Saturday, January 3, 2015

BANANA PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE BARS

Last year Chiquita hosted a fantastic recipe contest; 8 weeks long with one winner each week taking home a $4,000....yes $4,000 cash prize.  Now last year isn't all that long ago since we are still in the first week of 2015 .... so I thought I'd share another one of my losing recipes from that contest.

Now just 'cause this recipe didn't win doesn't mean it isn't a keeper treat!  My neighbors all round the house are my taste testers and  the results were unanimous; everyone loved it.....yes they do give me REAL feedback when I'm recipe experimenting.....

So anyway.....here is the recipe for Banana Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake Bars.....it will take you about the same amount of time to make these as it does to type the title!  (New Year's resolution: SHORTER RECIPE TITLES!)


BANANA PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE BARS

24 Pecan Shortbread Cookies divided (3 cups when crushed into crumbs)
½ C. plus 1 T. Butter divided
1/8 t. Pumpkin Pie Spice
2 ripe bananas
1 can pumpkin pie filling (15 oz)
2 T. Orange Zest
1 C. Brown Sugar firmly packed divided
2 eggs
8 oz Cream Cheese room temperature
1 Cup Pecans chopped

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees
Line 13 X 9 baking dish with parchment paper or aluminum foil, extending foil/paper over sides by 2 inches to allow for easy removal from baking pan. Coat with nonstick spray.
Pulse blend 20 (2 1/2) cups) pecan shortbread cookies and pumpkin pie spice until you have just crumbs.
Add 5 tablespoons melted butter and mix well.
Press the cookie crumb mixture evenly onto bottom of baking pan and bake for 15 minutes.
Mix the remaining 4cookies (1/2 cup crumbs), ½ cup brown sugar, 4 tablespoons butter and chopped pecans until crumbly. Set aside.
Blend together the bananas, pumpkin pie filling, orange zest, eggs, cream cheese and ½ cup brown sugar until smooth.
Pour batter over cookie crumb crust and top with pecan/cookie crumble.
Bake in center of preheated 350 degree oven for 45-50 minutes until set.
Remove from oven and cool on rack until room temperature.
Remove from baking pan, fold down the foil or paper and cut into squares.

ENJOY!

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