Maple Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars With White Chocolate Ganache

CRUST

42 gingersnap cookies (about 9 ounces)

2 TBS. granulated sugar

5 TBS. butter, melted

FILLING

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

1 cup brown sugar

1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree (about 2 cups)

2 eggs

1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk

3 TBS. pure maple syrup

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 tsp. salt

Pinch of ground cloves

GANACHE

10 ounces white chocolate (NOT white chocolate chips, but the very best quality you can buy)

2/3 cup heavy cream

1.5 TBS. butter, at room temperature, cut in three pieces

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 13 baking pan with parchment paper so that the ends extend over the sides of the pan.

Make the crust: In a food processor, pulse together the gingersnaps and sugar until they become fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse a few more times to incorporate. Press the crumbs evenly into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes.

Make the filling: While crust is baking, prepare the pumpkin filling. Beat together the cream cheese and the brown sugar on medium speed until smooth and creamy, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed, about 2 minutes. Add the pumpkin and mix on low speed until completely incorporated. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well until fully incorporated and scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition. Add the evaporated milk, maple syrup and vanilla, and beat until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the cinnamon, ginger, salt and cloves and mix on low to incorporate.

Pour the filling over the prepared crust and tap the pan on the counter to remove air bubbles. Bake until the filling is set in the center, about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from over and set on a wire rack to cool. Once the bars have cooled to room temperature, prepare the ganache topping.

Make the white chocolate ganache: Chop the white chocolate into small pieces and place in a heat-safe bowl. Bring the cream to a boil (you can do this in a microwave oven) and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for 30 seconds and then, using a whisk, gently stir the chocolate and cream together in small circles, starting in the center of the bowl and working your way out in ever-widening concentric circles. When the ganache is smooth, add the butter one piece at a time, stirring until it is incorporated. If the ganache is too thin, place in refrigerator for a few minutes, checking until the ganache has thickened up enough to use.

Spread ganache over cheesecake bars. Refrigerate until set. Lift bars out of pan with the edges of the parchment paper and cut into squares.

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