I tried this recipe on a whim last weekend and oh man is it good! Pumpkin Magic Bars – it’s everything it sounds like in the name and more. I really was unsure of how these were going to turn out, but let me tell you, they do NOT disappoint. I even took them to my office because we had so many and I think the overall reaction was, “Oh, these are good” – like wow this pumpkin flavor came out of left field…but now I want 3 more. Fall flavors come and go fast…so I’m always looking for ways to try new recipes each fall season that incorporates either pumpkin, apple, squash, cinnamon, etc. I think this calls for more experimenting…
Also – there’s a backstory to this recipe. The foundation of this recipe is actually a family tradition. We have these cookies on my Mom’s side that my Great Grandmother used to make every Thanksgiving & Christmas. Its an old recipe that Eagle Brand condensed sweetened milk put on their can years ago. We call them Nutty Nuts to this day, because, you guessed it, instead of being loaded with pumpkin, its loaded with nuts. And if you’re wondering, yes I did have the amazing fortune of eating her cookies firsthand for several years! (my cousins and I were lucky enough to know 4 of our Great Grandparents). This has some serious benefits for family recipes! These cookies though…I kind of changed them. Grandma – your Nutty Nuts are so good that I introduced them to Halloween and added pumpkin.
So what are Nutty Nuts even you ask? Simple – they are also “magic bars” or “seven layer bars”. You can essentially swap out any of the ingredients, but usually the layers consist of:
1. Crust – can be crushed graham crackers or cookies
2. Chocolate chips – white, dark, or milk chocolate, or even butterscotch/anything that melts
3 - 6. A few layers of toppings like: coconut, peanut butter morsels, caramel, pumpkin…
7. Condensed milk allll over top of it
…really the rules are endless, but you need a crust, a middle, and a topping…that part is mandatory!
To make these, start with 1 ½ cups of graham cracker crumbs and mix with 1 stick of butter. In a separate bowl, mix 1 cup of pureed pumpkin with a 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice.
Press into the bottom of a 13x9 pan that’s lined with parchment paper – this makes taking them out and cutting way easier. Cover the graham crackers with 2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Spread pumpkin all over the top. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Bars are done when the edges start to become golden. While they start to cool, heat about 8 small caramels in a microwave safe bowl with 1 tbsp of water for about 1 minute. Mix until it’s a smooth sauce. Drizzle this all over the pumpkin as a finishing touch.
Let this chill in the refrigerator overnight to set before you cut into it. You can store these at room temp or in the fridge and they’ll last several days if they make it that far! We didn’t get passed 6 days…
Pumpkin Magic Bars
- 1 ½ cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
- 1 stick unsalted butter melted
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 8 caramel cubes
Preheat oven to 350. Mix 1 ½ cups of graham cracker crumbs with the stick of butter. In a separate bowl, mix the pumpkin with the can of sweetened condensed milk, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice.
Press into the bottom of a 13x9 pan that’s lined with parchment paper. Cover the graham crackers with f semi-sweet chocolate chips. Spread pumpkin all over the top. Bake for 35 minutes. Bars are done when the edges start to become golden.
While they start to cool, heat about 8 small caramels in a microwave safe bowl with 1 tbsp of water for about 1 minute. Mix until it’s a smooth sauce. Drizzle this all over the pumpkin.
Let this chill in the refrigerator overnight to set before you cut into it.
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