I was tempted to not even post this recipe since these bars did not photograph very well. But Ben brought some of the more attractive specimens up to work, and apparently they were devoured within an hour. Some people at work asked for the recipe, and Ben assured them I would be posting on the blog. So, despite the not so great photo, here they are. These are tasty. Pretty messy, and a little difficult to eat and cut, but oh so tasty.
This recipe is from the McCormick website, and I did use mostly McCormick spices. Here is the link. My vanilla was from Belize (thanks, Kate!) and my cinnamon was….not really sure where this container of ground cinnamon came from now that I think about it. Anyway, all the spices make this a dessert that makes your entire house smell delicious. I might have said this before, but I love fall baking. Instead of using caramels that require a lot of tedious unwrapping I used those caramel pieces that come with the wooden sticks for making caramel apples. Something I just do not get. Caramel apples. Who really eats those things? It seems like too much work.
My bars did not cut out very neatly. I might have needed to bake them a little longer. I also think it would help to press the crumb topping into the caramel layer so that the crumbs don’t fall off the bars when they’re cut. Regardless of looks though, these are quite good. Enjoy!Pumpkin Caramel Oat Bars
- 2 cups flour
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 7 ounces (1/2 of 14-ounce package) caramels, unwrapped
- 2 tablespoons milk
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix flour, oats, sugar, baking soda, salt and spices in large bowl. Add butter; stir until mixture is well blended and forms coarse crumbs.
2. Reserve 1/2 (about 2 1/4 cups) for the topping. Add pumpkin and vanilla to remaining mixture in bowl; stir until well blended. Press evenly into bottom of greased 13×9-inch baking pan. Set aside.
3. Microwave caramels and milk in medium microwavable bowl on HIGH 2 to 3 minutes or until caramels are completely melted, stirring after every minute. Let stand 1 minute. Pour over pumpkin mixture in pan, spreading to within 1/2-inch of edges. Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.
4. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars.