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Pumpkin gingersnap bars with gingered cream cheese topping

These seasonally perfect pumpkin bars pair a spicy gingersnap cookie crust with a layer of luscious baked pumpkin custard.

(Page 2 of 2)



I couldn’t possibly do the weekend justice in a single post, so I’m going split my thoughts into a few posts, each post paired with seasonal, dairy-inspired recipe. (Think: cheese, yogurt, ice cream, and creamy chowder….)

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The Gourmand Mom

Amy Deline is a stay at home mom to three little boys. She’s a former early childhood educator with a lifelong passion for home-cooking. Amy is the author and photographer behind The Gourmand Mom, a blog which celebrates food through simple and perfectly seasonal recipes, fit for a gourmet feast among friends or a relaxed family dinner.

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For today, let’s start at the beginning, with the cows. Any mom who has ever nursed a baby knows that milk production is at its best when the mom is well-nourished, well-rested, and comfortable. Same applies to dairy cows. Happy cows means more milk and these dairy farmers have mastered the art of keeping cows happy and healthy to maximize production.

Cornell’s dairy barn, which is designed for maximum ventilation, sanitation and cow-comfort, sets an example for the dairy industry and provides a hands-on learning opportunity for its dairy students.

Three times a day, Cornell’s cows are brought to the milking parlor, where their milk is collected for use within the school’s very own dairy production plant, where Cornell’s own Big Red cheddar is made, as well as yogurt and ice cream for the university’s dining halls.

Twice daily milking is standard for most dairy farms, but Cornell’s cows, much like its students, are overachievers. Each cow produces an average of 95 pounds of milk daily, putting them in the top 95th percentile for milk production. I’d expect nothing less from an Ivy-league cow!

In Part 2 of my dairy adventure, I’ll talk about two things which I love dearly: cheese and Wegmans.

For today, enjoy some pumpkin gingersnap bars.

These seasonally perfect pumpkin bars pair a spicy gingersnap cookie crust with a layer of luscious baked pumpkin custard. Creamy half-and-half (half cream/half milk) lends a satisfying richness to these tiny bites of gingery pumpkin bliss. Cream cheese, another of dairy’s mouth-watering contributions to the world of food, provides the perfect finishing touch.

Pumpkin gingersnap bars with gingered cream cheese topping

2 cups crushed gingersnap crumbs

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 cups pumpkin puree fresh or canned (1 15-ounce can will do the trick)

1/2 cup white sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar

1-1/2 cups half-and-half

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Pinch of cloves

1 tablespoon cornstarch

6 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature

1/4 cup powdered sugar

Pinch of ground ginger

Extra gingersnap crumbs for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Combine the crushed gingersnap crumbs with the melted butter. Press in an even layer into the bottom of a 13- by 9-inch baking dish. Bake for 7-8 minutes. Remove from the oven.

3. Meanwhile, whisk together the pumpkin, half-and-half, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg, and cloves, until well blended. In a small dish, combine the cornstarch with about 1/4 cup of the pumpkin mixture, until the cornstarch is completely dissolved. Whisk the cornstarch mixture into the pumpkin mixture. Pour the pumpkin mixture over the gingersnap crust.

4. Bake for about 40 minutes.

5. Remove from the oven. Cool at room temperature until no longer hot. Then, cool completely in the refrigerator. Cut into small 1 to 1-1/2-inch squares.

6. Combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and a pinch of ground ginger. Use a pastry bag to pipe a bit of the cream cheese topping onto each square. Sprinkle with extra gingersnap crumbs.

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