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Haunted Dessert – Pumpkin cheesecake squares delight, thanks to a ghostly topping

This time of year, pumpkins are in abundance—and so are good deals on canned pumpkin. Make use of the sales but think beyond pumpkin pie; besides the eggs, this tasty treat includes a protein boost from cream cheese and pecans.

Afraid of ghosts? Let the kids try their hand at making the spooky topping—if you dare!



Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares

Serves: 15-20

Prep time: 20 minutes

Bake time: 50 minutes

Note: Don’t you hate it when your cheesecake cracks on top? Put a shallow pan of water on the bottom rack of your oven while your cheesecake bakes to keep cracks to a minimum.


1 ¼ cups flour

½ cup brown sugar

7 Tablespoons cold butter

1 cup pecans

1 can pumpkin pie filling

1 ½ bars (12 ounces) cream cheese, softened

3 eggs

½ cup condensed milk

Whipped cream

Candy dots or mini chocolate candies


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Put flour and sugar in food processor and pulse.
3. Cut butter into 1-tablespoon sections and pulse until mixed. Add pecans and pulse once more.
4. Spread mixture evenly into a buttered 13- x 9-inch baking pan. Bake 15 minutes and then take out to cool on a baking rack.
5. Put the remaining ingredients in the food processor and blend until smooth, occasionally scraping cream cheese from the side of the bowl. Once blended, pour over cooled crust mixture.
6. Bake for 35 minutes and then cool completely or chill.
7. Just before serving, swirl on the whipped cream ghosts and add eyes. Ghosts will last longer if the pumpkin cheesecake squares have been chilled.

Tip: If you plan to travel with these or want to put them out on a table, skip the whipped cream and use confectioners’ sugar on top. You can sprinkle evenly or use a stencil to add pumpkins or other fall motifs.


By Bridgett Hurley



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