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  • Certified Piedmontese

Pumpkin Cheesecake With Streusel & Vanilla Icing

It's fall in a dessert! A graham crust topped with creamy pumpkin cheesecake, crispy streusel, and a simple icing that pulls it all together is just what crunchy leaves and cooler weather calls for. It’s even better enjoyed with a hot cup of coffee!

Makes 8 to 12 slices

For the Graham Cracker Crust:

1 ¼ ground graham crackers

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

¼ cup unsalted butter, melted

Grease the bottom and sides of an 8- or 9-inch spring form pan. In a medium bowl, combine the cookie crumbs, sugar, and butter. Press crust mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Prepare the pumpkin filling (recipe follows).

For the Pumpkin-Cheesecake Filling:

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

½ cup granulated sugar

3 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1¼ cup canned pumpkin puree

1/3 cup sour cream (substitute plain Greek yogurt, if desired)

1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

Using an electric mixer, in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar on high speed until creamy and smooth, about 1 minute. Adjust speed to low and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after adding each egg. Add the vanilla, pumpkin, sour cream, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger. Combine on medium speed until creamy. Pour the filling over top the Graham Cracker Crust and spread evenly. Set aside. Prepare the Streusel (recipe follows).

For the Streusel:

½ cup old-fashioned oats

1/3 packed brown sugar

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed

In a medium bowl, whisk together the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour. Cut in the chilled butter with a pastry blender or two forks, until the mixture resembles course crumbs. Sprinkle over the Pumpkin-Cheesecake filling.

Bake for about 50 minutes; cover the bars with foil after 35 minutes to prevent the streusel from burning. The bars are done when the edges are lightly browned and the center is mostly set (it should jiggle only slightly). Cool for 1 hour, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 3 hours or overnight. Drizzle bars with Vanilla Icing (recipe follows) before serving.

For the Vanilla Icing:

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 to 3 tablespoons milk or heavy cream

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, milk or heavy cream, and vanilla extract. If necessary, add an additional tablespoon of milk or cream to thin.

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