Caramel-Crowned Pumpkin Squares: an easy recipe to be thankful for!

By From the Heart | Carol Jessen-Klixbull |Taste of the Diocese

Nov 19

Recipes in my collection often elicit a sweet memory — the event where I first tasted it, the person I received it from or someone in my life who especially likes that dish. Most foodies can probably relate.

When I asked Visitor columnist Rita Meyer about featuring her Caramel-Crowned Pumpkin Squares recipe in the Meire Grove “St. John the Baptist Catholic Church Cookbook,” she recalled getting the recipe from her friend Margaret Arnold, a parishioner of St. Anne’s in Kimball. Rita contacted Margaret who reminisced about acquiring the recipe from a friend in Edina at a dinner party around 15 years ago.

bars2They were a definite hit with The Visitor staff when I baked a pan to share at the office. I agree with Margaret that they are a scrumptious alternative to pumpkin pie at this time of year. Rita thinks it’s a delicious recipe, too. She admits to loving “anything pumpkin” and told me that the recipe for “Pumpkin Chip Cookies” on page 31 in the cookbook is also one of her favorites. (Hint: She always makes them with milk chocolate chips.)

Caramel-Crowned Pumpkin Squares

1 cup flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup butter, melted

2 cups canned pumpkin
1 (13 oz.) can evaporated milk
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cloves

1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 tbsp. butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

Whipped cream, as desired

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Mix ingredients (in a food processor, by hand with pastry blender or on low with electric mixer). Press crust into bottom of 13 x 9 x 2 inches pan. Bake for 15 minutes.

Combine ingredients in large mixing bowl. Beat thoroughly. Pour over crust. Return to oven and bake for 20 minutes.

Combine ingredients. Sprinkle them over the pumpkin filling. Return to oven and bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until filling is set. Cool and cut into 2-inch squares.

Serve with whipped cream, if desired.

bars1St. John’s Cookbook was published in 2014 and features 140 pages filled with great recipes from parishioners. It sells for $12 a copy (with an additional $6 for postage and handling). If you want to order copies by mail contact Rita Meyer at 320-987-3113 or Or, if you are passing through Meire Grove, stop at the QPC (Quality Plus Convenience) gas station to skip the shipping costs. They are open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week.

Carol Jessen-Klixbull is a copy editor at The Visitor. She is a former Family and Consumer Science teacher who has a passion for all things “food.”





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