One. Last. Pumpkin. Recipe. I promise. 😉 The original recipe was titled pumpkin brownies, but these tasted nothing like a brownie to me. If anything they were closer to cake than brownies, so I renamed them pumpkin caramel bars. Imagine a layer of caramel and chocolate sandwiched between pumpkin cake layers topped with vanilla bean ice cream–delicious! (Of course the ice cream is optional, but come on–everything is better with ice cream, right?) Next time I think I’ll increase the chocolate chips to at least 1/2 cup because I really like chocolate and caramel together. You don’t have to use homemade caramel for this recipe, but if you use caramel flavored corn syrup they probably won’t be as good–just saying =). At least splurge for good tasting store-bought or melt down some caramels. I promise it’s worth it. This recipe is quick and easy and you probably already have all the ingredients on hand (minus the caramel), so why not add these beauties to your thanksgiving dessert table? Break away from the pumpkin pie! Happy thanksgiving. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Caramel Bars
for the batter:
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 whole eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

for the filling:
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used mini-choc chips)
1 1/2 cups caramel sauce (I used store-bought, but homemade would be even better or you could melt caramels with some heavy cream and omit the flour)
3 tbsp flour (only if your store-bought caramel is thin)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×13 pan with non stick cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Stir in eggs, vanilla and pumpkin until combined. Slowly incorporate the remaining ingredients into the batter. Scrape sides of bowl and mix again briefly to ensure a smooth batter. Spread about 2/3 of the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
4. Sprinkle chocolate chips over top of the batter.
5. Mix caramel and flour together and pour evenly over chocolate.
6. Place dollops of the remaining batter over the top of the caramel layer. Spread those dollops out to try and get a smooth layer of batter over top. (It’s fine if some of the caramel layer is peeking through.)
7. Bake for 25 minutes or until edges are golden and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted. (It might come out with a little caramel on it which is fine. You don’t want batter on the toothpick.)
*adapted from Tasty Kitchen

Categories: Brownies and Bars, Pumpkin

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