Carmelitas will always be one of my weaknesses. Yes of course they are loaded with calories but once in a while it is so worth it. I mean how can you resist a oatmeal cookie bar that is sandwiched with a layer of two kinds of chocolate chips and a layer of silky smooth salted caramel? I know when they are around I most definitely can’t resist them. I adapted this recipe slightly from Lulu the Baker (very cute blog by the way). I made a few minor changes and of course, added in the coarse sea salt to make them a salted Carmelita. I like the balance the salt adds to all the sweetness. I thought these bars were a good post for the holidays because they are an indulgent bar fit for a celebration. If you’d like you could brown the butter for the oat cookie mixture which would give them one more gourmet touch. If doing so just allow it to cool for about 15 minutes before adding it to the dry ingredient mixture. Enjoy!
- 32 caramels, unwrapped (such as Kraft)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp table salt
- 10 Tbsp salted butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips*
- coarse sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour cream over caramels in a microwave safe bowl, heat mixture on HIGH power in 30 second intervals, stirring well after each interval until melted and smooth (alternately you can combine the two ingredients in a saucepan and melt over low heat), set aside.
- In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, rolled oats, light-brown sugar, baking soda and 1/4 tsp table salt. Place butter in a microwave safe bowl and heat butter in microwave until melted. Stir vanilla extract into melted butter then pour mixture over dry ingredients. Using a fork, stir well to evenly coat. Press half of the oat mixture evenly into the bottom of a buttered 8 by 8-inch baking dish and bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle milk chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate chips into an even layer over baked cookie crust, then pour caramel mixture evenly over chocolate chip layer. Sprinkle 1/4 tsp coarse sea salt evenly over caramel layer, then sprinkle top evenly with remaining oat mixture. Bake in preheated oven 16 - 20 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from oven, sprinkle top evenly with an 1/8 tsp coarse sea salt (or to taste) and allow to cool for 20 minutes at room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap leaving a small opening on one corner (to allow condensation to escape), transfer to refrigerator to chill until cool enough to cut into clean squares (mine took about 2 hours chilling). Alternately you can enjoy them warm after about 20 minutes of cooling at room temperature (you just won't have clean cut squares and the caramel will be really runny). Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
- *you can use all semi-sweet chocolate chips if you'd like, I just like the combo of both kinds of chocolate.
- Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Lulu the Baker