Recipes

Recipe: PUMPKIN WEEK: CARAMEL PUMPKIN OATMEAL BARS

It's October, the month most appropriate for pumpkin appreciation. In honor of that fact, we offer a week of pumpkin-centric recipes. This one comes from McCormick, a purveyor of pumpkin pie spice.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups flour

2 cups rolled oats

1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted

1 cup canned pumpkin

7 oz. (1/2 of 14-ounce package) caramels, unwrapped

2 tablespoons milk

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350. Mix flour, oats, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt 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 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; remove foil. Cut into 24 bars.

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