November 02, 2012

Recipe: Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

We ran out of candy fairly early Halloween night, and since it was pouring rain our tough little Iron Man and beautiful baby flower only made it to only a few neighbouring houses.  That meant we ate very little candy in our house this year (although it was enough to give Iron Man night terrors... yikes!).  In need of a sweet treat to celebrate the end of the week, I made these vegan pumpkin cheesecake bars.  They aren't too sweet but are wonderfully spiced with pumpkin pie spices, reminiscent of cozy autumn nights. And they are fairly easy to prepare, which is a plus with two little munchkins who need me.  I even had one little munchkin help me measure and stir - his two favourite baking tasks apart from sticking his little munchkin fingers into whatever I'm making to have a taste.

Now on to the recipe.  First, make your flax egg so it can sit for a few minutes while you prepare the base and other ingredients.  A flax egg acts as a binder, replacing real eggs, and is made by combining 1 tablespoon of ground flax with 3 tablespoons water.  They make "egg replacer" which is readily available, but something about it creeps me out.  I prefer to use flax eggs since they are just finely ground flax seeds.  You make the graham cracker base by combining graham crumbs, earth balance (I get the "soy free" kind) and maple syrup and pulsing in your food processor until the mixture is well combined.  The topping is then made in the (cleaned) processor while the graham base firms up in the freezer, then spread evenly over the base like so:

Bake in the centre of the oven for 35-40 minutes until the top is golden brown.  It will look like this when its done:

Let the bars cool in the baking dish for at least 30 minutes before you slice them.  If you don't wait, the topping won't be firm enough to serve.

 Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
Makes 12

Base Layer
1 1/2 c graham cracker crumbs
2 tbsp earth balance (vegan butter)
1 tbsp maple syrup 

1 c pumpkin puree
8 oz vegan cream cheese (such as Tofutti)
1/3 c agave nectar
2 tbsp flour
2 flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flax + 6 tbsp warm water, combined and let sit for 5-10 min)
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350.  Lightly grease and line a 8 x 8 baking dish with parchment paper.  First prepare flax eggs by mixing ground flax and warm water in small bowl.  Let stand while you make the base layer.  For base, pulse graham crumbs, earth balance and maple syrup in food processor until well combined.  Press into baking dish and chill in freezer to firm up while you prepare topping.  To make topping, blend all ingredients in food processor until smooth.  Spread evenly over base and bake for 35-40 min until top is golden brown.  Let cool for 30 min in baking dish.  Cut into squares and serve.

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1 comment:

  1. Aw! Munchkin fingers! <3 <3 <3
    Can you bake this and mail it to me please?