These Pumpkin Caramel Swirl Bars are a gooey, decadent treat! The bars are fudgy and brownie-like, and in the center is a thick layer of soft caramel that melts in your mouth. They are easy to put together and a huge crowd-pleaser!
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13 inch pan with parchment paper, or grease the pan. (You can do foil too. Grease the foil).
In a large bowl or stand mixer, melt the butter.
Add the brown sugar, pumpkin, and vanilla, and beat well.
Add the flour to the bowl but don't mix. Spoon the baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt into the flour and gently stir into the flour.
Beat well, stopping to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
Pour about half of the batter into the prepared pan and use a spatula to smooth it on the bottom of the pan.
Bake at 350 for about 19-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and it is set in the middle.
Remove from the oven but don't turn it off.
Meanwhile, melt the caramels and milk in a medium microwave safe bowl. Start with 45 seconds, then stir well. Continue to heat in 30-45 second intervals, stirring well each time. When the caramels are almost smooth, stop microwaving and stir until smooth.
Pour the caramel over the hot baked layer in pan, spreading to within 1/2 inch of the edges.
Drop reserved batter by spoonfuls over caramel layer. Cut through batter with knife several times for a marble effect.
Bake a second time for 25-30 minutes or until center is set. A toothpick test won't work because the caramel layer is too gooey and will just confuse you (at least I was confused at first...). If the center of the pan doesn't wiggle when you shake it, it's done.