Ahhhh, yes. It’s the weekend! How was your week? I had a pretty great week consisting of lots of yoga, two puppy play dates, my first post-marathon run, a lettuce eating Instagram video, steak fajitas, pork tacos, and mason jar crafting. Oh, and these sugar cookie bottom, salted caramel swirled pumpkin cheesecake bars. Again, with the pumpkin. And again, with the salted caramel. I KNOW. I just can’t stay away. The combination is pure magic, I swear.
I made these for my co-workers after getting an email from one of them on Monday afternoon, politely asking if I would make treats. The email also included a picture of a kitten. Now, I’m not really a fan of cats and if he really wanted to tug at my heart strings he would have used a picture of a puppy, buuuut the picture was pretty cute. So off to the kitchen I went!
I’ve made a couple different kinds of pumpkin cheesecake before (here and here), but never pumpkin cheesecake bars. I feel like an entire cheesecake usually isn’t made unless there’s an event like Thanksgiving or a birthday, and cheesecake bars are the more casual version. They’re more laid back, less complicated, and don’t crack under pressure (ha. ha. ha.). My kinda dessert.
Since I loved the combination of salted caramel and pumpkin in my pumpkin bars, I decided to fancy up plain ‘ol pumpkin cheesecake bars with salted caramel too. Also, because I can’t leave good enough alone. Life of a food blogger, I tell ya. Instead of a graham cracker or gingersnap crust (which I’m sure would both be delicious) I did a sugar cookie crust, instead. I’m always a fan of thick crusts, so I was a total sucker for these bars.
They were deliciously irresistible and probably (okay, definitely) the reason my pants feel a little bit tighter this weekend. But I have two words for that: worth it. If you need an impressive dessert but want it on the easier side – these bars are for you! There are two rounds of mixing due to the cookie dough and pumpkin cheesecake, but really both of them are a matter of just beating together the ingredients. Also, I know not every one has a jar of fleur de sel laying around so if you don’t, you could leave it out, but if you do, DON’T leave it out! The salty crunch was my favorite part.