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Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies

(Makes 16 cookies)
Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies
Ingredients:

Crumb Mixture:
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

Filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Garnish: Confectioners' sugar for dusting

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

To make the crumb mixture:
Put the butter and brown sugar in a bowl; beat together until smooth.
Add the flour and nuts.  With your fingers, combine the ingredients to form a crumbly mixture.  Set one cup of the crumb mixture aside.  Press the remaining crumbs evenly on the bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.  Remove and allow to cool slightly.

To make the filling:
Using an electric mixer, blend the sugar and cream cheese until smooth.
Add all the remaining filling ingredients; blend until smooth.  Spread the filling evenly over the baked crumb crust.  Sprinkle the crumbs that you set aside evenly over the filling.  Bake at 350 degrees F. for 25 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

Dust the top with confectioners' sugar.
Cut into 2-inch squares to serve.
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These are bar cookies that have a layer of pumpkin-flavored cheesecake over a crunchy walnut crust with a crumb topping.  A perfect little cookie to serve with coffee on a fall evening.
You can store these cookies in the refrigerator in a covered container for several days.  Bring them to room temperature and dust them with confectioners' sugar before serving.
DESSERTS  >  COOKIES  >  PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE COOKIES
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