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Sunday, June 1, 2008

Butternut Squash Cheesecake Bars

I bought a butternut squash to make a risotto recipe. But, before I could get around to using the squash, I made another recipe with rice that made enough leftovers that I will not want rice for a very long time. So, I had to think of something else to do with this squash. Mmmm....cheesecake.

The oatmeal in the crust is really good, it's soft, like a breakfast bar...maybe Nutrigrain or Quaker oatmeal? I thought they were kind of flat, but I could have probably made them in a smaller pan to get a thicker filling. They turned out pretty good (I had three of them already). They aren't too sweet or rich. They would be great to have in the Fall.





Recipe:
Makes 18 bars
ACTIVE TIME: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 4 hours (including cooling & chilling time)
EASE OF PREPARATION: Easy


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 (Neufchâtel), at room temperature
1/2 cup squash puree
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Meanwhile, reduce oven temperature to 325°. 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.



5. 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.

NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per bar: 146 calories; 6 g fat (3 g sat, 1 g mono); 37 mg cholesterol; 18 g carbohydrate; 5 g protein; 1 g fiber; 209 mg sodium; 79 mg potassium.1 Carbohydrate ServingExchanges: 1 starch, 1 fat

TIP: 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°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.

MAKE AHEAD TIP: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

1 comments:

Nina Lincoff said...

Hi Melissa-

I hope this message finds you well! My name is Nina and I'm a writer for SHAPE magazine.

I'm be working on a recipe roundup "Veggie in Desserts" and I was wondering if it would be alright to use (and get a photo for) this recipe. Of course, I'd credit you and link out to the site page. Please shoot me a message at n.lincoff@gmail.com if that works!

Best-

Nina

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