Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars

I had some pureed pumpkin left over from last week's Pumpkin Cranberry Cookies, and since those were gobbled up pretty quickly, I decided to make another pumpkin baked treat.  After all, there's no sense in letting perfectly good pumpkin puree go to waste!  I just happened to have another box of spice cake mix (I always buy cake mix in pairs!), so I went back to The Ultimate Cake Mix Cookie Book -- but I couldn't find the combination of ingredients I was hankering for, so I decided to use the cookbook's basic bar cookie recipe as an inspiration to create my own!

For this treat, I wanted a pumpkin bar cookie, with some cheesecake batter swirled in.  I also wanted to add some chocolate chips, because let's face it, chocolate makes everything taste better. Here's what I came up with.  The name -- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars -- is quite a mouthful, but then so is the treat.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars

Cheesecake Swirl:
1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Bar Cookie:
1 (18.25-oz.) package spice cake mix
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Combine the cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla extract in a bowl and mix till well blended.

Combine the spice cake mix, butter, light brown sugar, egg, and pumpkin puree in a separate bowl and mix till well blended.  Fold in 3/4 cup chocolate chips.

Pour the pumpkin mix into a 13x9-inch baking pan, lined with parchment paper.  Run a spatula back and forth over the surface of the batter to create grooves.

Pour the cream cheese mixture over the top of the pumpkin mixture.  Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips on top.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Transfer to a rack and cool completely before cutting into squares.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars

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