Caramel Pumpkin Pie Bars

In case you were wondering what the greatest Thanksgiving dessert of all time could possibly be, let me just stop you. I am pretty sure that I invented it in my kitchen last week. I am pretty sure it goes by the name: “Caramel Pumpkin Pie Bars.”

Caramel Pumpkin Pie Bars

In some ways I am prepared to gush: (Like that this is three distinct layers of perfection. A pecan shortbread crust, a vanilla pumpkin pie filling, and a topping of amber colored maple caramel which all combine into a melt in your mouth dessert that is more like a fantasy.)

Caramel Pumpkin Pie Bars

And in other ways, I feel like there just isn’t a lot to say. Make these and taste the magic. Make these and watch your guests FREAK OUT.

Caramel Pumpkin Pie Bars

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

For the Pecan Shortbread Crust Layer:
In the bowl of a food processor, combine all of the dry ingredients and the pecans and pulse until well combined. Add the butter and pulse until the dough has become uniform and smooth.

Caramel Pumpkin Pie Bars

Pour the dough out into an 8×12 inch baking pan (a 9×13 will work too).
Evenly spread the dough over the bottom of the pan.

Caramel Pumpkin Pie Bars

Bake in the oven for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and press down firmly with the back of a metal spatula.

Caramel Pumpkin Pie Bars

For the Pumpkin Pie Layer:
In the bowl of a food processor, combine all of the ingredients and pulse until well combined and smooth.

Caramel Pumpkin Pie Bars

Pour the filling over the pre-baked shortbread crust.

Caramel Pumpkin Pie Bars

Bake the pumpkin pie layer for 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Caramel Pumpkin Pie Bars

For the Maple Caramel layer:

In a large saucepan over medium heat cook the sugar until it all begins to melt and turns an amber color. Stir it with a spoon if you need to. Add the cream and the extract to the sugar. (It will seize up completely, but just keep stirring until the sugar has melted back into the cream and thickened the caramel.

Caramel Pumpkin Pie Bars

Pour the caramel over the pumpkin pie layer. Let sit until warm, then refrigerate for a few hours or up to over night.

Caramel Pumpkin Pie Bars

Caramel Pumpkin Pie Bars

Using a sharp knife, slice the pan into 16 bars. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Caramel Pumpkin Pie Bars

Caramel Pumpkin Pie Bars

Recipe: Caramel Pumpkin Pie Bars

Summary: makes 16 bars

Ingredients

  • For the Pecan Shortbread Crust Layer:
  • -2 cups flour
  • -1 cup powdered sugar
  • -1 cup pecans
  • -½ teaspoon salt
  • -1 cup cold butter, cut into chnks
  • For the Pumpkin Pie Layer:
  • -1 ½ cups pumpkin puree
  • -1 1/3 cups sugar
  • -1 tablespoon vanilla
  • -2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • -½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • -½ teaspoon ginger
  • -½ teaspoon salt
  • -2 eggs
  • -2/3 cup heavy cream
  • For the Maple Caramel Layer:
  • -1 cup white sugar
  • -1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • -2 teaspoons maple extract

Instructions

  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. For the Pecan Shortbread Crust Layer:
  3. 2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine all of the dry ingredients and the pecans and pulse until well combined. Add the butter and pulse until the dough has become uniform and smooth.
  4. 3. Pour the dough out into an 8×12 inch baking pan (a 9×13 will work too).
  5. 4. Evenly spread the dough over the bottom of the pan.
  6. 5. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and press down firmly with the back of a metal spatula.
  7. For the Pumpkin Pie Layer:
  8. 6. In the bowl of a food processor, combine all of the ingredients and pulse until well combined and smooth.
  9. 7. Pour the filling over the pre-baked shortbread crust.
  10. 8. Bake the pumpkin pie layer for 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  11. For the Maple Caramel layer:
  12. 9. In a large saucepan over medium heat cook the sugar until it all begins to melt and turns an amber color. Stir it with a spoon if you need to.
  13. 10. Add the cream to the sugar. (It will seize up completely, but just keep stirring until the sugar has melted back into the cream and thickened the caramel.
  14. 11. Pour the caramel over the pumpkin pie layer. Let sit until warm, then refrigerate for a few hours or up to over night.
  15. 12. Using a sharp knife, slice the pan into 16 bars. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Preparation time: 20 minute(s)

Cooking time: 1 hour(s)

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