Chai Cheesecake Bars with Pumpkin Spice Ganache

When did it become so improper for one to dive head long into a pan full of anything – three year old style? Perhaps when we grew up, gained some semblance of fine motor skills and our parents gave us a wicked side eye and a week’s worth of extra chores for plundering into said pan.

Geez, growing up sucks. But this doesn’t. In any possible or conceivable way.

This weekend, wild and crazy turned lazy and bake-y, was just what the doctor’s ordered. No, I mean that literally  – because Julie was going to make her grand arrival to the wonderful world of the PNW and we were going to party like its 1999 with a roadtrip down to Portland for a weekend full of fat pants and food-gasms, but got saddled with a wicked case of the laryngitis whilst I battled on with a lingering case of bronchitis. We are a sexy pair. Me with a smoker’s cough and her with a scratchy throated man voice. Really, I’m so glad I’m telling you all about these top tier ailments we’ve both been dealing with when I’m going to be discussing food here shortly.

Mmmm, mmm.

Our men are just diggin’ every moment of this. These are what those vows are allll about. Yay, vows!

So next weekend – WE RIDE! And dang am I amped. It’s like Christmas at the airport. And a stocking full of food and off tune car karaoke!

Anyway – since I had so much time on my hands I spent two straight days in the kitchen, wearing yoga pants and super nifty hair in headbands that go back to middle school. And lots of chai tea and pumpkin spice Hershey Kisses to be had by all. I mean, me.

In other news, when Ben came home he brought my wedding gift with him. It’s the bookcase you see below. Hand made. He went all New Yankee Workshop for me and gave me a Megan-Only bookcase to stock with all my cookbooks, props, and all the crap he didn’t want on “his” bookcase anymore. So now I see that his wedding gift wasn’t as self sacrificing as it first appeared – he just wanted a book case sans cookbooks. Which I guess is fair – cause there are a highly unreasonable amount of them.

Whatever his motivations – I love this bookcase. And I know deep down, it was made with all the love in the world. Precisely why I married him.

But that begs the question – or just the statement – that with all his hard work, what did I do with the remaining three shelves he left for excess storage and shelves should I need? I use them as photoboards. Win-Win! Now I don’t have to go and make all the boards I’ve been procrastinating on making. Much like looking into switching car insurances…

Lastly – when my mind (and hormones) changed up on me mid-way through making these, I opted for switching up ganaches from Pumpkin Spice to Dark Chocolate because well, DUH. It’s dark chocolate ganache. Needs I speak forthwith?

Just go forth and make it. Chai, friends. That’s all I have to say.

Yield: 24 Bars

Chai Cheesecake Bars with Pumpkin Spice Ganache

Chai Cheesecake in small bites with Pumpkin Spice or Dark Chocolate Ganache


Ingredients:

For the crust:

1 1/2 cups crushed Biscoff cookies (about 27 cookies/1 package)

3 tbsp. packed brown sugar

6 tbsp. butter, melted


For the cheesecake:

3 (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sugar

½ cup dry Chai Tea Mix - not liquid chai tea mix

2 tbsp. flour

3 eggs

1 cup sour cream

1 tbsp. vanilla extract


For the Pumpkin Spice ganache:

1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

4 tbsp. butter, cubed

15 Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kisses


If making Dark Chocolate Ganache: (optional variation)

1 cup Dark Chocolate chips

⅓ cup Heavy Cream

4 Tbsp Butter, cubed


Directions:

Crust:

In a food processor, pulse Biscoff cookies until pulverized and no large chunks remain.

In bowl mix together cookie crumbles with butter and brown sugar. Press into a 13x9 inch pan and set aside.


For cheesecake:

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. In stand mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Scrape down sides of bowl to ensure all cream cheese is smooth. Beat in sugar and chai tea mix until throughly mixed. Add in flour and beat again. Add eggs one at a time, mixing for about 30 seconds between eggs. Beat in sour cream and vanilla extract. Scrap into the 13x9 inch pan and smooth. Bake for 45 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.


For Pumpkin Spice Ganache or optional Dark Chocolate Ganache:

In a microwave safe bowl, add pumpkin spice Hershey Kisses, pouring heavy cream and cubed butter over the top. Place in microwave and heat in 30 second intervals on 50% intensity. Stir in between intervals and cook until chocolate/Kisses have just melted. Do not over cook and burn the chocolate.


Pour Pumpkin Spice Ganache/Dark Chocolate Ganache over the top of the completely cooled cheesecake bars. Wait for ganache to cool completely or chill for at least 30 minutes. Slice, serve and devour.


Original recipe from Bakerella, adapted from Table for Two Cheesecake Bars with Chocolate Ganache


Source: Original Cheesecake Recipe from Bakerella, adapted from Julie Table for Two’s Cheesecake Bars with Chocolate Ganache