On the First Day of Christmas… Surprise Caramel Tarts!

Of course, we all know the things that Christmas is about. We know that it has this deep, rich, amazing meaning.

But it’s also kind of, just a little bit, a teeny tiny bit, about the presents, isn’t it? I mean, who doesn’t love opening up a gift and being totally surprised? People who hate life, that’s who.

These tarts, you see, they’re just like opening a present. When you first bite into it, you think “Mmm. Pumpkin. Marshmallow. It’s good.” And then you notice that there’s just this amazing caramel flavor flooding your tastebuds. Because these, like a present, are all wrapped up like a pretty little package, with little clue as to what magic awaits beneath the surface.

The best part of these tarts (or the worst, if your waistline is like mine) is that they are so incredibly easy to make.

You’re going to start by preheating your oven to 325, and grab a package of Betty Crocker Pumpkin Bar mix, plus some Jet-Puffed Mini Marshmallows and Kraft Traditional Caramels.

Mix the contents of the Betty Crocker pouch with one egg and a stick of softened butter to form a batter. It’ll look like this:

From here, you will want to fill a greased mini muffin tin with two teaspoons of batter in each compartment.

Bake those puppies for 12 minutes or until the edges are golden, then pull them out and turn the oven off!

Quickly pop an unwrapped caramel into the center of each tart, pressing it in so it becomes even with the top of the pan.

Then, top each one with several mini marshmallows, making sure the caramel is hidden, because, duh, if you don’t hide it, it totally spoils the surprise!

Put those back in the warm oven for another 3 minutes or until your marshmallows are soft and gooey. If you’d like, you can use a torch to brown the tops of the marshmallows. I didn’t for this post, simply because I live with a 12-year-old pyro who wouldn’t let a torch last very long around here.

See? From the outside, you can’t even see the caramel. They just look like cute little pumpkin cupcakes. But, bite inside…

…and suddenly, all that’s left are crumbs.

This recipe makes about 36 mini tarts, so it’s perfect for taking to a cookie exchange, giving to Santa, using as teacher or neighbor gifts, or, my favorite, polishing them off myself with a tall glass of iced coffee.

Oh, and Pumpkin is also totally a Thanksgiving thing, so there’s no reason you can’t take these gems to a Thanksgiving feast, either.

Keep an eye out because there are 11 more recipes coming your way that are perfect for taking to cookie exchanges or adding to your holiday baking list. If you don’t want to miss a post, be sure that you subscribe to receive posts by email over in the sidebar, or like DigitalEraMom on facebook!

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