Halloween is all about the sweets, the candy, the ghosts and goblins, and most importantly – the parties! If you haven’t already, it’s time to get your Spook-tacular Halloween Party planned, and I’ve got some great ideas for you.
Every year I have grand ideas of getting together a fabulous Halloween costume, and every year time gets away from me, my husband rejects all my ideas and it doesn’t happen. Fortunately, food can’t argue with me and I can dress it up as I please! This time I decided to dress up some delicious and super cute pumpkin cheesecake bars with ghosts, pumpkins and candy corn. They really are easy to make, so let’s get started.
To start, you’ll make the crust of the cheesecake bars. Grab your KitchenAid® Food Processor and grind up some chocolate sandwich cookies into crumbs. Combine the crumbs with some butter in the smaller bowl from your KitchenAid® Ceramic Mixing Bowl Set and mix until well combined.
Spread the crumbs into the bottom of the Square Pan from your KitchenAid® 5-Piece Bakeware Set and press them into a firm crust. Bake the crust for about 7-10 minutes at 325°F, then set it aside while you make your cheesecake filling.
In the bowl of your KitchenAid® Stand Mixer, combine the cream cheese, sugar, flour and pumpkin pie spice on low speed. Add the pumpkin puree and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Next, add the eggs one at a time until you have a nice, smooth filling.
Spread the filling evenly on top of the crust and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, turn off the oven, crack the oven door open, and allow the cheesecake to continue to cool in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and refrigerate for 4-6 hours. Once everything is cooled, chilled and ready to go, cut the bars into squares.
The next part is the fun part – the decorating! I used a buttercream frosting to create the ghosts, pumpkins and candy corn. Once your buttercream is made, you’ll divide it between the 3 bowls from your Mixing Bowl Set, leaving a very small amount – 2 to 3 tablespoons – in smaller bowl to create green frosting.
You’ll want to color one bowl of frosting orange, one yellow and leave one white. You’ll need more of the orange and white than the yellow, so distribute the frosting accordingly and color it with gel icing color.
For the ghost, you’ll pipe a swirl of white frosting using a large round icing tip. 2 1/2 to 3 full rotations should give you a full ghost. You can then use two mini chocolate chips for the eyes and a regular-sized chocolate chip for the mouth.
For the pumpkin, you’ll pipe a large mound of orange frosting onto the top of the cheesecake bar. Use the tip of a pointed offset spatula, or a narrow knife, to draw the lines on the side of the “pumpkin”. For the stem, I used black licorice. Then, use a leaf-shaped piping tip to create the leaf with the green frosting.
The final decoration is the candy corn. You’ll use all three frosting colors for these. Start by piping one full swirl with the yellow frosting, followed by a smaller white swirl and little orange dollop on top.
And there you have them – the cutest little pumpkin cheesecake bars! To add to the party, I made an Old Fashioned Ghoultini, a spooky Spiderweb Chocolate Cake and Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookie Cups. It all makes for a super cute and delicious Halloween party! I was definitely in love with all the fun food, so I hope you enjoy it too. Happy Halloween!
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Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
Makes 16 servings
For the crust
1 1/4 cups chocolate cookie sandwiches, crumbled
2 tablespoons butter, melted
For the cheesecake filling
16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2/3 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the vanilla frosting
1/2 cup salted butter
1/2 cup shortening
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons water or milk
Yellow, orange and green gel icing color
Mini chocolate chips
Mini black licorice
For the crust
Preheat the oven to 325°F and grease the bottom and sides of the Square Pan from your KitchenAid® 5-Piece Bakeware Set.
Process the cookie sandwiches in your KitchenAid® Food Processor until they are made into crumbs. Then in the smaller bowl from your KitchenAid® Ceramic Mixing Bowl Set, combine the butter and cookie crumbs until well combined.
Press the mixture into the bottom of the Square Pan and bake the crust for 7-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
For the cheesecake filling
Reduce the oven to 300°F.
In your KitchenAid® Stand Mixer, blend the cream cheese, sugar, flour and pumpkin pie spice with the Stand Mixer on low speed until well combined. Add the pumpkin puree and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Next, add the eggs one at a time until you have a nice, smooth filling.
Spread the filling evenly over the crust and bake the cheesecake bars for 30 minutes.
Turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake in the oven with the door closed for 10 minutes. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and chill until firm, 4-6 hours.
For the vanilla frosting
To make the frosting, combine the butter and shortening until smooth. Next, add 2 cups of powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add the vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon of water or milk and stir until combined. Finally, add the remaining powdered sugar, mixing until creamy. Add additional water or milk, if needed.
Divide the frosting between the three bowls from your Mixing Bowl Set, with 2-3 tablespoons of frosting in a smaller, fourth bowl. Color the small amount of frosting in the fourth bowl green. Add slightly more frosting to one of the three bowls and leave this bowl white. Color the other two bowls yellow and orange.
To make the ghost, pipe a swirl of white frosting using a large round icing tip. 2 1/2 to 3 full rotations should give you a full ghost. Use two mini chocolate chips for the eyes and a regular sized chocolate chip for the mouth.
To make the pumpkin, pipe a large mound of orange frosting on top of the cheesecake bar. Use the tip of a pointed offset spatula, or a narrow knife, to draw the lines on the side of the “pumpkin”. For the stem, add a piece of black licorice. Use a leaf-shaped piping tip to create the leaf with the green frosting.
To make the candy corn, use all three frosting colors. Start by piping one full swirl with the yellow frosting, followed by a smaller white swirl and little orange dollop on top.
Refrigerate bars until ready to serve.
*The Contributor of this post has been compensated by KitchenAid for this post, but this post represents the Contributor’s own opinion.*