Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pumpkin Caramel Bars

"Life is uncertain,
 eat cake first."

~Ernestine Ulmer

The pumpkin cake is good,
but the frosting is "to die

I wanted to eat it all off
the cake with a spoon!

Pumpkin Caramel Bars

For the bars-

2 cups all purpose flour [ I used 1/2 whole wheat]
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
4 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup chopped, toasted pecans [optional]

For the Frosting-

2 cups packed brown sugar
1/3 cup water
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 stick unsalted buttr, cubed
4 oz. cream cheese, cut into 1 inch cubes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat  a 9x13 inch baking pan with non-stick spray.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

Whisk together pumpkin puree, sugars, egg, melted butter and vanilla in a large bowl until well blended. Stir in flour mixture and pecans.

Spread pumpkin batter evenly into prepared pan; bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.


Boil 2 cups brown sugar, water and salt in a large saucepan over high heat, 5 minutes, gently swirling occasionally to prevent scorching.  Whisk in cream and butter pieces. (Mixture will bubble furiously; keep whisking). Boil 2 minutes more.

Transfer caramel to the bowl of a stand mixer; whip on high speed until sides of bowl are cool to the touch and caramel is thick, 8 - 10 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.  Add cream cheese, 1 cube at a time, until frosting is smooth.  Frost cooled bars.  Store bars in the refrigerator up to a week.

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