The distinctive flavor of pumpkin pie spice folded into a creamy cheesecake and baked into chewy brown-sugar bars makes for an extra-special autumnal treat. Using a combination of 1/3-less-fat and fat-free cream cheese helps keep the total fat low but still adds richness to these bars. Don't be tempted to use all fat-free cream cheese; the texture won't be nearly as luscious.
4.6 ounces brown rice flour (about 1 cup)
2.6 ounces potato starch (about 1/2 cup)
2.1 ounces tapioca flour (about 1/2 cup)
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
7 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Line a 13 x 9-inch metal baking pan with parchment paper, allowing paper to extend over edge of pan.
Weigh or lightly spoon brown rice flour, potato starch, and tapioca flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Place brown rice flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, 2/3 cup brown sugar, salt, and ginger in a food processor; pulse 2 times or until blended. Add butter; pulse 10 times or until blended. Firmly press flour mixture into bottom of prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or just until set and lightly browned.
Place cream cheeses and 3/4 cup brown sugar in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until creamy. Add pumpkin; beat until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, salt, and milk; beat until blended (mixture will be thin).
Pour pumpkin mixture over prepared crust, and bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until center is set. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cover and chill 2 hours or until ready to serve. Lift bars from pan, using parchment paper sides as handles. Place on a cutting board; cut into 30 bars. Press a pecan half into top of each bar.
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