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Sorry for the lack of a post on Monday (first time in almost a year I’ve skipped a post), BUT I have a very valid reason…The Royals swept the Angles in the last series!!! As I mentioned before, we were at the game, so needless to say, Sunday night was quite the night for us. Since I don’t typically have my posts ready to go ahead of time, I was left scrambling come Monday morning, and I didn’t want to post something half-assed, so I figured it would be better to wait until today when I could give it my all.

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So. I had a pumpkin spice latte for the first time a few weeks ago and…

I hated it.

Well actually, hate is a strong word, but I didn’t like it, not even a little bit. It was just wayyy too sweet and…umm spicy? I ended up having to dump half of it out and dilute the remaining overly sweet liquid with coffee just to appease my taste buds. Pretty disappointing considering the hype that came along with that drink purchase. After all, I had meticulously planned our morning around that silly drink. Kev and I were to walk to our favorite neighborhood bakery, pick up a croissant (for me), a cinnamon roll (for him), plain cheap coffee (for him) and a PSL (for me). I tried to choke down more than a few gulps, but had to stop after the first two.

You’re all probably looking at your computer screen with mouths agape, wondering how anyone on earth could do anything but fall head over heels in love with the most beloved and talked about drink of fall. Sorry to disappoint all you #PSL fanatics out there, but it just was not my thing. IF I get a frou frou drink at Starbucks, it’s almost always a skinny vanilla latte when it’s cooler and an iced coffee with a splash of vanilla and skim milk if it’s hot as heck. I’ve just never been one to waste my calories and sugar intake on a drink, I’d rather have an extra helping of pasta, or if we’re talking fall and pumpkin, I’d much rather have one of these pumpkin streusel cheesecake squares.

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I know I’ve spoken about my previous lackluster feelings towards desserts, but cheesecake has always been one of the few desserts that I absolutely cannot resist. As a kid, I would eat obscenely large helpings of cheesecake more often than I care to admit, in fact, one of my favorite after-school snacks was literally cream cheese and sugar mixed together and then eaten by the spoonful. I know, gross.

Obviously my cheesecake consumption has tapered off considerably in the last decade, but that doesn’t mean I have any less love for it. Although these days, it’s more of a once or twice a year indulgence instead of an everyday occurrence.

Pumpkin streusel cheesecake squares combine all my favorite dessert indulgences into one bite. Luscious cheesecake filling, a sweet and salty graham cracker crust and buttery streusel topping are the building blocks of the dessert, and a drizzle of my go-to cheater’s caramel sauce (optional) is drizzled over once the squares have cooled completely.

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Even though I’m a little disappointed the PSL wasn’t meant for me, I’m glad I have other pumpkin indulgences to keep my fall sweet tooth satisfied, because what would fall be without it??

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Pumpkin Streusel Cheesecake Squares

Ingredients

    Crust
  • 1 package graham crackers (about five ounces or 9 full graham crackers)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • Filling
  • 3 - 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • Crumble Topping:½ cup oats
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • pinch of salt
  • Caramel Sauce (Optional)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. For Crust:
  3. In a food processor, pulse graham crackers until crushed. With the mixer on slowly drizzle in butter. Pulse until combine.
  4. Grease a 10 inch square baking pan, or a 9 inch spring form pan. Press graham cracker crust into bottom of pan. Bake until golden brown, about ten minutes. Cool and turn temperature of oven down to 325 degrees.
  5. For filling:
  6. In a stand-mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar. Beat until smooth. Add pumpkin puree, cinnamon and salt. Beat until smooth.
  7. With the mixer on low, add eggs one at a time until combined. Turn mixer off.
  8. Once crust has cooled, pour filling on top. Sprinkle with crumb topping and bake for 50-60 minutes until set.
  9. Let cool to room temperature and then store in the fridge for at least four hours until completely cold and set.
  10. For crumb topping
  11. Combine oats, salt and flour in small bowl. Cut butter with fork or hands until combined. Sprinkle over cheesecake filing.
  12. Caramel Sauce
  13. In a mason jar, or microwave safe bowl. Add butter and sugar. Heat in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between each until the brown sugar and butter are melted. It should take about 4-5 30-second intervals. Add in cream and salt, stir until combined. Drizzle over cooled cheesecake squares.
http://www.cookingforkeeps.com/pumpkin-streusel-cheesecake-squares/

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