Magic Pumpkin Bars

Magic Pumpkin Bars

Magic Pumpkin Bars

It seems now that Fall weather has set in recipes featuring pumpkin in some form or other are flooding the air-waves, web and periodicals.  Well, not to be left out, I wanted to get in on the fun of baking something with pumpkin.

You know what magic cookie bars are, right?  They’re also known as 7-layer bars.  But I like to call them magic cookie bars because 1) they don’t always have 7 layers, and 2)  the sweetened condensed milk performs the magic by tying all the layers together.

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Let’s start by reviewing all the layers in this version,  OK?

1. Gingersnap Crust.   I think that gingersnap and pumpkin are a match made in heaven.  They were made for each other.

2.  The chips.  White chocolate chips, preferred for color contrast and silky texture.  However, the day I made these bars I plunged into making them without checking and found I was out of white chips, so used chocolate instead.  But then, chocolate also goes well with pumpkin.  So use what ever kind you prefer or have on hand.

3.  Pecans, (or any nuts, really).  You gotta have them, especially in a fall dessert.

4.  Coconut.  This is totally optional, but it’s usually found in magic bars.

5.  Toffee Bits.  In my opinion, you can never have enough of these.  See #3.

6..  Pumpkin.  Come on……they are called pumpkin magic bars.

7.  Sweetened condensed milk.  The top and final layer;  the tie that binds it all together!   In this recipe it gets mixed with the pumpkin and some pumpkin pie spice and poured over the top.

Fudgy, chewy.  I love the way all the layers blend together.

Fudgy, chewy. I love the way all the layers blend together.

MAGIC PUMPKIN BARS

Yield:  12 -16 bars

Ingredients:

Get all the ingredients ready.

Get all the ingredients ready.

  • 25 gingersnaps
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 5 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup coconut
  • 1/4 cup toffee bits
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Instructions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.  Line a 9 x 9-inch pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.

2  Grind gingersnaps to a fine crumb in a food processor.  Mix with sugar and melted butter.  Press into prepared pan.

3.  Sprinkle with white chocolate chips, nuts, coconut, and toffee bits over the top of the crust.

4.  Whisk pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice and condensed milk in a small bowl or measuring cup and pour over the top of the bars.

All layered up and ready for the oven.

All layered up and ready for the oven.

5.  Bake for 29 – 31 minutes, until edges have started to brown.  Cool completely before cutting.  Using edges of foil, lift completely from the pan to a cutting surface and using a bench knife or other sharp knife, cut into 12 or 16 squares.

Use the foil "handles" and lift the whole square out of the pan for ease in cutting.

Use the foil “handles” and lift the whole square out of the pan for ease in cutting.

Looking sooo good!

Looking sooo good!

These are surprisingly not too sweet.

These are surprisingly not too sweet.

SOURCE:  Crazy For Crust

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Camelitas

Carmelita Bars

Carmelita Bars

I charge 500 kisses for these bars!    That’s a lot of kisses, but boy, they’re worth it.

I have a very good friend who loves these bar cookies, and whenever he says he wants some cookies, I always say “it’s gonna cost ya”.  When he says, “how much?”,  I say, ” 500 kisses”.    He loves the cookies and I love the pay-off!  (This is all in jest, of course.)     Try baking these for someone special in your life and see what the reward will be.

Buttery crust and crumb topping.  In the middle, chocolate, caramel and nuts.

Buttery crust and crumb topping. In the middle, chocolate, caramel and nuts.

No one I know can resist a caramelita bar.  The base and top layer is made of flour, butter, oats and brown sugar, and the middle layer consists of chocolate, nuts and caramel, but you can customize this layer with whatever you may have in your pantry.  I’ve used different kinds of nuts, coconut, toffee chips and butterscotch chips.  They’re a hit however you make them.

If you need to bribe someone, do it with these!

If you need to bribe someone, do it with these!

Baked in a 13 x 9-inch pan you get about 32 bars.  You will need to let them cool about 30 minutes and then run a knife around the edge of the pan to prevent the caramel from sticking.  Once cool, they cut neatly into the desired number of squares or bars.

CARMELITAS

Yield:   about 32 barsIMG_4247

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 package caramels ( 14 – 16 oz.) unwrapped**
  • 1/2 cup milk or cream**
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped nuts, walnuts, or other kinds

Directions:

1.  In a medium saucepan, combine the caramels and milk or cream.  Heat gently, and stir until melted and smooth.  Remove from heat and set aside.

**My tip:  a quick and easy step-saver is to use a jar of caramel ice-cream topping instead.  It works just as well and I think is less costly. You will need to use 1 1/4  cups of prepared caramel topping if you go this route.

2.  Preheat oven to 350*F.  Grease, or line with parchment, a 13 x 9-inch baking pan.

3.  In the large bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour oats, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt.  Mix at low speed just to combine.  Add the butter, a chunk at a time, with the mixer running.   Once all the butter is in, add the egg.

4.  Reserve 1 1/2 cups of this mixture for the topping.  Pour the remainder into the prepared pan, and spread evenly.  You can lay a piece of plastic wrap on the surface and then use a loaf pan to press it down evenly.  Remove the plastic wrap, and bake for 10 minutes.

5.  After removing the base from the oven, sprinkle with chocolate chips and nuts.  Drizzle the caramel sauce over the them, and then sprinkle the reserved base mixture over the top.  Press down lightly to help it adhere.   Bake for 25 to 28 minutes, until the top is golden brown.  Remove from the oven and cool at least 30 minutes before cutting.

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SOURCE:  Cooks.com