swirl the batter, gently folding some of the cream cheese mixture under the pumpkin batter.
  5. Bake until the center of pumpkin batter (not the cream cheese mixture) springs back when touched, about 30 to 32 minutes. Let cool completely in pan, and then cut into 20 bars.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Nicole Perry
Around The Web
Join The Conversation
smugirl smugirl 8 years
not really brownie like, because not as dense. really like a cake or pumpkin bread
ishop2much ishop2much 8 years
We made these the other night....DELICIOUS!
CesyBabe CesyBabe 8 years
Question- we dont have canned pumpkin in NZ, so would it be equivalent to 1 cup cooked pumpkin? My American raised flatmate turned us onto pumpkin as a sweett thing this year- its amazing!
Diana172 Diana172 8 years
Are they like brownies then, smugirl?
smugirl smugirl 8 years
Oh and they come out cakey, so not very cookie like at all. Made mine in a 13 x 11 pan.
smugirl smugirl 8 years
I just made this! It's yummmmyyy! Ohhh and the batter is good too, yes I licked the spoon... :)
itsallabouttheg itsallabouttheg 8 years
i'm going to have to try this soon.
Diana172 Diana172 8 years
Ooh, yeah these might be a little too fattening... boo!
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 8 years
You have completely read my mind: All I have been thinking about for over a week is a pumpkin cheesecake! I just had on today too. With pecans and whipped cream. Mmm mmm good!
Liss1 Liss1 8 years
Yummy!
karebear25 karebear25 8 years
Um mm, yummy, I am obsessed with pumpkin right now, I guess it is because of the time of year.
millarci millarci 8 years
omg that looks amazing! yummy!
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 8 years
ooo i want to make this right now!
nikodarling nikodarling 8 years
mmmm yummy. Perfect timing my mom gave me like 60 lbs of pumpkins this weekend and I'm going crazy trying to figure out what to do with them. This will be a good start.
llendril llendril 8 years
i've been checking out the pumpkin/cream cheese muffins at starbucks lately. so THANK YOU for this recipe. now i can make something similar myself!
crispet1 crispet1 8 years
Sounds realllly good!
sweetcranberi sweetcranberi 8 years
I am definitely making these! I LOVE pumpkin bread and cream cheese. Yum!
Brittneylb Brittneylb 8 years
They sound super delicious, but I wonder if I could add some sort of crust to the bottom?
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 8 years
Sounds so yum, but it also = fat!!!
ashleygaidhlig ashleygaidhlig 8 years
I think I might try to make these this weekend!
mizlynz mizlynz 8 years
Mmm those look delish!
mireya mireya 8 years
Mmmmm, must make these. I'm in pumpkin nirvana. I have the smell in my car, my house, my lotion....I have a problem.
mominator mominator 8 years
This is going straight to favorites and hopefully I can make these this weekend. I know what my dish of sweets to bring to MIL for Thanksgiving will be. Thanks!
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Sounds yum but holy calories!
Diana172 Diana172 8 years
These look awesome! I love how they're two-toned, too.
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