Cheer-You-Up Cheesecake Bars

By Keegan Crowley

Pumpkins & beer: our favorite fall combination

Let’s ignore the fact that the weather has already taken a turn towards bitter cold, and then warmed back up to 60 degrees all in the same day. I’ll admit I’ve stepped outside my apartment and muttered, “Fuck Syracuse weather” more than twice this year. A trip home to Vermont and the sight of a few carved pumpkins was a slap in the face that I was spending too much time hating the indecisive weather, and not enough celebrating the best parts of the season. This recipe was autumn rehab for me, and I highly recommend it. So, don’t let Mother Nature’s mood swings get you down. Instead, grab a can of pumpkin and enjoy the foliage as you wait for these delish Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars to bake. I promise they’ll make you love this time of year, as long as you eat them inside.

Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Ingredients Crust 8 oz chocolate wafers or cookies (really anything you can crumble) 2 tbsp sugar 4 tbsp melted butter

Filling 1 cup canned pumpkin 16 oz cream cheese 1.2 cup chocolate chips 3 tbsp flour 3 eggs 1-cup sugar ½ tsp cinnamon ½ tsp allspice ½ tsp salt

1. Constructing the crust: Preheat oven to 350. Crumble the chocolate wafers into small pieces. Add the sugar and continue to crumble until all is finely crumbled.

2. Melt butter in a microwave or stove top and add to crumbs. Stir until evenly moist.

3. Cover baking pan (preferably 9 inches or smaller) with aluminum foil or parchment paper and allow some to hang off the sides. Put the crumb mixture into the pan and spread out evenly and gently into all four corners.

4. Bake crust for about 12 minutes and let cool.

5. Soften cream cheese in a bowl for about a minute. Stir until creamy and add pumpkin, flour, allspice, cinnamon, sugar, and eggs. Stir until the mixture is all the same color and clump free.

6. Melt chocolate chips in microwave for about a minute, and once completely melted add 1 cup of the pumpkin mixture. Stir until it is all the same color.

7. Pour the orange pumpkin mixture into the pan with the cooled crust.

8. With a spoon, drop the chocolate mixture in lines into the pumpkin mixture. Use the spoon to swirl the colors, creating the marble effect.

9. Bake for about 40 minutes. Check on them at 20 and again at 30. If it jiggles slightly in the middle, but not on the sides, it's done.

10. Let cool. Once room temperature, place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before removing and cutting.

Mama Knows

After nineteen years I've come to accept the fact that my mother does indeed know best. From prom dresses to baking the perfect oatmeal cookie, my mom's always on top of her game. So when I was home this past weekend, it was inevitable who I would ask for advice on a yummy drink for the fall season. Naturally, she was right on target with her suggestion for Harpoon India Pale Ale. It was her selection at the grocery store for the Saturday night beverage. She claims it’s the perfect compliment to anything pumpkin. I think it’s just damn tasty. Pair this with pumpkin carving, pumpkin smashing, or really whatever you like to do while enjoying a good brew. It’s about nine bucks for a six-pack, so when you’re making your selection this weekend, grab the Harpoon India Pale Ale. Trust me, my mom won’t let you down.