Mini Caramel Pumpkin Pies

Why am I totally on a mini-rampage?

Well, not a mini-rampage, but an “everything-mini” rampage.

I love small things.

Maybe it’s because I’m subconsciously aware that I’m not mini, so I like small things to compensate for my non-small-ness.

I’m not petite, never was. I’m a towering 5’8″ and come from a family of really tall people.

My dad and 18 year old brother are plagued with shopping for Big and Tall shirts because anything normal-sized looks like something a Ken doll would wear.

I guess I find myself in the same boat, seeing as I have both long legs and a freakishly long torso. Like, my torso alone could probably be at least four feet tall. Okay, probably not. But you get the idea.

And maybe I’m subconsciously liking small things because I’m also not super small, and never was. Girls who fit into size 2–or crazier–a juniors double-0? Noooo way. I got hips for days. And a teensy tummy, no thanks to the fact that I LOVE FOOD.

Also no thanks to the fact that I polished off an entire takeout container of chow mein last night, but that’s only a minor detail in this predicament, don’t you think? The real scary stuff happens next Thursday, approximately 2pm, when I, Hayley Parker, will be stuffing my face senselessly with roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, rolls, and whatever else I can reach with my scary-long arms until Jessie will roll me out of his house, into his truck’s bed (the cab is for skinny people, duh) and bring me to my grandma’s house where I will repeat the process again, this time, providing myself with ample room for pie.

Mmm, yes. Pie.

Remember how I told you I’m an apple pie girl? Yeah, I am. Still am. Nothing’s changed from two days ago.

But I do love me some pumpkin pie, too. Especially now that I have more maturer taste buds (read: now that I’m more of a fat ass).

A few years ago, I made this Turtle Pumpkin Pie from Kraftfoods.com for Thanksgiving and it was a huuuge hit (um, pumpkin, graham crackers and caramel… can’t imagine why anyone would like that…) Except, I left out the pecans since my mother is allergic to all nuts except peanuts (isn’t that ironically tragic? I cry about this frequently into a bowl of pistachios) and because I wanted to be charged with being brutally gluttonous on Thanksgiving day, not a murderer.

I decided to change things up this year and make mini versions of this family-favorite pie since everyone loves mini things and no one in my house enjoys sharing too much. For these qualities, mini pies seemed perfect. And they’re easy, too, which means less work=more eating. You’re welcome.

Mini Caramel Pumpkin Pies *inspired by Kraft’s recipe

1 pkg (6) mini graham cracker crusts
2 small boxes sugar free/fat free instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup milk
1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Sprinkling of ground ginger and ground pumpkin pie spice
1 tub light Cool Whip, thawed
Caramel sauce (I used plain ol’ squirt-bottle ice cream topping)

1. Start by unwrapping your pie crusts and drizzling about 1 Tbsp caramel on the bottom of each crust. (What a good beginning) Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the pudding mixes, milk, pumpkin and spices until blended and thickened. Gently fold in about 1 1/2 cups of the thawed Cool Whip topping (you want to fold it rather than mix it, since apparently this stuff can deflate if you are too brutal to it. It has feelings, too). Spoon your filling into each pie crust (you’ll probably have extra filling, which would make it easy to double this recipe and make 12 mini pies; just sayin’)
3. Top filling with remaining plain Cool Whip, spreading evenly. Drizzle with caramel sauce and place in fridge to set about 1 hour. Eat!!

My pictures are kind of messy considering I went a little caramel-heavy today. It was just one of those days, you know? Tough life.

Enjoy these; they’re great!

xo, Hayley

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