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salted caramel pumpkin pie bars

Ingredients

Scale

Crust:

1 stick (113 g) unsalted butter
2/3 cup (125 g) granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups (265 g) all-purpose flour

Filling:

15 oz can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling!)
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons dry milk powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cups brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup heavy cream
Pinch of kosher salt
1/2 cup salted caramel sauce, plus more for drizzling before serving

Maple Whipped Cream:

1 1/4 cups heavy cream, cold
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional)

Instructions

  1. To make the crust: Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease and line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a small skillet or saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Continue to cook the butter, swirling the pan every 30 seconds, until golden brown and fragrant, about 5 minutes or so. Pay attention as it can burn very easily! Transfer to a heat-proof container (like a metal mixing bowl) to cool for 10 minutes.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the cooled brown butter, sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix on low until well combined. Add the egg, flour, and salt and mix until combined and the dough starts to come together, about 2 minutes. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and press into an even layer, getting into all the corners. Use a measuring cup, or something with a flat bottom, to smooth the top as you press the crust into the pan. Set aside.
  4. To make the filling: Combine all the ingredients except the caramel sauce in a medium mixing bowl and whisk until the filling is very smooth and all the ingredients are combined. Pour the filling into the baking dish over the prepared crust. Drizzle the caramel sauce on top, and using a knife or toothpick, swirl the sauce into a pretty design over the top. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the center just barely jiggles. Allow the bars to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate overnight if desired. Slice before serving.
  5. To make the whipped cream: Combine all whipped cream ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until medium-stiff peaks form. Top bars with whipped cream, extra caramel sauce, and freshly grated nutmeg (if desired).