These Carmelitas are one of the ultimate cookie bars recipes! Two layers of oatmeal cookie dough sandwich layers of both rich chocolate chips and luxurious caramel – and then everything bakes together to Heavenly decadence. Trust me when I say these things are dangerously addictive!
The Best Carmelitas Recipe
Carmelitas will always be one of my weaknesses. Yes, they are loaded with calories, but once in a while it is so worth it!
I mean, how can you resist an oatmeal cookie bar that is sandwiched with a layer of two kinds of chocolate chips and a layer of silky smooth salted caramel? These rich cookie bars are always a hit at any celebration, and they go fast! Try them and you’ll see why.
I love the balance the flaky sea salt adds to all the sweetness of these bars. But really, can you ever go wrong with salted caramel?
I love salted caramel anything and everything. Gelato, popcorn, brownies, macarons, frosting… the list goes on and on. If there’s one thing I really love it’s salted caramel candies and salted caramel sauce — eaten the right way of course, by the spoonful!
If you are looking for a treat yourself dessert, this should definitely be it! I don’t make these often because they’re dangerously addictive, but when I do I savor each and every bite.
For these delicious oatmeal cookie bars, you’ll need:
- Heavy cream
- All-purpose flour
- Old fashioned oats
- Light brown sugar
- Baking soda
- Unsalted butter
- Vanilla extract
- Chocolate chips (milk and semi-sweet)
- Flaky sea salt
How to Make Carmelitas
- 1. Pour cream over caramels and microwave to melt.
- 2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Stir in vanilla and melted butter.
- 3. Press half the oatmeal mixture into 8×8-inch baking dish, then bake for 10 minutes.
- 4. Sprinkle chocolate chips over oatmeal cookie layer, then pour caramel over top. Sprinkle sea salt over caramel.
- Press remaining oatmeal mixture on top of the caramel, then bake.
Can I Freeze These Bars for Later?
That should be fine! You’ll want to slice them before freezing and maybe individually wrap them in plastic wrap since the caramel is so sticky. When you’re ready to eat them, I’d just set them on the counter to thaw.
Do I Have to Use Individually Wrapped Caramels?
According to the recipe I drew inspiration from for this carmelitas recipe, you can use 1 1/4 cups caramel sauce instead of the individual caramels and cream.
Tips for the Best Carmelitas
- You need to wait for these bars to cool completely before cutting into them, otherwise they’ll be a total mess.
- You can sprinkle the sea salt either on top of the caramel layer or on top of the carmelitas.
- I don’t recommend substituting quick oats for the old fashioned, the texture doesn’t come out quite the same.
More Caramel Recipes You’ll Love:
- Easiest Homemade Caramels
- Caramel Apple Mini Cheesecakes with Streusel Topping
- Caramel-Soaked Almond Cake
- Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce
- Banana Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting
- Salted Caramel Pots de Creme
Follow Cooking Classy
- 32 caramels , unwrapped (such as Kraft)
- 1/2 cup (120ml) (120ml) heavy cream
- 1 cup (140g) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (98g) old fashioned rolled oats
- 3/4 cup (170g) packed light-brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp table salt
- 12 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1 Tbsp pieces
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup (184g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 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, oats, 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 (layer will be thin) then bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips into an even layer over baked cookie crust, then pour caramel mixture evenly over chocolate chip layer. Sprinkle a scant 1/2 tsp flaky sea salt evenly over caramel layer (or you can sprinkle it over the top of the last crumble layer before baking), then sprinkle top evenly with remaining oat mixture.
- Bake in preheated oven 16 - 20 minutes until lightly golden. Cool completely on a wire rack (it will take a few hours. To speed up the cooling you can chill in refrigerator). Store in an airtight container in a single layer.
- You can't substitute instant or steel cut oats for the old fashioned oats. They won't give you the same texture!