These Pumpkin Caramel Bars with Bacon are the salty-sweet dessert combination you have been craving. With bacon sprinkled on top and drippings in the pumpkin layer you are in for a treat.
How to take pumpkin bars to the next level…add caramel frosting and bacon. This sure beats the regular cream cheese frosting we normally use with pumpkin desserts. The bacon adds a smoky, salty and crunchy complement, while the bacon drippings in the pumpkin layer add another subtle smoky taste.
I have come to love bacon in my desserts, especially these cookies and this cake. They just exude that sweet-savory flavor I love. The caramel frosting in this recipe is a take on Italian buttercream, however, the method is actually easier and the results are “perfection”. Total perfection!!
Overall this is a great fall dessert. It would also go nicely as part of a Thanksgiving Day holiday dessert table.
Thank goodness these need to stay in the fridge, otherwise I would be grabbing one off the counter every time I passed by. Wouldn’t you?
Preheat oven to 350o F. Coat a 9 x 13 baking pan with nonstick spray. Cook bacon in a saute pan over medium heat until crisp; drain on a paper towel lined plate and set aside. Reserve two tablespoons of the drippings.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and table salt for the bars in a medium bowl; set aside. Whisk together pumpkin puree, granulated sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, egg, melted butter, bacon drippings and vanilla in a large bowl until well blended. Stir in flour mixture and pecans.
Spread pumpkin batter evenly into prepared pan; bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.
Boil two cups brown sugar, water and a pinch of salt for the frosting in a large saucepan over high heat, 5 minutes, swirling occasionally to prevent scorching. Whisk in cream and butter pieces. (Mixture will bubble furiously; keep whisking.) Boil 2 minutes more.
Transfer caramel to the bowl of a stand mixer; whip on high speed until sides of bowl are cool to the touch and caramel is thick, 10-minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add cream cheese, one cube at a time, until frosting is smooth.
Frost cooled bars. Finely chop cooked bacon and sprinkle onto frosted bars with sea salt. Place in the refrigerator to set frosting for one hour. They keep in the fridge for up to one week.
You will love these.
Other Pumpkin Bars You Might Enjoy:
- Mocha Pumpkin Fudge Brownies
- Pumpkin Cream Cheese Brownies
- Three-Ingredient Flourless Pumpkin Brownies
- Pumpkin Spice Latte Brownies
- Fudgey-Pumpkin Brownies
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