Salted Carmelitas

09.08.2015

These Carmelitas are the perfect fusion of sweet and salty! Oatmeal cookie bars are sandwiched with two types of chocolate chips and creamy caramel, then topped with flaky sea salt. These are dangerously addictive!  

Salted Carmelitas stacked on top of each other

Addicting Salted 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.

pouring caramel over a layer of chocolate chips

Carmelitas Ingredients

For these delicious oatmeal cookie bars, you’ll need:

  • Caramels
  • Heavy cream
  • All-purpose flour
  • Old fashioned oats
  • Light brown sugar
  • Salt
  • Baking soda
  • Unsalted butter
  • Vanilla extract
  • Chocolate chips (milk and semi-sweet)
  • Flaky sea salt

caramels and cream in glass bowl

How to Make Carmelitas

  • Pour cream over caramels and microwave to melt.

melted caramel sauce in glass bowl

  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Stir in vanilla and melted butter.

Salted Carmelitas ingredients in mixing bowl

  • Press half the oatmeal mixture into 8×8-inch baking dish, then bake for 10 minutes.

uncooked Salted Carmelitas base layer in baking dish

  • Sprinkle chocolate chips over oatmeal cookie layer, then pour caramel over top. Sprinkle sea salt over caramel.

chocolate chips atop oatmeal cookie base in baking pan

  • Press remaining oatmeal mixture on top of the caramel, then bake.

uncooked Salted Carmelitas ready to go into the oven

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.
  • You can’t substitute instant or steel cut oats for the old fashioned oats. They won’t give you the same texture!

Salted Carmelitas stacked on top of each other on plate

More Caramel Recipes You’ll Love:

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Salted Carmelitas

5 from 1 vote

These decadent Carmelitas are sure to become a new favorite! A buttery oat cookie base is filled with a layer of chocolate chips and caramel then they're finished with sea salt. Trust me, these are so delicious!

Servings: 12
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 32 caramels , unwrapped (such as Kraft)
  • 1/2 cup (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
  • 10 Tbsp (5 oz) unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (92g) milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup (92g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Flaky sea salt , such as Maldon

Instructions

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3.  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. 
  4. 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 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. 

  5. 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.

Recipe Notes

  • You can't substitute instant or steel cut oats for the old fashioned oats. They won't give you the same texture! 
  • Recipe Source: adapted from Lulu the Baker
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Carmelitas, Cookie Bars
Author: Jaclyn
Salted Carmelitas | Cooking Classy

73 comments

  • Estee: Any way to make this non dairy including the caramel part? August 4, 2016 at 4:05pm Reply

  • NRS: I made these and they are so so so yummy!!!!!!!! June 29, 2016 at 11:30am Reply

  • Angela T: I’ve made these before and I loved them, I accidentally bought the caramel bits instead of the wraps, do you know how much I should use? December 16, 2015 at 6:31am Reply

  • Kate: Jaclyn, have you made these using your homemade caramel sauce instead of the Kraft caramels? Thanks! Kate November 24, 2015 at 11:45am Reply

  • ginger: has anyone tried this with gluten free flour? November 17, 2015 at 6:36pm Reply

  • Liz @ Teta Lizza’s Kitchen: I had never heard of a Carmelita until Pinterest and then had my first one from a bake shop last week. I swear my world will never be the same! It is joy and regret all in one…but more joy! I knew YOU would have the recipe and here it is! All your recipes have been a success in my kitchen – thanks so much! – Liz November 7, 2015 at 6:19am Reply

  • Oxy: I made them today. I cant find words to say how much my family liked them. These are real candy bars. “Yummyliciously yummolicious!!!” It’s definetely worth making them!!!! November 3, 2015 at 1:17pm Reply

  • Jocelyn: These are so delicious! The crust is perfect, and I like the combination of milk and semi-sweet chocolate chips. I didn’t have the caramels on hand, so I used home homemade salted caramel sauce instead.

    Thanks for a fabulous recipe! October 15, 2015 at 9:34pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you enjoyed these Jocelyn! Thanks for your comment! October 17, 2015 at 1:46pm Reply

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