But you're probably much cooler than I am, so you're not doing that right now, are you?
Okay, well either way we're going to talk about toppings right now.
When I first tasted the pumpkin bars through my co-worker, it was a bit odd. It was topped with a frosting and bacon. Yah, you read that right. Bacon. On a pumpkin bar. Maple frosting. Good, but not my thing.
So what is my thing? Let's be honest, my favorite cupcake is a red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting.
Say it with me now: cream cheese frosting.
So lets whip that up!
- 6 ounces softened cream cheese
- 2 cups powdered (confectioners) sugar
- splash of lemon juice
Start with 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and beat it into the cream cheese. Continue on with this sugar addition, 1/2 cup at a time, until the whole amount has been beat in.
That's cream cheese frosting. Plain and simple.
So then you can just toss it on to the cooled pumpkin bars.
And then spread the frosting evenly.
Feel free to stop here if you'd like. There's no shame in it. This is a beatiful thing. If you're really a fan of pecans, toss some on time. Like cinnamon a lot? Sprinkle it on there. Anything your little heart desires.
What did my heart desire? Caramel.
I love Caramel. I don't like the candies, but I love the sauce. The flavor. The smell. The consistency.
So I found an old recipe from The Pioneer Woman for Ice Cream Pie. Now you're scratching your head and thinking, "What does ice cream pie have to do with pumpkin bars?" Caramel sauce, that's what.
Inside of the Ice Cream Pie recipe is a recipe for the simplest caramel sauce you'll ever make. 5 ingredients. 10 minutes. Loads of sauce.
Caramel Sauce Ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup of packed brown sugar
1/2 cup of half and half or whipping cream
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
Throw the first four ingredients into a saucepan and heat over medium-low heat.
Then, after the mixture has dissolved and started to thicken (about 5-7 minutes) then toss in the vanilla. Keep stirring for a few more minutes.
There's your finished product! Caramel sauce, lots of it! You barely need a few tablespoons for this recipe so you might want to start thinking of all of the other things you can put it on. Coffee, ice cream, cakes, pies, graham crackers, your fingers, etc.
So now all that is left for you to do is drizzle and serve.
By the way, this makes 24 pretty good sized bars. I'd go so far as to say you could even cut those in half for 48 servings. If you're a Weight Watcher, and you cut this into 24 pieces, be prepared to track 5 points. Not too bad, but it's definitely a splurge!