Dear Future Children of Mine (assuming you exist)*,
*I understand that is a weird way to start a heartfelt letter to your children, especially if you’re trying to be sincere-sounding, and especially if you DO exist, in which case you’re probably like “jeez Mom, way to be all mean and just like, ASSUME I wouldn’t exist or something. You’re an awful mother and this letter will prove it.”
I’m afraid I have cursed you with a life-long family curse.
Well, okay, not life-long. That just added to the drama of this ominous internet letter.
As a food blogger, I’m constantly creating and developing new recipes, photographing said recipes, and blogging about them (obvi). But since this hobby began, my family has been plagued with the Food Bloggers Curse. And now, sadly, you’re a recipient of said curse. Allow me to explain this hex, since you’ll probably want to put it on a medical record or three or mention it to your shrink one of these times (also, I’m sorry about that, too. I swear I didn’t know being neurotic was genetic).
Food Bloggers Curse means that the family members directly related to the food blogger in question will be affected the most severely. This includes, but is not limited to:
-Being swatted at when you’re trying to grab a brownie while I scream “THOSE HAVEN’T BEEN PHOTOGRAPHED YET!!”
-From now on, asking whether or not any given food item has been photographed yet
-Staring longingly at the baking shelf in the pantry, desperately hoping I won’t notice if a couple cookies or a handful of chocolate chips went missing
-Knowing that I will know and suffering the subsequential wrath to follow
-Developing a complex between “ugly” and “pretty” foods; e.g., “you can have the ugly cupcakes over there, but please don’t eat the ones on this plate. I’m photographing them tomorrow.”
-Further development on aforementioned complex because you’re forced to eat “ugly” foods and really, what does that say about your psyche?
-Having an angry daughter/sister/parent who spent her whole friggin’ day in the kitchen and why can’t you just have cookies for dinner? Now I have to cook real food, too?!
-Eating out-of-season or early-season food way beforehand; e.g., eating Christmas cookies before Halloween has begun, or sharing a Valentine’s Day dinner with your sweetie with a plate of Easter cupcakes
Among others, I’m sure. I’d ask my family to give me more details, but they’re shivering in a corner, rocking back and forth, obviously too distraught to deal with questions about food of which they’re denied.
So again, kids, I’m sorry for A) starting off this letter with the assumption you wouldn’t exist, and B), cursing your now-existent life with the Food Bloggers Plague. Please accept these “early season” Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars as a token of my sorrows.
I found this recipe in one of my mom’s old work cookbooks and had to try it. It sounded so perfect and it definitely delivered. It tastes like a creamier, richer pumpkin pie but in bar-form (no muss, no fuss). And the crust is amazeballs, peeps.
Make them, and let your family actually have a taste of a pretty piece. They deserve it.
1 box pound cake mix
2 Tbsp butter, melted
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
For Cheesecake Layer:
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened slightly
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
Powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 13×9 inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine the crust ingredients until crumbly. Gently press the crust into the bottom of the prepared pan in an even layer. Set aside.
3. In another large bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually add in the milk, pumpkin, eggs and pie spice until combined. Pour the cheesecake mixture on top of the crust evenly.
4. Bake for approx. 30-35 minutes (mine took exactly 32 mins) or until the center is just set. Cool for an hour at room temperature before allowing the cheesecake to chill in the fridge for several hours. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.
5. Store leftovers airtight in the fridge up to 2 days.
You may want to bookmark this recipe for the holidays, because this could be the easiest (and best tasting!) pumpkin pie recipe around. No fancy shmancy crust, no hassle. The pound cake crust is flaky and buttery and holds the substantial weight of the surprisingly light and fluffy pumpkin cheesecake layer. If you like your pies spicy, feel free to be a bit heavier-handed with your pumpkin pie spice, but I found this was perfect.
Please enjoy!! Now tomorrow, I’ll be featuring some Christmas cookies. Just kidding. Er, well, kind of.
Have a great day!