It’s no secret that Peter and I both have serious sweet tooths (sweet tooths? sweet teeth?) Peter’s vice is definitely candy and our fridge is packed with Starbursts and Sour Patch Kids brought back from the US.
And while I’ve found myself indulging in a few gummi bears after dinner too, of all the desserts out there, cookies are probably my favorite.
And at the top of that cookie list?
Haven’t heard of them? Well not only are they on the best of the best on my sweets list, but after you try one bite, they’re bound to be a favorite of yours too.
Imagine this– gooey salted caramel oozing out between layers of chocolate and buttery oatmeal
Carmelitas are incredibly easy to make (baking is certainly not my forte), but be extra careful when you pull the pan out of the oven. The caramel will be bubbling and hot hot hot.
These cookie bars require complete cooling before slicing and serving. This can take several hours overnight at room temperature or 4-5 hours if you cover the pan with foil and carefully place it in the fridge.
If you don’t allow the caramel to set and cool, you’ll be left with an extra melty caramel center. That is certainly not a bad thing per se and the carmelitas will still be plenty delicious, they’ll just also be a extra messy. I usually keep mine in the fridge for about 4 hours, then carefully remove the entire sheet of carmelitas from the pan (if you lined the pan with foil or parchment paper properly, you can pull out the entire sheet quite easily).
Flip over the carmelitas on to a clean surface, foil side up, and gently peel away all of the foil to leave behind a nice big cookie sheet that can easily be cut in to neat squares.
The carmelitas can be kept in the fridge for a week or frozen for up to 4 months.
- 1 1/2 sticks butter
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup whole rolled oats
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 35 caramel candies, unwrapped
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 F / ~175 C
- Line a small baking pan ( 11x7x2 or 8x8 ) with foil or parchment paper and coat completely in cooking oil
- Add butter to a large microwave safe bowl
- Microwave on high until melted (approx 45 seconds depending on the strength of your microwave)
- Pour in brown sugar and vanilla
- Mix until smooth
- Stir in flour, whole rolled oats and baking soda until mixture is well combined
- Scoop half of the oat mixture in to your lined baking pan and spread it evenly across the bottom of the pan
- Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes
- In a separate, large, microwave safe mixing bowl, add caramels and pour in heavy cream
- Heat in microwave in 30 second intervals, mixing after each interval (total time approximately 2 minutes) until mixture is smooth
- Mix in 1/2 tsp salt
- When pan is finished baking in the oven, sprinkle chocolate chips in an even layer
- Carefully pour caramel mixture in an even layer over chocolate chips
- Gently sprinkle remaining oatmeal mixture over caramel
- Bake pan in oven for another 15 minutes until edges are golden
- After baking, set aside to cool completely before serving (approx 6-8 hours at room temperature or 4-5 hours, covered in the fridge)
Recipe by Averie Cooks http://www.averiecooks.com/2013/12/carmelitas.html