Cheesecake is a dessert that everyone in my family loves. I turn to it for our annual gatherings more than any other sweet, and it never disappoints. This sweet potato version is a new favorite of mine. It's light and mild with a creamy texture rather than being tangy and dense (I'm looking at you New York cheesecake!).
I whipped up an easy pecan praline sauce to give it added texture and sweetness. In my opinion, the sauce really makes this dessert. The buttery brown sugar flavor contrasts perfectly with the mild sweetness of sweet potato.
Believe it or not, this recipe's humble genesis was from an old weight loss magazine. I was drawn in by the beautiful pictures, but I cringed reading the ingredients - low-fat/no-fat and Sucralose-laden... yeesh! I threw out the recipe but kept the picture for inspiration. In the end, a delicious dessert was realized: gingersnap crust (the original recipe didn't even have a crust - seriously?), a sugar-sweetened yammy cream cheese filling, and a brown sugar-pecan topping that underscores all the above.
I have a feeling this recipe will be in heavy rotation for the next couple of weeks. These bars are SO easy to make and quintessentially fall!
Sweet Potato Pecan Praline Cheesecake Bars
[click for printable version]
Yield: 15-20 bars; one 10x10 or 13x9 pan
Source: Sprinkle Bakes original
Prep 25 minutes, 6 hours 25 minutes with chilling
2 cups/272g gingersnap cookie crumbs
1/2 cup/ 57g unsalted butter, melted
3 packages/24 oz. cream cheese, softened
3/4/150g cup granulated sugar
15 oz. sweet potato puree (canned, packed sweet potato is fine)
2 tablespoons/16g all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup/64g unsalted butter
1/2 cup/110g brown sugar
2 tablespoons milk or cream
1/4 cup chopped pecans
Pinch of sea salt
- Preheat oven to 325F.
- Combine the cookie crumbs and melted butter in a small bowl. Stir until crumbs are evenly moist and covered in butter. Press into the bottom of a lightly buttered 10x10 or 13x9-inch baking dish. Refrigerate while you prepare the filling.
- For the filling, combine the cream cheese and sugar in a medium bowl. Beat well on medium speed with an electric hand mixer. Add the sweet potato puree, flour and cinnamon; mix well. Add vanilla and eggs and beat on low speed until just combined. Pour filling over chilled crust.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes. When done, the center of the cheesecake will be almost set but still have a slight wobble. Let cheesecake cool in the pan, then cover and transfer to the refrigerator. Chill for 6 hours or overnight (preferred). Cut cheesecake into bars, approximately 15-20 pieces.
- For the topping, melt the butter over medium heat in a small saucepan. Add the brown sugar and stir to combine. When sugar is almost completely melted whisk in the milk; stir until smooth. Stir in pecans and sea salt. Let cool slightly before pouring over bars. Serve. Store leftovers loosely covered in the refrigerator.