Pumpkin Streusel Bars



Ingredients

Gingersnap Crust

1 1/4 C gingersnap cookie crumbs (use crunchy gingersnap cookies and grind in processor ( Trader Joe's brand preferred)
2 Tbsp raw sugar
1/4 C unsalted butter, melted

Pumpkin Filling

8 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 C sugar
3 large eggs
2 Tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 C pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)
1/3 C plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
1 1/2 Tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 Tsp each of ground cloves, ground nutmeg, ground ginger

Streusel Topping

1/2 C old-fashioned oats
1/3 C packed light or dark brown sugar
1/4 Tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 C all-purpose flour
1/4 C unsalted butter, cold and cubbed

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C). Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch or 9-inch baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper, leaving enough overhang on all sides. Set aside.

Make the crust: Mix the cookie crumbs, sugar, and butter together in a medium bowl until combined. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan. The crust will be thick. Bake the crust for 10 minutes as you prepare the filling.
Turn oven up to 350°F (177°C).

Make the filling: Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and sugar together in a large bowl on high speed until creamy and smooth, about 1 minute. On low speed, add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. On medium speed, beat the vanilla, pumpkin, yogurt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger in. Continue beating until everything is combined and creamy. Pour the filing into the warm crust. Set aside.

Make the streusel: Whisk the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour together in a medium bowl. Cut in the chilled butter with a pastry blender or two forks (or even with your hands) until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle evenly over filling.
Bake for about 45 minutes, making sure to loosely cover the bars with aluminum foil around the 30 minute mark. The foil prevents the top from getting too brown. The bars are done when the edges are lightly browned and the center is set-- this could be slightly before or after the 40 minute mark. Allow to cool in the pan set on a wire rack at room temperature for 1 hour. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 3 additional hours - or overnight. Lift the foil or parchment out of the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into bars. Serve with ice cream, whip cream, or topped with warm dulce de leche toppinng.
Refrigerate leftovers or freeze for up to 3 months, thawing before serving.