Thursday, October 15

RECIPE | Whiskey Caramel Glazed Pumpkin Bars


I'm SUPER excited to share the details of these Whiskey Caramel Glazed Pumpkin Bars with you today...but not for the reason you might think.

You'd naturally think I would be revealing the recipe for these delicious pumpkin filled little morsels, but truth be told, I didn't make these myself.

When I was asked by Tuesday Morning to come up with some "adult Halloween treat ideas" I knew I was going to have to get creative because I still did not have an oven. (our house was struck by lightning back in June and finding a 40" dual fuel range to replace the fried oven we were left with was like looking for a needle in a haystack since they apparently don't manufacture 40" ranges anymore - only 36" and 42"...but anyway - that's another story).

So...I had to come up with some treat ideas in which I didn't actually have to bake, especially since I only had 10 days to put this entire thing together. In addition to the pumpkin milkshakes I chose to make for the Spiders + Spirits themed dessert table I styled, I realized I was going to need some baking alternatives.

Honestly, even if my oven had been working at the time, over the last few years, I have found myself finding "short-cuts" if you will, so I'm not a complete basket case from trying to make and bake everything myself. I think it's important to find a nice balance of offering one or two homemade items and then using my resources to provide the other delicious food items so I can actually enjoy the celebration and not be completely exhausted from the preparation of it.

So back to the pumpkin bars...
and to why I'm excited to share what I'm sharing with you today!!

I ended up finding these Pumpkin Bars in the bakery section of my local grocery store.
Yep. The grocery store. These delicious AND pretty morsels are store-bought.
(If you have a Publix grocery store near you, they are called "Decadent Pumpkin Bars" - and yes, they are every bit of decadent as you might imagine). 



But here's the BEST PART...
In their original state, they came packaged as six rectangular bars.
To jazz them up and make them feel a little more "homemade" I simply cut eat bar in half to make them bite-sized, chopped up some pecans, (I didn't toast mine but you totally could do that), and then I drizzled the caramel on top. Done!!

Placing them in a mini cupcake liner fancied them up even more and they literally went from drab to fab in under 10 minutes. Yes!!

So where does that leave you?
Not only have I shared with you a terrific idea for jazzing up store-bought pumpkin bars if you are short on time for making homemade treats but I have also scoured Pinterest for you to find recipes that seem similar - for those of you looking to make them yourself. 

AND I do have the recipe for the Whiskey Caramel - thank you Southern Living's Fall Baking - Special Collector's Edition Magazine. (It's LOADED with delicious recipes and Southern Living is my go-to source for trying new things because through the many years of experimenting and trying new recipes in their magazines and cookbooks,  I have yet to try something I didn't like OR...that ended up being a partial or incorrect recipe).

Here are the recipes I found on Pinterest.
None of them are exact but any of them can be drizzled with the Whiskey Caramel:

Silky Brown Butter Pumpkin Pie Bars (with Brown Butter Pretzel Crust)
These sound amazing!! They are topped with a Bourbon Whipped Cream so you may want to try that instead OR skip the whipped cream and add your chopped pecans and drizzle on a little Whiskey Caramel. And if you aren't into alcohol, like me, then some regular caramel will do the trick just fine!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Crumb Bars
These don't look anything like the pumpkin bars I served BUT...they look amazing and would be delicious with the caramel glaze. You could even skip the crumb top and just do the pecans and caramel.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars with Chocolate Topping
I love the idea of the oatmeal cookie crust used in this recipe and it sounds close to the crust on the pumpkin bars I served.  Just leave off the chocolate and add your chopped pecans and whiskey caramel.

And here's the Whisky Caramel recipe
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WHISKEY CARAMEL
Recipe from Southern Living - Special Collector's Edition, Best Fall Baking Magazine 2015
Makes 2 cups

Ingredients
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup butter, cubed
1/4 cup whiskey
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 large egg
1/2 cup sugar

Directions
Stir together 1 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in saucepan.
Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, 3 minutes or until sugar melts.
Cook, without stirring, 10 minutes or until medium amber in color.
Remove from heat and stir in heavy cream, butter, whiskey, salt and nutmeg.

Whisk together egg and 1/2 cup sugar in a heatproof medium bowl.
Slowly whisk caramel sauce into egg mixture.
Return mixture to saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. (2 minutes or until thickened).

Now you're ready to drizzle...

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So there you go...
A great Whiskey Caramel recipe from Southern Living AND some fantastic Pumpkin recipes on Pinterest to try.

Let me know what you think and then get out there and make it a fantastic day!!

xoxo,
Jessica

KEEPiNG iT REAL
I'm down for Southern Living you guys! It's been my long-time favorite magazine and not only that,  my favorite cookbook is the Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook I purchased as a Southern Living At HOME consultant a SUPER long time ago.

The cookbook is SO old that you can only find used copies - in fact, "The All New Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook that came out in 2006, to replace mine, is only available in used condition as well. Yep! My cookbook is a dinosaur - but I still use it every week. Does that mean I'm a dinosaur too? Ha!! And let's not even talk about the beautiful Southern Living House Plans that have occupied a good part of my married years. *wink* Seriously? Southern Living feeds every corner of my creativity!! I LOVE it!!!

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