Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars & More

Our friends hosted a Thanksgiving party on Saturday-- it was a Friendsgiving Party. A Friendsgiving is a fun way to celebrate being thankful, with your friends! The food at Friendsgiving Party is the same as a traditional Thanskgiving meal. But instead of one person being in charge of the entire meal, it is pot-luck style. I signed up to bring a dessert. After a quick Pinterest search, I settled on Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars. I liked that they were a traditional 'pumpkin' dessert- but with a twist!

Photo & Recipe via Roxana's Home Baking 

A few things to note about this dessert. First of all, it takes a long time to make. Not the preparation but the cooking and then 'setting up'. I would recommend making them the day before you need them. The cheesecake and pumpkin takes time to set.

Second, this dessert can't sit out or be easily passed. It is a 'keep in the fridge til served' kind of sweet. Then after you serve it, put it back in the fridge. Once you understand those two things, the rest is a piece of cake! I used the recipe from Roxana's Home Baking.  I followed her directions exactly- and they were delicious. (And her food photography is gorgeous!)

Photo via Roxana's Home Baking- see full recipe here.
But since I waited until about 3pm to make the Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars (and I needed them at 6:30pm!) I started to get nervous they wouldn't set up in time. So I made anooooooother dessert. You know- the 'back-up dessert'. Everyone needs a back-up dessert right?

Photo by Pinch of Yum - see the recipe here. 
Turns out, these Chocolate Chip Brownie Cookie bars were easy to make and even easier to eat. They are more simple than Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars and a hit with everyone. I cheated on the recipe and used a box brownie mix (Ghirardelli double chocolate) with a bag of cookie mix (the Betty Crocker kind). My tip on these- make the brownies first and then bake them for 7-10 minutes at 350. Then add the cookie batter on top and continue to bake at 350 until done. It took mine about a total of 45 minutes. But ovens vary, so keep an eye on yours! You can find the full recipe at Pinch of Yum here.

Either one of these desserts would be a great for a real Thanksgiving with family or a fun Friendsgiving!
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