Cream Cheese Pumpkin Bars
It would be hard to imagine the span between Halloween and the New Year without pumpkin. The Jack-O-Lanterns of Halloween, pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, and pumpkin trifle or cheesecake on my holiday buffet, all signal the culmination of another year.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine gingerbread mix, melted butter and 1 egg in a large bowl. Press into the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish and set aside.
Place the cream cheese in a stand mixer or mixing bowl and beat until fluffy. Add the sweetened condensed milk, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Blend well and pour over the gingerbread crust. Sprinkle with the chopped nuts, if desired, and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until set. Cool bars at room temperature, then cover and refrigerate.
Makes 12 servings.