Wednesday, October 25, 2017

#Halloween Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars #recipe from author @DarylWoodGerber

From Daryl aka Avery:

I saw a picture of these on Pinterest and had to make them. They looked so terrific. 

I have to admit this is one of the hardest recipes I’ve ever made. They turned out great and are worth it, but they were work because of the egg whites! There are not a lot of steps, but be prepared to sweat a bit.  LOL

The recipe is on Life Made Simple Bakes by Natalie.  

The only thing in them that isn’t gluten-free are the graham cracker crumbs, so I used the gluten-free version by Pamela.

My picture is not NEARLY as good as Natalie’s. [Ha! Even Pluto isn't quite sure about the beauty!  LOL]

If you want to see how they should really look, go to her site. [The link above.]  I’m not quite sure why my pumpkin topping didn’t wind up looking as “smooth” as hers. Maybe it’s the gelatin step. I think you might need to stir this. Natalie suggests sprinkling the gelatin on the cold water and microwaving until dissolved. Great bakers who have worked with gelatin…what do you think?  Stir or not stir? 

Maybe the mixture didn’t look as smooth because I used parchment paper to line my 8x8  pan instead of foil, as Natalie suggested. Foil makes it colder, perhaps??

All ideas welcome. I’m not proud.

Yield: 12-16 servings depending on your portion size


For the crust:
1 ½ c. graham cracker crumbs (I used gluten-free graham crackers by Pamela) 
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 tablespoons melted butter

For the cheesecake layer:
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sour cream
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs

For the pumpkin layer:
3 egg yolks
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin puree
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 egg whites
pinch of cream of tartar

For the garnish:
Whipped cream or topping
Pumpkin pie spice or allspice

You will need foil, a candy thermometer, and a double-boiler.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and the melted butter. Press into a foil-lined 8x8-inch pan.

In another small bowl, using a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese, sour cream, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth. 

Whisk the eggs in yet another small bowl. Add the eggs to the cheese mixture and mix until combined, then pour over crust. 

Place the 8x8 pan in the oven and bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until set. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool.

Meanwhile, separate the three remaining eggs. In a saucepan set over medium-low heat, combine the yolks, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, milk, salt, pumpkin pie spice (or allspice), and cinnamon. Cook, whisking continuously (to prevent the eggs from scrambling) for 8-10 minutes or until mixture reaches 155°-160° (using a candy thermometer). [I NEVER HAD ANY FEAR THE EGGS WOULD SCRAMBLE.]

Remove from the heat, and whisk in the vanilla extract.

In a small microwave-safe bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water; let stand for 1 minute, then microwave for 30 seconds or until the gelatin is dissolved. [THIS IS WHERE I HAVE A QUESTION. SHOULD THE GELATIN HAVE BEEN STIRRED INTO THE WATER RATHER THAN JUST SITTING ON TOP?]

Stir the gelatin into pumpkin mixture; set aside.


In the top of a double boiler, combine the granulated sugar, egg whites, and cream of tartar. Beat with an electric mixer set at low speed for 30 seconds, then set the pan over boiling water (the pan shouldn't touch the water). Beating at high speed, for about 7-9 minutes, or until it is stiff and glossy. [MINE NEVER BECAME STIFF AND GLOSSY. HMM.] 

Remove the top of the double boiler from the heat, and beat the egg whites an additional 1-2 minutes.  [I BELIEVE YOU ARE “COOKING” THE EGG WHITES THIS WAY TO KILL THE SALMONELLA. SINCE I DIDN’T DIE, IT MEANS I DID IT RIGHT.]

Fold into the pumpkin mixture then spread evenly over cream cheese layer. 

Refrigerate uncovered for 1 hour, then cover and refrigerate for an additional 3 hours or until firm. Garnish with whipped cream and pumpkin pie spice or allspice; if desired.

Was this my problem? Not sure. Make yours foil!

My double boiler was one pan over the other. I never let the upper touch the boiling water.

Savor the mystery!

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  1. Fun, but more steps than I usually am willing to take.
    So saying, I'm making a flourless cake today for a celebration and it requires separating the eggs so the whites can be whipped. And then a yummy mocha sauce.
    I look forward to seeing what tips you get about the gelatin.

    1. Lobby, your cake sounds lovely! Enjoy. I'm hoping for a few good tips, too. But this was yummy, so I'm glad I tried it. :) ~ Daryl

  2. Good on you for trying it, it looks yummy, even if it didn't turn out perfectly. And that's better than the alternative. The last thing I tried to make from Pinterest was a total fail. It turned out looking perfect but it was gross and no one in the house would eat it, haha.(Vanilla Magic Cake, everyone raved about it, so I tried it.)

    1. Knit Whit - definitely needs to be edible! LOL. Vanilla Magic Cake? Maybe there was magic involved? LOL ~ Daryl

  3. Looks fabulous, Daryl! I can taste it and it's all about taste. Hugs.

    1. Thanks, MJ. It is all about taste. Enjoy cyber-ly. ~ Daryl

  4. Sounds delicious and I'm going to try it! Thank you

    1. Have fun, Donamae. Let me know how it turns out. ~ Daryl

  5. You are a brave soul! Just looking at the list of ingredients discouraged me. I think a simple pumpkin spice cake with cream cheese frosting will scratch the itch.

  6. Ok this sounds and looks really good, but I know without a doubt this will never be made by me or anyone in my home. We are lazy bakers. I do not think even my sislaw who follows a recipe to the letter would do this one. You are truly brave and daring for sure!

    1. Brave and daring. Ha! Hardly. Possibly nuts. LOL ~ Daryl

  7. Hey! Where are all the gelatin mavens?
    No one can help us?