Saturday, October 28, 2023

Caramel Pumpkin Oatmeal Squares

 Here's an easy dessert that is perfect for all your little ghouls and goblins. Firstly, it's what I call a "picky uppy" dessert, which means you can just grab it and go. And secondly, the recipe uses one of my favorite techniques: one dough is used for the bottom crust as well as the topping! That just makes things so much easier. And they're delicious! Sort of like a cross between a pumpkin square and an oatmeal cookie. It comes together pretty easily too. 
Definitely keep this recipe readily available the next time you're feeling like a picky uppy pumpkin treat!

2 c. flour
2 c. old fashioned oats
1 1/2 c firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup (2 stick) butter, melted
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla extract
7 oz (1/2 of 14-ounce package) caramels, unwrapped
2 tbs milk 
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. 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 foil-lined 13x9-inch baking pan. Set aside.
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.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack. Lift from pan. Cut into bars.

This recipe is from McCormick. Ya know, the spice people. And I'm sure they're very excited to have you use cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. But I like to just use a tbs of pumpkin pie spice blend. It's just easier. Usually I make my own, which also includes allspice, but you can also buy it already blended. And I always add more than the recipe says. But you do you!