On this particular Sunday, Mal didn’t just make her chili; she also made a batch of Oatmeal Carmelita bars that totally knocked my socks off. Literally, they were just amazing, and I was totally psyched when she already had a copy of the recipe ready for me because she knew I would ask.
She knows me too well.
So for the past few weeks, I’ve been meaning to make those bars, but wanted to try putting my own spin on them. Being the fall season and all, I thought it might be fun to work with the recipe a bit to include one of my favorite ingredients…pumpkin.
To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure how the recipe would turn out by adding the pumpkin. But with a couple quick adjustments to the other ingredients, things worked out like a dream.
The dough with the pumpkin bars is slightly more sticky than the original, resulting in a less crumbly topping and a softer crust. You can see the difference here…
The pumpkin flavor actually is not all that dominant, so you might be able to try adding some more pumpkin pie spice to the recipe if you’re looking for more of a pumpkin flavor. Either way, it works for me.
After taking one bite of these, I knew that there was NO way I would be able to keep them in the house without devouring them, so I packed them up this morning and brought them with me to work. You know what they say, sharing is caring.
Pumpkin Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Adapted from the Oatmeal Carmelitas recipe from Pillsbury)
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Start to Finish: About 3 hours (including cooling time)
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup butter, softened,
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 jar (12.25 oz.) caramel topping (1 cup)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butterscotch chips
- Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom and sides of 13×9-inch pan with cooking spray. In large bowl, combine all crust ingredients; mix at low speed until soft and combined. Reserve half of crumb mixture (about 3 cups) for topping. Press remaining crumb mixture in bottom of greased pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in small bowl, combine caramel topping and 3 tablespoons flour; blend well.
- Remove partially baked crust from oven; sprinkle with chocolate and butterscotch chips. Drizzle evenly with caramel mixture; sprinkle with reserved crust mixture.
- Return to oven and bake an additional 20-22 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 1 hour on cooling rack until completely cooled. Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours or until filling is set. Cut into bars. Enjoy!
Now I’m wondering if these might be a good recipe to make for The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap? Either way, these will most definitely be making their way into my holiday baking round-up.
And maybe they’ll end up in yours, too? 😉