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The Thanksgiving festivities are being held this week across our nation and I am baking up a storm. How about you? I am hosting this year and am so excited to have all my family in my home for a day of eating and laughing.
Are you baking this year for Thanksgiving? I am baking this year for everyone. My girls and i will be making pumpkin pies, apple pie and pecan pies and my famous Chocolate Caramel Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Bars.
I have a confession to make . . . I really do not like pumpkin pie . . . at all . . . like it is probably my least favorite pie in the entire world . . . blasphemous, I know! I love the taste of pumpkin in everything else, just not in a pie? Go figure.
I needed to come up with something pumpkin-y for myself for the holidays and over the years I have perfected this delicious oatmeal bar of mine with all sorts of gooey goodness. I found this oatmeal bar years ago and have been adding to it and changing it until I came up with something that is beyond delicious!
I tend to like a really big bite of this bar so I do make them a bit thicker than most oatmeal bars. I like the base thick and I like the middle to have loads of chocolate and loads of caramel and loads of sticky mallows. In other words, in every single bite, I want oatmeal, chocolate, caramel and mallow!
My Chocolate Caramel Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Bars are super simple and super affordable to make and I am sure you already have all the ingredients in your pantry. If not, you can head over to Walmart as they have their amazing Holiday Bake Centers up, which are located right in the middle of the aisles. Walmart has everything you could possibly need for holiday baking right in one location!
Chocolate Caramel Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Bars A.K.A. Pumpkin Carmelita Recipe
- 2½ cups old-fashioned oats
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour (I use whole wheat flour)
- 1¼ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon real salt
- 14-16 oz of unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 2 11 oz. bags of KRAFT Caramel Bits
- ½ cup whipping cream
- 1½ pkgs BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, chopped haphazardly into large and small pieces
- 1 8 oz bag of JET-PUFFED Pumpkin Spice Mallows
- Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 9″x 13″ baking dish with cooking spray. Line with either aluminum foil or parchment paper and spray again with cooking spray. Leave a bit overhanging on the outer edges for easy lift out when baking is complete.
- In a large bowl, mix together the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Mix in butter, using a fork or your fingers. Sometimes it is just easier to smash with your fingers, this will really work the butter into the mixture much better. Press half of mixture onto the bottom your baking dish. Store the other half of the mixture in refrigerator until later.
- Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes. You would like to see your oatmeal mixture just starting to turn brown. Every oven is a bit different, so you will need to keep your eye on it the last 5 to 10 minutes. Cool for about 5 minutes.
- While the base of the bars are cooking, melt your caramel pieces in the microwave with the whipping cream, stirring every 30 seconds. You would like your caramel to be fairly thick and not runny. (save approximately ¼ of your melted caramel sauce to drizzle over the top when serving)
- Sprinkle the partially baked crust with your chopped chocolate pieces. Drizzle caramel sauce over chopped chocolate pieces and crust.
- Next lay the Pumpkin Spice Mallows on top of the caramel. You may use all of the bag of the Pumpkin Spice Mallows or half of the bag - it really is a matter of taste.
- Top with remaining crumb mixture that has been in refrigerator. .
- Bake 20-25 minutes, or until pale golden.(Once again, this is dependent on your oven, be sure to watch the last 5 minutes) Cool completely in pan before cutting into bars.
Cut and enjoy! I just have to say that your first bite will not be your last and you will make this your new go-to holiday recipe. That is, if you can resist baking it all year long!
If you make these Chocolate Caramel Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Bars, be sure to post it on Instagram and tag it #SweetenTheSeason. I WOULD LOVE TO SEE YOURS!
Be sure to check out more delicious recipes at Kraft . I would love to hear about your favorite holiday recipe, that is not pumpkin pie of course!