CARMELITAS – Easy to make oatmeal cookie bars filled with gooey caramel and delicious chocolate!
Caramels, pumpkins, apples… Fall is here.
I went to the store to pick up some oats, and when I walked in, the first thing I noticed were the apples, the pears, and right behind them was a basket filled with caramel candies. As soon as I saw those candies, I started to think about sweet, gooey, chewy desserts and I forgot what I went to the store for. Something I do quite often. :-/ If I could just remember to actually use that Grocery List App that I have on my phone…
Needless to say, I really did forget about the oats. (I didn’t forget about the chocolate covered raisins, now, did I). Had to go back for the oats, and that’s when I thought about Carmelitas. I hadn’t made any since last year.
My version of Carmelitas should be called Chocolitas. There’s a great amount of caramel in here, but for the chocoholics in this house, I have to add more chocolate. My original recipe includes half cup of chocolate chips, but after the tweaking I did to satisfy the others, we ended up with one cup or more of chocolate chips and a cup and some of caramel. Not bad my friends, not bad at all. I’ll share the original version, but if you are a choco lover, go ahead and double the amount of chocolate chips.
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup light brown sugar , packed
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 sticks butter , melted
- 1 (14 oz.) package of caramel candies, unwrapped
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Line a 9x9 pan with aluminum foil leaving an overhang on opposite sides to lift the bars out. Grease lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and melted butter; mix until well combined.
- Press half of the oatmeal mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan and put it in the oven to bake for 10 minutes.
- In the meantime prepare the caramel.
- Combine caramels and cream in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until smooth.
- Remove pan from oven and layer the chocolate chips over the crust.
- Pour caramel mixture over chocolate chips.
- Crumble the remaining oatmeal mixture over the caramel.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until light golden brown.
- Remove from oven and completely cool before removing from pan and cutting into bars.