I am slightly obsessed with Pumpkin, which I guess is good timing since it is in season. I think part of the problem is I gave up coffee, which means no more pumpkin spice latte. (which besides being expensive is full of artificial flavoring and really against my food rules completely, that said I miss them terribly.) I have been making do with pumpkin flavored everything else. There is a very delicious pumpkin spice tea at Trader Joes, I highly recommend it. This week I had a pot luck to provide dessert for, and I made pumpkin cheesecake squares. Gluten free to boot- as we had a gluten free guest. They are so creamy and rich- with the perfect combination of spice and chocolate. I cut them into small bite sized portions, then proceeded to eat several. Such is life.
This cheesecake is very easy to make. It all comes together in the food processor. Preheat the oven to 350. Then blitz up some chocolate cookies to make the crust. The original recipe called for chocolate wafer cookies, but they contained ingredients I don’t eat. Like hydrogenated oils. So I bought the Pamela’s gluten free chocolate cookies. You want cookies that are crispy, not soft and chewy ones. I used 3/4 of this bag. I ate the rest. Seriously.
Blitz the cookies until you have crumbs. About 1.5 cups. You don’t have to be exact. Then pour melted butter on the crumbs and blend it together. Maybe 30 seconds. Prepare a square brownie pan with parchment going each way, with overhang. This will help you lift it out later. Press the cookies into the pan, then bake for 12 minutes, or until set. Cool completely on a rack.
In the food processor cream the pumpkin and cream cheese. I make my own pumpkin puree by roasting a small baking pumpkin. The taste is immeasurably better. Seriously. Canned pumpkin will do in a pinch, but sucks compared to the fresh stuff. If you bake your own, peel and cube, then roast it at 400 for about 30 minutes. I use coconut oil to oil the pan and pumpkin (cut into 2″ cubes) as I like the taste of the coconut oil in sweet foods. If you are making savory foods use olive oil. Add to the creamed pumpkin and cheese the rest of the ingredients (except the chocolate) and puree until smooth.
Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between. It should take less than 2 minutes total. Once the chocolate is smooth, stir in 1 cup of the pumpkin mixture and set aside.
Pour the pumpkin mixture into the prepared pan, then dollop the chocolate on top. Use a chopstick, or something like it, to swirl in the chocolate. I think there is a trick to this that I don’t know. Seriously. I never have pretty swirls. Yummy- yes. Pretty, no. Certainly not like the source recipe! Maybe someday. I will aspire to pretty swirls and keep at it!
Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes. Looking for the cheesecake to be set, but a tiny bit jiggly in the middle. Cool completely on a rack- then cover in plastic wrap and chill for 3 hours. This step is essential to the cheesecake setting up. I cut it short, having to leave for my potluck and it was a little less set than I wanted. Luckily I put it in the fridge again when I arrived and it was perfect by the time we ate dessert. Cut into squares to suit you. I did 16, and since they were rich- they were the perfect amount to finish the meal. If you are just having a snack you might eat two or three… or maybe that’s just me.
- 1½ cup chocolate cookie crumbs (I used half a package of Pamelas GF cookies)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (roast your own pumpkin- it’s so much better!)
- 3 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons gluten free baking mix
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350º.
- In a food processor, process the cookies until you have crumbs.
- Add the melted butter and process until combined, 30 seconds or so.
- Press the cookie mixture into prepared pan.
- Bake for 12 minutes, then cool.
- In the food processor combine the cream cheese and pumpkin and process until smooth.
- Add the eggs, sugar, flour, spice and salt and process until smooth.
- In a microwave bowl, melt the chocolate in 30 second intervals stirring in between. When the chocolate is melted, stir until smooth and then stir in 1 cup of pumpkin cream cheese mixture.
- Pour the pumpkin mixture into the pan, then dollop the chocolate on top.
- Use a chopstick or something similar to swirl the chocolate into the pumpkin.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes until set, with a little giggle in the center.
- Cool on a wire rack completely, then transfer to the fridge for 3 hours or up to 2 days.