Candy Cane Coffee Cakes

Back in the 1970s or possibly 1980s, Marcia Sims and I signed up for a gourmet cooking class that met for several weeks in the home of Joan Johnson. Joan was a fabulous cook and shared her expertise with us. We did all sorts of fabulous foods that were perfect for entertaining. I then shared her expertise with my students. It was a win-win situation.
She shared this holiday recipe and taught us a relatively simple braiding technique. Over the years, I make the dough and filled it with a variety of things including thickened cherries, apple mixture, even made some savory filling.
Here’s the festives recipe that Joan Johnson shared with us . . . 

Candy Cane Coffee Cakes    Makes 3 coffee cake
2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
2 cups warm sour cream (110° to 115°)
6 tablespoons butter, divided
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons salt
5-3/4 to 6-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups finely chopped dried apricots
1-1/2 cups finely chopped maraschino cherries  (I did use less maraschino cherries and add chopped craisins to make up the difference)
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons cold water
Additional cherries, halved
  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Beat in the sour cream, 4 tablespoons butter, sugar, eggs, salt and 2 cups flour; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.

  2. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
    Another indication that the dough is risen — poke a couple of fingers in dough and the imprint remains.
  3. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into thirds. Roll each portion into a 14x7" rectangle on a silicon baking mat or a sprayed sheet of parchment.
  4. On each long side, cut 3/4" wide strips about 2" into center. 
  5. Combine apricots and cherries; spoon down the center of each rectangle. 


  6. Starting at one end, fold alternating strips at an angle across filling. Pinch ends to seal. 



  7. Curve top.
  8. Transfer each coffee cake to a baking sheet.
  9. Bake at 375° for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. 
  10. Melt remaining butter; brush over warm coffee cakes. 
  11. Combine confectioners' sugar and cold water until smooth; drizzle over the tops. 
  12. Garnish with additional cherries. 
Recipe without the photos . . .
Candy Cane Coffee Cakes    Makes 3 coffee cake
2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
2 cups warm sour cream (110° to 115°)
6 tablespoons butter, divided
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons salt
5-3/4 to 6-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups finely chopped dried apricots
1-1/2 cups finely chopped maraschino cherries  (I did use less maraschino cherries and add chopped craisins to make up the difference)
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons cold water
Additional cherries, halved
  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Beat in the sour cream, 4 tablespoons butter, sugar, eggs, salt and 2 cups flour; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  2. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  3. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into thirds. Roll each portion into a 14x7" rectangle on a silicon baking mat or a sprayed sheet of parchment.
  4. On each long side, cut 3/4" wide strips about 2" into center. 
  5. Combine apricots and cherries; spoon down the center of each rectangle. 
  6. Starting at one end, fold alternating strips at an angle across filling. Pinch ends to seal. Curve top.
  7. Transfer each coffee cake to a baking sheet.
  8. Bake at 375° for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. 
  9. Melt remaining butter; brush over warm coffee cakes. 
  10. Combine confectioners' sugar and cold water until smooth; drizzle over the tops. 
  11. Garnish with additional cherries. 

Vintage Coolrise Sweet Dough

This is a yeast roll recipe that dates back to the late 1960s and early 1970s. An “oldie but goodie!”
I have the mimeographed copy that I used in foods classes at Abilene High School. Actually I even have the master; if only I had a mimeograph machineI could crank out some more of those purple copies!
The “coolrise” technique was ideal for classrooms where time was limited. Students could mix up the dough, knead and then let it rise for just 20 minutes. Rolls went into the refrigerator and the next day they were ready to bake and eat. 
The style that follows is very similar to the one I used when I typed the recipe back then . . . complete with the brand names of the companies that promoted this refrigerated dough method. (I did add some updated notes in parenthesis.)
(On another updated note – this recipe can be made all in the same day, just allow the kneaded dough to rise until double in bulk; then shape, let it  rise again until about double in size, and bake.)
Purple mimeographed recipe and vintage cookbook.
Coolrise Sweet Dough   Makes 32 dinner rolls 
Dough can also be used to make coffee cakes or cinnamon rolls.

5-6 cups ROBIN HOOD Flour - regular or Instant Blending (use all-purpose)
2 pkgs. or cakes FLEISHMAN Yeast (use active dry yeast – 1 pkg. = 2 1/4 tsp.)
2/3 cup warm water – 105-115°
1 cup warm milk – 105-115°
1/2 cup sugar (granulated)
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup softened butter or margarine(4 tablespoons or 1/2 stick)
-------
Cooking oil

SPOON . . . . . . or pour Robin Hood Flour into dry measuring cup. Level off and pour measured flour onto wax paper.
SPRINKLE . . . or crumble Fleishman’s Yeast into 2/3 cup warm water in large, warm bowl. Stir until dissolved.
ADD . . . . . . . . warm milk, sugar, salt, butter/margarine, eggs and 3 cups flour.
BEAT . . . . . . . with wooden spoon or electric mixer at low speed until smooth—about 1 minute. Then beat vigorously with wooden spoon or electric mixer at medium speed until thick and elastic. Scrape sides of bowl occasionally.
STIR IN . . . . . . 2 to 3 cups of remaining flour gradually with wooden spoon. Use enough flour to make a soft dough which leaves sides of bowl, adding more if necessary. Turn out onto flour board. Round up into a ball.
KNEAD . . . . . . 5 to 10 minutes or until dough is smooth, elastic and no longer sticky. Avoid adding too much flour. (Dough may be left in stand mixer and kneaded with dough hook.)
COVER  . . . . . . with plastic wrap, then a towel.
LET REST . . . . for 20 minutes on board. (Or, could put in an oil lined bowl and then covered).
SHAPE . . . . . . . into dinner rolls as directed below. Or, divide in half and use each half for a coffee cake or cinnamon rolls.
BRUSH . . . . . . . surface of dough with oil. Cover pans loosely with plastic wrap. 
REFRIGERATE 2 to 28 hours at moderately cold setting. When ready to bake, remove from refrigerator. Uncover.
LET STAND . . . for 10 minutes while preheating oven to 375°. (I usually let them set out at room temp for about 30 minutes.)
PUNCTURE . . .  any surface bubbles with an oiled toothpick just before baking.
BAKE  . . . . . . . . at 375° for 25 to 30 minutes or until done. Bake on a lower oven rack position for best results. (Rolls should be nicely browned and sound hollow if tapped on the bottom. Or, insert an instant read thermometer into center of a roll – it should register about 185-190°.) 
REMOVE . . . . .  from pans immediately. Cool on racks.
BRUSH . . . . . . .  while war with butter/margaine, if desired.

Roll Shapes — grease, oil or spray baking pans
1.   Pan rolls—Form dough into smooth balls 1/3 desired size. If placed close together in a pan they will bake together and have soft sides. If placed further apart on a baking sheet, they will have crusty sides.
2.   Cloverleaf rolls—Form bits of dough into balls about 1” in diameter. Place 3 balls in each prepared tin. Brush with melted butter.
3.   Crescents—Roll dough about 1/4” thick into a 12” circle. Spread with soft butter. Set into 16 pie pie-shaped pieces. Beginning at wide end, roll up. Place on prepared baking sheet, point underneath.

Recipe without photos . . .
Coolrise Sweet Dough   Makes 32 dinner rolls 
Dough can also be used to make coffee cakes or cinnamon rolls.

5-6 cups ROBIN HOOD Flour - regular or Instant Blending (use all-purpose)
2 pkgs. or cakes FLEISHMAN Yeast (use active dry yeast – 1 pkg. = 2 1/4 tsp.)
2/3 cup warm water – 105-115°
1 cup warm milk – 105-115°
1/2 cup sugar (granulated)
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup softened butter or margarine(4 tablespoons or 1/2 stick)
-------
Cooking oil

SPOON . . . . . . or pour Robin Hood Flour into dry measuring cup. Level off and pour measured flour onto wax paper.
SPRINKLE . . . or crumble Fleishman’s Yeast into 2/3 cup warm water in large, warm bowl. Stir until dissolved.
ADD . . . . . . . . warm milk, sugar, salt, butter/margarine, eggs and 3 cups flour.
BEAT . . . . . . . with wooden spoon or electric mixer at low speed until smooth—about 1 minute. Then beat vigorously with wooden spoon or electric mixer at medium speed until thick and elastic. Scrape sides of bowl occasionally. 
STIR IN . . . . . . 2 to 3 cups of remaining flour gradually with wooden spoon. Use enough flour to make a soft dough which leaves sides of bowl, adding more if necessary. Turn out onto flour board. Round up into a ball.
KNEAD . . . . . . 5 to 10 minutes or until dough is smooth, elastic and no longer sticky. Avoid adding too much flour.(Dough may be left in stand mixer and kneaded with dough hook.)
COVER  . . . . . . with plastic wrap, then a towel.
LET REST . . . . for 20 minutes on board. (Or, could put in an oil lined bowl and then covered).
SHAPE . . . . . . . into dinner rolls as directed below. Or, divide in half and use each half for a coffee cake or cinnamon rolls.
BRUSH . . . . . . . surface of dough with oil. Cover pans loosely with plastic wrap. 
REFRIGERATE 2 to 28 hours at moderately cold setting. When ready to bake, remove from refrigerator. Uncover.
LET STAND . . . for 10 minutes while preheating oven to 375°. (I usually let them set out at room temp for about 30 minutes.)
PUNCTURE . . .  any surface bubbles with an oiled toothpick just before baking.
BAKE  . . . . . . . . at 375° for 25 to 30 minutes or until done. Bake on a lower oven rack position for best results. (Rolls should be nicely browned and sound hollow if tapped on the bottom. Or, insert an instant read thermometer into center of a roll – it should register about 185-190°.) 
REMOVE . . . . .  from pans immediately. Cool on racks.
BRUSH . . . . . . .  while war with butter/margaine, if desired.

Roll Shapes — grease, oil or spray baking pans
1.   Pan rolls—Form dough into smooth balls 1/3 desired size. If placed close together in a pan they will bake together and have soft sides. If placed further apart on a baking sheet, they will have crusty sides.
2.   Cloverleaf rolls—Form bits of dough into balls about 1” in diameter. Place 3 balls in each prepared tin. Brush with melted butter.
3.   Crescents—Roll dough about 1/4” thick into a 12” circle. Spread with soft butter. Set into 16 pie pie-shaped pieces. Beginning at wide end, roll up. Place on prepared baking sheet, point underneath.

Chris LaPorte’s Mushroom Port Wine Sauce

Beef is Chris LaPorte’s speciality—perfectly seasoned and cooked steaks, prime rib, country fried steak, and melt in your mouth pot roast. He’s worked in the food service industry for 23 years, and is an excellent chef/cook. His work ethic is outstanding and he’s fun to work with. Barry learned so much from him when he cooked part-time (following retiring from teaching) at the Kirby House and he say’s, “Chris was inspiring!” As the former catering manager at the Kirby House, I can also say that he was a delight to work with and always up for an adventure.
Chris currently grills steaks and cooks up an array of good food at the Hitching Post Restaurant in Old Abilene Town, Abilene, KS. (Facebook—Hitching Post)
It was definitely my pleasure/honor to be able to write a story about his many skills for the winter 2018 issue of KANSAS! magazine. This is Chris’ original recipe that was featured in that magazine. 

Chris LaPorte’s Mushroom Port Wine Sauce 
Chris serves this over grilled filet mignon.
INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons salted butter 
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1 pound crimini (baby portabella) mushrooms, sliced
1 cup port wine
1/4 cup coarse ground Dijon mustard
14-ounces (1 3/4 cups) beef broth
2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon cold butter 

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Sauté shallots until slightly soft.
  3. Add mushrooms and cook until tender; remove from skillet and set aside.
  4. Pour port wine into skillet and bring to a boil; boil until wine has reduced by about half and has a syrup-like consistency. 
  5. Whisk in the mustard and beef broth; then whisk in the cornstarch dissolved in water to slightly thicken the sauce. 
  6. Remove from heat and whisk in remaining 1 tablespoon cold butter to create a velvety sauce.
  7. Add mushrooms back to sauce and serve over grilled steaks.
    Winter 2018 issue of KANSAS! Magazine
    For more more info about the magazine go to                                                                             KANSAS! webite.
    This issue also  feature Readers' Choice Weekend Getaway, 2018 (including Abilene, KS)
    + a tribute to Abilene's Joe Minick! 

Whipped Sweet Potatoes

Usually we have a rich sweet potato casserole  for Thanksgiving but this year we opted for whipped sweet potatoes. Barry did them much like he does regular mashed potatoes but I squeezed half an orange and prepped some fresh thyme to add to the mix. They were scrumptious (creamy, savory with just a hit of sweet from orange juice) so thought I better record it so we can remember how to do it next time. Amounts are flexible and can be adjusted to your preferences.

Whipped Sweet Potatoes
5 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into medium chunks
About 1/4 cup+ sour cream (or use cream or whole milk)
About 1/4 cup butter
About 3 tablespoons orange juice
About 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
Dash of Kosher salt if needed
  1. Add sweet potato chunks to cold, salted water. Bring to a boil, lower heat, add lid and cook until tender. Drain.
  2. Mash with remaining ingredients; adjust ingredients as needed for taste and texture. 
We kept them warm in a slow-cooker set on LOW.

Thanksgiving 2018


Angel Biscuits – Pumpkin or Buttermilk

Angel biscuits are a cross between a yeast roll and a buttermilk biscuit. The name comes from the fact that the recipe uses three leavening agents: yeast, baking powder and baking soda. Lovers of these biscuits purport that they are as light and airy as “angel wings.” 
Barry’s sister made another version of Angel Biscuits and I like the idea of these recipes because of the make ahead feature that allows me to serve freshly baked yeast bread with a meal. They are light . . . but not, in my opinion, as light as air!
This recipe came from the November/December 2018 Cuisine At Home magazine. It called for 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice . . . which I’ve cut out in the recipe that follows. We thought it was way too pronounced; suppose you could still add it but cut back. Next time I make this recipe, I plan to leave the spice out altogether! 
Meanwhile, I had lots (I used a smaller cutter so upped the yield) of Pumpkin Angel Biscuits that contained 1tablespoon pumpkin pie spice. So what did I do with them? Check out our tasty solution at the end of the recipe!
NOTE: My sister-in-law’s Angel Flake Biscuits are similar. However, her recipe calls for allowing the biscuits to raise for 1 hour before baking; this recipe skips that step,

Pumpkin Angel Biscuits   24 (2-inch) biscuits
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast, room temperature (1 pkg.)
1/2 cup warm water (105-115° F)
5cups all-purpose flour
1/4cup granulated sugar
1teaspoon baking soda
1teaspoon baking powder
1teaspoon table salt
1stick cold butter, cubed
1cup pumpkin puree (or plain pumpkin pie filling)
1cup buttermilk
Melted butter
  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in a small bowl; set aside.
  2. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. 
  3. Using the flat blade of a stand mixer or a pastry blender, cut the 1 stick cubed butter into the dry ingredients until butter pieces are the size of peas.

  4. Stir together pumpkin puree and buttermilk.
  5. Add pumpkin mixture to the flour mixture along with the yeast mixture. Stir just until ingredients are moistened. 
  6. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
  7. Preheat oven to 450° F. Coat two 9-inch-round cake pans with nonstick spray. 
  8. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead dough lightly 4 to 5 times to incorporate the flour.
  9. Roll dough to a thickness of 1/2-inch. Cut dough with a 2-inch floured cutter to form 12 biscuits. 
  10. Place biscuits in one of the prepared pans. 
  11. Gather remaining dough scraps, then gently roll out dough again. Cut 12 more biscuits and place in second pan.
  12. Brush tops of biscuits with melted butter bake biscuits until lightly golden, 12 tp 13 minutes.
Make Ahead: This dough will keep 2 to 3 days stored in the refrigerator. 
You can even cut the dough into biscuits and place the biscuits into the prepared pans. Cover the biscuits and chill them up to 1 day before baking as directed.

Buttermilk Angel Biscuits: Replace pumpkin puree with an additional 1 cup buttermilk. Omit pumpkin pie spice.

A TASTY SOLUTION TO OVERLY SPICED ANGEL PUMPKIN BISCUITS – Barry fried small patties of sausage (he matched sausage size to biscuit size). We sandwiched patties inside a split biscuit and added a thin slice of Cheddar. The spicy flavor of the biscuit was actually a compliment to the savory sausage and cheese. 
We wrapped the sandwiches individually and dropped them in a freezer bag. After a quick trip to the microwave, they make a delicious and quick breakfast.

Recipe without photos . . .
Pumpkin Angel Biscuits   24 (2-inch) biscuits
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast, room temperature (1 pkg.)
1/2 cup warm water (105-115° F)
5cups all-purpose flour
1/4cup granulated sugar
1teaspoon baking soda
1teaspoon baking powder
1teaspoon table salt
1stick cold butter, cubed
1cup pumpkin puree (or plain pumpkin pie filling)
1cup buttermilk
Melted butter
  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in a small bowl; set aside.
  2. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. 
  3. Using the flat blade of a stand mixer or a pastry blender, cut the 1 stick cubed butter into the dry ingredients until butter pieces are the size of peas.
  4. Stir together pumpkin puree and buttermilk.
  5. Add pumpkin mixture to the flour mixture along with the yeast mixture. Stir just until ingredients are moistened. 
  6. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
  7. Preheat oven to 450° F. Coat two 9-inch-round cake pans with nonstick spray. 
  8. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead dough lightly 4 to 5 times to incorporate the flour.
  9. Roll dough to a thickness of 1/2-inch. Cut dough with a 2-inch floured cutter to form 12 biscuits. 
  10. Place biscuits in one of the prepared pans. 
  11. Gather remaining dough scraps, then gently roll out dough again. Cut 12 more biscuits and place in second pan.
  12. Brush tops of biscuits with melted butter bake biscuits until lightly golden, 12 tp 13 minutes.
Make Ahead: This dough will keep 2 to 3 days stored in the refrigerator. 
You can even cut the dough into biscuits and place the biscuits into the prepared pans. Cover the biscuits and chill them up to 1 day before baking as directed.

Buttermilk Angel Biscuits: Replace pumpkin puree with an additional 1 cup buttermilk. Omit pumpkin pie spice.

Lyle's Pumpkin Pie Bars

Decisions, decisions! Which do I like best—the Pumpkin Cream Cheese Streusel Bars I made yesterday or the Pumpkin Pie Bars I made today? Actually they are both delicious. 
Yesterday's bars, that I took to a potluck dinner, remind me of a square of pumpkin cheesecake and they were a big hit at the gathering. 
Today's Pumpkin Pie Bars are also creamy, have a rich orange color; they are more like a cookie bar, and definitely tempt my taste buds! These are actually the bars that Lyle Hight made when his wife Jane hosted Literary League in October. They were SO good that I searched the internet for the recipe. In the process I found the Pumpkin Cream Cheese Streusel Bar recipe.
Since I wanted more pumpkin bars for tomorrow's K-State tailgate, I finally emailed Jane and she forwarded the recipe Lyle used. It is actually a Libby's recipe but I will refer to it as Lyle's Pumpkin Pie Bars so I'll be able quickly reference it in the future and not confuse it with others with similar names.
Decisions like this are hard, but them someone has to test (and taste) all these pumpkin recipes! 

Lyle's Pumpkin Pie Bars    Yield: 13" x 9" pan
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup cold butter, cut up
1 cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats, uncooked
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened (or use Neufchatel Cheese)
3 eggs
1 (15 oz.) can plain pumpkin (or homemade pumpkin puree)
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice, purchased or homemade)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 13" x 9" pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides; spray with cooking spray. This will make it easy to remove bars and cut them. Besides, once the bars are out of the pan, the baker can easily trim off both ends and sample the results . . . and no-one has to know!
  2. Mix flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar in medium bowl until blended.
  3. Cut in butter with flat blade of stand mixer (or use a pastry blender) until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Stir in oats and pecans. 
  5. Reserve 1 cup of crumb mixture; press remaining mixture onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake 15 minutes. 
  6. Beat cream cheese and remaining 1/2 cup of granulated sugar until blended; add eggs, one at a time, then pumpkin and spice, mixing until well blended.
  7. Pour evenly over crust. Sprinkle with reserved oat mixture.
  8. Bake 25 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.
  9. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Then use foil to transfer dessert from pan to wire rack; cool completely.
  10. Store in tightly covered container in refrigerator.
Recipe without photos . . .
Lyle's Pumpkin Pie Bars    Yield: 13" x 9" pan
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup cold butter, cut up
1 cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats, uncooked
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened (or use Neufchatel Cheese)
3 eggs
1 (15 oz.) can plain pumpkin (or homemade pumpkin puree)
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice, purchased or homemade)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 13" x 9" pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides; spray with cooking spray. This will make it easy to remove bars and cut them. Besides, once the bars are out of the pan, the baker can easily trim off both ends and sample the results . . . and no-one has to know!
  2. Mix flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar in medium bowl until blended.
  3. Cut in butter with flat blade of stand mixer (or use a pastry blender) until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Stir in oats and pecans. 
  5. Reserve 1 cup of crumb mixture; press remaining mixture onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake 15 minutes. 
  6. Beat cream cheese and remaining 1/2 cup of granulated sugar until blended; add eggs, one at a time, then pumpkin and spice, mixing until well blended.
  7. Pour evenly over crust. Sprinkle with reserved oat mixture.
  8. Bake 25 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.
  9. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Then use foil to transfer dessert from pan to wire rack; cool completely.
  10. Store in tightly covered container in refrigerator.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Streusel Bars

I made these bars for today's (early) Neighbor to Neighbor Thanksgiving dinner and they were yummy, reminiscent of pumpkin cheesecake but much easier to prepare. The recipe called for Pumpkin Pie Mix (pumpkin with added sugar and spices) but since I use homemade pumpkin puree, I have included the conversion method at the end of the recipe. 

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Streusel Bars   Yield: 13 x 9-inch pan 
1 3/4 cups  all-purpose flour
1 cup  quick or old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup  packed brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 pkg. (8 oz.)  cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup  granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 large eggs
1 can (30 oz.) Pumpkin Pie Mix
Chopped walnuts, optional -- I had about 1/2 cup that I added to the top before baking
Whipped cream, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray or grease a 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
  2. Combine flour, oats and brown sugar in large bowl. 
  3. Stir in butter until moistened. 
  4. Reserve 3/4 to 1 cup mixture for topping. Press remaining oat mixture onto bottom of prepared pan. 
  5. Beat cream cheese, granulated sugar, cornstarch and pumpkin pie spice in large mixer bowl until smooth. 
  6. Beat in eggs. 
  7. Beat in pumpkin pie mix. 
  8. Pour over crust in pan. 
  9. Sprinkle with reserved oat mixture + I added a few chopped walnuts, too.
  10. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. 
  11. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. 
  12. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
  13. Serve with whipped topping , if desired.
*To substitute one 15 oz. can of plain pumpkin (or equivalent of homemade puree) for one 15 oz. can of Pumpkin Pie Mix, add 3/4 cup of sugar (I used brown sugar) + 1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice to the puree. 

Recipe without photos . . .
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Streusel Bars   Yield: 13 x 9-inch pan 
1 3/4 cups  all-purpose flour
1 cup  quick or old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup  packed brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 pkg. (8 oz.)  cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup  granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 large eggs
1 can (30 oz.) Pumpkin Pie Mix
Chopped walnuts, optional -- I had about 1/2 cup that I added to the top before baking
Whipped cream, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray or grease a 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
  2. Combine flour, oats and brown sugar in large bowl. 
  3. Stir in butter until moistened. 
  4. Reserve 3/4 to 1 cup mixture for topping. Press remaining oat mixture onto bottom of prepared pan. 
  5. Beat cream cheese, granulated sugar, cornstarch and pumpkin pie spice in large mixer bowl until smooth. 
  6. Beat in eggs. 
  7. Beat in pumpkin pie mix. 
  8. Pour over crust in pan. 
  9. Sprinkle with reserved oat mixture + I added a few chopped walnuts, too.
  10. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. 
  11. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. 
  12. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
  13. Serve with whipped topping , if desired.
*To substitute one 15 oz. can of plain pumpkin (or equivalent of homemade puree) for one 15 oz. can of Pumpkin Pie Mix, add 3/4 cup of sugar (I used brown sugar) + 1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice to the puree.