Oatmeal Carmelitas- I cannot say enough about these bars because they will knock your socks off! With Valentine’s Day coming up later this week, I’d like to recommend a different kind of treat for your loved one. I mean, aren’t chocolates and flowers overrated? These Oatmeal Carmelitas will gain you major brownie points because they contain chocolate AND are homemade with love. These rich, cookie-like bars have a buttery, oatmeal crust and are topped with a layer of chocolate and lots of gooey caramel. They are very simple to make and are a fun change to the standard cookie.
I’ve seen variations of this recipe all over the internet lately, but I was able to trace it back to, what I believe is, the original recipe from Pillsbury from 1967. I am saddened that I have yet to come across this recipe until recently, because they are that good! I’ve made them three times since my cousin first introduced them to me a few months ago. They, without a doubt, will be a staple in my recipe book going forward. Enjoy!
Yields: approximately 12 bars
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 11 oz package of caramels, unwrapped (approximately 32 caramels)
- 6 oz of semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
2.) In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, butter, and baking soda. Mix until well incorporated. Note: I found it was easiest to use a spoon to mix at first and then my hands to ensure it was well incorporated. You could also use a stand or hand mixer.
4.) Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the crust with the chocolate chips and then top with the caramel. Crumble the remaining dough over the caramel. Evenly sprinkle the sea salt over the top. Return to oven and bake an additional 15-20 minutes, until the top is lightly browned.
5.) Remove from oven and cool completely in the pan before cutting.
Notes and Tips:
- If a 8×8 inch pan doesn’t make enough carmelitas for you, just double the recipe to make a 9×13 inch pan worth.
- The original recipe calls for quick oats, but I used old fashioned rolled oats and they turned out well. I think both kinds could be used with good results.
- It will take a long time for the bars to cool down before they can be cut into squares. I would suggest letting them cool overnight, or for at least 2 hours before slicing into them. All that melted chocolate and caramel takes a while to cool down- yum! You could also put them in the refrigerator for a few hours to help speed up the process.
- Carmelitas can be stored up to 5 days in an airtight container. But trust me, they won’t last that long.