Squash Cheesecake Bars

  • Active Time 20m
  • Total Time 4h

18 bars

Pureed winter squash gives most of the body to these leaner cheesecake bars.

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

ingredients

  • 9 low-fat graham crackers (4 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking or steel-cut)
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons nonfat milk
  • 8 ounces nonfat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufch√Ętel), at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup squash puree (see Ingredient Note)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray

Process graham crackers, oats, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1/4 cup flour and butter in a food processor until finely ground. Add milk; pulse until completely moistened.

Transfer the graham cracker mixture to the prepared pan and evenly pat into the bottom. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Beat both cream cheeses and the remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy, scraping down the sides occasionally. Beat in squash puree until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time. Finally, beat in vanilla, cinnamon, salt and the remaining 3 tablespoons flour. Scrape the filling into the pan, spreading evenly over the crust.

Bake until set and the edges are light brown, about 35 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack, then refrigerate for at least 1 hour before cutting into bars.

Ingredient Note: To make your own squash puree, halve and seed one medium acorn or butternut squash. Place, cut-side down, on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F oven until soft, about 50 minutes. Cool, then scrape out the flesh with a fork. Or simply use frozen (thawed) or canned squash puree. Find frozen squash puree near other vegetables in the freezer section and canned squash near the canned pumpkin.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Publisher. All rights reserved.

RecID 7588

nutrition information per serving

146 calories; 6g total fat; 3g total saturated fat; 37mg cholesterol; 209mg sodium; 18g carbohydrates; 1g fiber; 5g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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