Carmelitas

Carmelitas: I’ve wanted to bake them forever. And I am astonished at how easy they were to make. This recipe came from Six Sisters’ Stuff and uses pretty basic ingredients, most of which you likely have in your pantry. While the Six Sisters recommended baking this in a glass dish, I baked mine in a ceramic dish lined with foil and sprayed with baking spray for easier clean-up.

Next time, I think I’ll try this with semisweet chocolate chips to see how it turns out, and I might even add a small dash of cinnamon into the crust/topping mixture. I also recommend pressing the top crust bits into the caramel layer (using a spatula or the back of a spoon so you don’t burn your fingers) to make it stick just a bit better.

Ingredients

  • 11-ounce bag caramel bits (or 32 unwrapped caramel squares)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 12 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup flour
  • 12-ounce package milk chocolate chips

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 x 8 ceramic or glass baking dish with foil, extending the foil over the sides. Spray lightly with baking spray.

Combine caramel bits and heavy cream in a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir until caramel bits are melted and mixture is smooth; keep warm while your crust bakes. I got my caramel started and kept an eye on it while I made my crust.

To make the crust, combine melted butter, brown sugar, oats, and flour; I mixed mine with my hands to make sure it incorporated well. Press half the mixture in the baking dish and level it out; bake for 10 minutes.

Remove crust from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips, then pour on the caramel. Sprinkle the remaining crust dough over the caramel and return to the oven, baking for about 15 minutes, until the top begins to just turn golden brown.

Remove from oven and cool completely at room temperature, or place in the fridge to speed the cooling process. You can’t cut these bars until they’re completely cool, so don’t even try – you’ll end up with a mess, from what I read in other recipes. Lift out of the pan and peel off foil; place on a cutting board and cut into 16 bars. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.

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