Um, hey, Christmas? Yeah, I know your busy and all but…November called. He kinda wants his month back. You know, if it’s not too much trouble. K? Thanks.
Does anyone else feel a little sad for our old friend November? I mean, he’s kinda had his identity stolen. Somewhere along the long and winding road of recent history, November got all swallowed up by December and it’s big noise-maker Christmas.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the holiday season. The shopping, giving, tree-trimming, baking, wrapping, and caroling is all and well and good. But I like those things…in DECEMBER! I don’t know who decided it was okay for Christmas to steal the thunder from November but I really think he deserves a second chance to stand on his own two feet.
Anybody remember Thanksgiving? Yeah, you know that holiday that’s supposed to come BEFORE Christmas. That’s only been happening in November since, well…forever and we’ve all but forgot about it in favor of Christmas. Think about all the great things Thanksgiving has to offer. Family. Food!! A time for remembrance, reflection and gratefulness. Your first full day off work since Labor Day and there’s TWO of them?! Hello. Awesome.
Here’s a recipe that’s pure November. Forget about December’s candy canes, sugar cookies and eggnog for a second and remember our good pal Pumpkin. Sure, sure pumpkin pie is the star of the Thanksgiving dessert table but this here’s a recipe for another November day. Like say the Saturday after Thanksgiving. You’ve probably already inhaled the last of the pie at 5:00 a.m. the morning before on your way out to hit up the Black Friday sales. These Pumpkin Cheesecake Crumble Squares are the perfect accompaniment to an after Thanksgiving gathering of friends or a family game night. They’re a snap to make and even easier to eat. With they’re creamy, dreamy, spicy pumpkin filling, tangy sour cream topping and crunchy oat crumble, you’ll be begging November to stick around.
As noted in the reviews of the original recipe, the crust/crumble portion of the recipe seems a bit off proportion-wise for a 9×9 inch pan. I made all of it and did end up with some leftover even after topping my squares. If you are a super math whiz, you may want to reduce the crust recipe by a fourth or so. I’m mentally incapable of doing that sort of thing (true story) so I’ll just go ahead and leave that up to you. 😉 Full recipe appears below.
PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE CRUMBLE SQUARES (Recipe adapted from: Bon Appetit, October 2006 via Epicurious.com)
For the crust:
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, diced
- 1 cup pecan halves (about 4 ounces)
- 3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup canned pure pumpkin
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9x9x2-inch metal baking pan with cooking spray. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Set aside.
- Pulse first 4 ingredients in processor until coarse meal forms. Add pecans; pulse until nuts are chopped. Add oats; pulse until mixture is moistened but not clumping. Press about 3/4 of crumb mixture onto bottom of prepared square pan (do not clean processor). Transfer remaining crumbs to lined baking sheet. Bake crumbs on sheet until golden, stirring once, about 10 minutes. Cool crumbs. Bake crust until golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven while preparing filling. Maintain oven temperature.
- Blend all the filling ingredients in same processor until smooth. Spread filling over warm crust; bake until set, dry in center, and beginning to rise at edges, about 20 minutes. Maintain oven temperature.
- Mix all ingredients in small bowl. Spread evenly over hot filling. Bake until topping sets and bubbles at edges, about 5 minutes. Cool completely in pan on rack. Sprinkle reserved crumbs over topping; gently press into topping. Cover; chill until cold and set, about 2 hours. Can be made up to 2 days before serving. Keep chilled. Cut into squares. Makes 16 servings.
Two Years Ago: I got nothin’. NaNo was consuming me.