Good Eats and Sweet Treats from My Small Boston Kitchen

Sopapilla Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Welcome to my first pumpkin post of the fall! I know I’m a bit behind the times, but it seems I’m always playing catch-up with the current season or holiday, and that’s okay with me for now. I am a serious pumpkin lover (as long as that pumpkin is mixed with lots of sugar and spices), but admittedly I get kind of bored with traditional pumpkin recipes – pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, even sometimes pumpkin spice lattes (sad, but true). I still indulge in plenty of PSL’s and bake plenty of pumpkin things every fall, but I am constantly on the lookout for creative and unique pumpkin recipes. That’s where these simple and delicious bars came in!

Part Pillsbury Crescent dough, part pumpkin cheesecake, these bars are semi-homemade – not usually the kind of thing I go for, but I just had to do it. I rarely buy things like Pillsbury Crescent Rolls – they go against every ounce of my love for all things homemade, but sometimes even I have to make exceptions, and this was a great excuse to do so. These bars are extremely easy to make, and really embrace the fall season and fall flavors. I’ve seen a few sopapilla cheesecake recipes floating around lately, but this one with Pumpkin stood out because it’s different. The pumpkin flavor is prominent but not overpowering, and the silky smooth cream cheese mixture packed between two buttery, flaky layers of pastry is a taste to behold.

The assembly is simple – you lay one layer of crescent rolls on the bottom of your pan, spread the pumpkin and cream cheese mixture over that, and then lay another layer of crescent rolls on top. But what happens next is probably one of the most indulgent things I’ve done in recent memory… you melt an entire stick of butter, and you pour all that melted butter over the top layer of crescent roll dough. Little butter puddles form in low places, looking sinful and far two indulgent, so you have to cover them up with a generous sprinkle of cinnamon sugar. I know. It’s crazy.

And after all the crescent dough and the the butter and the sugar get a generous amount of time in a toasty oven, this is what you get. Softy, gooey centers; tender, doughy top and bottom layers; and a crispy crunchy crust on top just to pull it all together, and round out the perfect bite of fall. I’m thinking you should probably go try these soon.

What’s your favorite fall pumpkin recipe?

Sopapilla Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Bar Ingredients:
2 cans crescent rolls
2 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 cup canned pumpkin
5/8 cup sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon*
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice*
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg*
1/2 teaspoon ginger*
*or substitute 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice for these spices.

Topping Ingredients:
6 tablespoons butter, melted (for topping)
1/2 cup sugar (for topping)
1 teaspoon cinnamon (for topping)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a glass 9×13 inch baking dish.

1) Unroll one can of crescent roll dough (all in one piece) and lay it in the dish, pressing it out to cover the bottom and pinching any seams together.

2) In a large mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Add pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice, and beat to combine. Spread this mixture over the crescent roll dough in your pan.

3) Unroll the other can of crescent roll dough and lay it over top of the pumpkin cheesecake mixture.

4) In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup sugar with 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Pour melted butter over top of crescent roll dough and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar mixture evenly across the surface. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

5) Let bars cool completely before covering them and placing them in the refrigerator to chill for at least a couple of hours (I left mine overnight). Cut into squares, heat for just about 20 seconds to take off the chill, and serve with a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of toasted pecans.

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