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Chocolate pumpkin squares with maple whipped cream



2 cups (500ml) chocolate cookie crumbs

1/2 tsp. (2.5ml) ground cinnamon

1/2 cup (125ml) butter, melted

1/2 cup (125ml) cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup (175ml) packed brown sugar

1 can (14 oz./414ml) 100% pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)

2 eggs

1 tsp. (2.5ml) vanilla extract

1/2 cup (125ml) all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. (2.5ml) each ground cinnamon and nutmeg

1/4 tsp. (1ml) ground cloves

Maple Whipped cream:

3/4 cup (175ml) 35% whipping cream

1/4 cup (50ml) pure maple syrup


In bowl, combine cookie crumbs and cinnamon. Drizzle butter over top and stir to combine well. Press crumb mixture into bottom of parchment paper-lined square baking pan. Bake in 350F (180C) oven for about 10 minutes or until set. Let cool.

Meanwhile, in large bowl, using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. Beat in pumpkin, eggs and vanilla until combined. Add flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves and beat on low until just combined. Pour mixture over chocolate base and return to oven for about 20 minutes or until tester inserted in centre comes out clean and top is firm to the touch. Let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Maple Whipped Cream: In a bowl, whip cream and maple syrup until slightly firm peaks form. Cut into bars and serve each with some of the whipped cream.

Makes 18 servings.

NOTE: To make decorative pumpkin garnish: Using a vegetable peeler; peel small strips from a fresh peeled pumpkin piece and thinly slice. Toss with some granulated sugar and place on parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake in 350F (180C) oven for 3 to 5 minutes or until soft. Let cool completely before using.

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