Carmelitas! Chocolate and caramel sandwiched in an oatmeal cookie crust.
It all started with a picture I saw come across my Pinterest feed. Carmelitas. Oh. My. God. I didn’t know what these were, but I knew I had to make them. Gooey, barely-holding-together oat bars filled with chocolate and caramel. If the picture didn’t already sell me on them, the ingredients sealed the deal.
There are a bunch of recipes online for these, but the one I used as a guideline was the one from Averie Cooks. I mostly followed her recipe, except that I totally forgot to add the vanilla (whoops) and I used 33 caramels instead of 35, as I wanted 2 for props in photos.
Props are important, right?
The missing 2 caramels didn’t make a noticeable difference. Next time though, I think I would make my own caramel sauce – we made some in school, and it was super easy and mega-delicious. It’s a bit more work, but I didn’t care for the flavour of the Kraft Caramels that I used, and I think a homemade sauce would taste better. If you feel so inclined, I’ve included a recipe for a homemade caramel sauce below. Really though, the store-bought caramels are easy (if you don’t mind unwrapping 35 of them), and sometimes it’s nice to have a quick dessert to throw together.
OMG, right? It’s almost impossible to look away.
These bars are incredibly rich, and sweet, and gooey. If you like all of those things, you will love these! The oatmeal adds really good texture and adding the salt cuts down on the sweetness. Still though, these were intense, even for me. And I can pack away the sweetest desserts like nobody’s business. One of these bars would almost put me over the edge… that didn’t keep me from coming back for more though!
- 33 caramel squares or see caramel sauce recipe below
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter melted
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar packed
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract optional since I forgot it entirely
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
Homemade Caramel Sauce
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 150 ml heavy whipping cream
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8×8″ pan with tin foil and grease.
- In a bowl, combine melted butter, brown sugar, vanilla, flour, oats, and baking soda. Mix well to combine.
- Press half of this mixture into the bottom of the 8×8″ pan.
- Bake for 10mins until starting to brown.
- While the crust is baking, make the caramel sauce.
- Combine caramels and cream in a small saucepan over med-low heat. Stir until smooth and set aside. You can also do this in the microwave in 60sec bursts.
- Remove pan from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over the top.
- Pour caramel over chocolate chips.
- Sprinkle caramel with sea salt if desired. Highly recommended!
- Crumble remaining oat mixture over caramel and return to oven.
- Bake for 15-20mins until the edges are lightly browned.
- Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting (min. 4 hours, but better overnight).
Homemade Caramel Sauce:
- Place sugar in a pot and add just enough water to make it soupy.
- Boil over high heat until desired color is reached. Do not stir, and wash down sides of pot as needed so the sugar doesn’t crystalize.
- Slowly add whipping cream while whisking constantly. **Do not add too quickly as mixture may boil over. Add butter and bring back to a boil.
- Let cook for a couple minutes.