Ooey Gooey Carmelitas

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  • Ooey gooey carmelitas recipe – A soft and chewy brown sugar oatmeal cookie crust with a thick layer of chocolate and caramel. Take one bite and you’ll be hooked!

    I’m a sucker for anything with chocolate and caramel. And combine that with my love for brownies or cookie bars – and it’s a match made in heaven! These chocolate caramelita bars are absolutely to die for, as well as chocolate fudge caramel brownies, homemade twix bars and snickers bars.

    carmelita bar with caramel oozing out

    Oatmeal carmelitas

    These carmelitas take your regular chocolate chip bars to a whole new level! They’re soft and chewy like an oatmeal cookie and filled with a layer of caramel that is simply irresistible! They are super rich and are perfect for chocolate and caramel lovers.

    These oatmeal caramel bars are always requested by friends and family. I got this carmelitas recipe several years ago at a cookie exchange and it is adapted from The Pillsbury bake off winner in 1967. The last batch I made, I ate a small square and sent the rest into work with my husband so I wasn’t tempted to eat the entire pan (believe me I would have). He said they were gone in about 2 seconds and everyone loved them! They are dangerously delicious.

    Whether you’re looking for a Sunday treat to make for your family or a dessert to make for guests, these oatmeal carmelitas with chocolate are definitely something everyone will enjoy. Make sure to grab a cold glass of milk to go with! They are seriously over the top!

    making caramel for carmelitas in a pan on the stove

    Let’s talk caramel

    The gooey and rich caramel is the star of the show in this carmelitas recipe. There are several types of caramel you can use – check out the different options below.

    Caramel squares or bits: This is my personal preference when making carmelitas. Simply combine a package of caramel squares (or caramel bits) in a pan with heavy cream and melt over low heat, until smooth.

    Store-bought: To make the carmelitas even easier, you can use 1/2 cup store bought caramel sauce instead of heating the caramel on the stove. Just make sure to mix it with 1 1/2 Tablespoons flour to thicken it up a bit.

    Homemade: I make homemade caramel sauce all the time. It’s so easy and takes only 3 ingredients and just 15 minutes! Even though it’s an extra step, it’s totally worth it! I’d recommend adding in a couple Tablespoons of flour to the mixture as well so that the sauce is thick enough for the bars.

    pouring caramel on top of oatmeal bars with chocolate chips

    How to make carmelitas

    These carmelitas are so easy to make and only take one bowl and a wooden spoon!

    Step 1: Make the caramel 

    Add caramels and heavy cream in a medium-sized pan. Melt over low heat until smooth, stirring constantly. Set aside.

    Step 2: Make the dough

    In a large bowl, combine the flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, butter and baking soda. Stir until combined. Press a little more than half of the dough into the bottom of the parchment-lined pan and smooth out.

    Step 3: Bake in oven 

    Bake the bottom layer in oven at 350°F for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove from oven.

    Step 4: Add chocolate chips and caramel 

    Sprinkle chocolate chips on top of bottom layer (add nuts here too if you prefer). Then pour caramel mixture evenly over chocolate, leaving about 1/2 inch from the edge.

    Step 5: Add top layer and bake again 

    Crumble the remaining dough over the top of the caramel and gently pat down. Place back in oven and bake an additional 13-17 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove from oven and cool at least 1 hour before cutting.

    oatmeal carmelita bars

    Baking tips

    • Line your baking dish with parchment paper for easier removal.
    • You can also add chopped nuts when you add the chocolate chips, if desired.
    • When pouring caramel, leave about 1/2 inch from the edge.
    • Make sure carmelitas have cooled completely before cutting.
    • To speed up the cooling process, I usually stick the bars in the fridge.

    Storage:

    How to store carmelitas? Store carmelitas at room temperature in an airtight container for about 3-5 days. They are pretty gooey, so I recommend adding a piece of parchment paper in between the different layers.

    Can you freeze carmelitas? Yes, simply add bars to an airtight container or freezer bag and store in freezer for up to 3 months.

    stack of gooey carmelita bars

    I can never resist waiting until the carmelitas are completely cool to sneak a little bite. I mean, look at the gooey caramel and chocolate. How could you resist sneaking a bite before they’re done cooling?

    More delicious cookie bars:

    Carmelitas Recipe

    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: carmelita bars, Carmelitas, carmelitas recipe, oatmeal carmelitas
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 25 minutes
    Let Cool: 1 hour
    Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
    Servings: 25
    Calories: 200
    Author: Jamielyn Nye
    Ooey gooey carmelitas recipe - A soft and chewy brown sugar oatmeal cookie crust with a thick layer of chocolate and caramel. Take one bite and you'll be hooked!

    Ingredients

    • 11 ounce package caramels or caramel bits , unwrapped (about 35)
    • 1/2 cup heavy cream
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup rolled oats
    • 3/4 cup brown sugar , packed
    • 3/4 cup butter , melted (I used salted)
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9x9" baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside
    • Combine the caramels and heavy cream in a medium-sized pan. Heat over low heat until smooth, stirring constantly. Set aside.
    • In a large bowl, combine the flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, butter and baking soda. Stir until combined. Press a little more than half of the dough into the bottom of the pan.
    • Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly golden.
    • Remove from oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips over top. Then pour caramel mixture evenly over the chocolate (leaving about 1/2 inch from the edge). Crumble the rest of the dough over the top and gently pat down.
    • Place back in the oven and bake an additional 13-17 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove from oven and cool at least 1 hour before cutting.

    Notes

    • To make these easier, you can use 1/2 cup store bought caramel sauce instead of making the caramel (omit caramels and heavy cream), however you'll need to mix it with 1 1/2 Tablespoons flour.
    • Line your baking dish with parchment paper for easier removal.
    • You can also add chopped nuts when you add the chocolate chips, if desired.
    • When pouring caramel, leave about 1/2 inch from the edge.
    • Make sure carmelitas have cooled completely before cutting.
    • To speed up the cooling process, I usually stick the bars in the fridge.
    • To store: Store at room temp in an airtight container for about 3-5 days.
    • Freezing: Add bars to an airtight container or freezer bag and store in freezer for up to 3 months.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 200kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 127mg | Potassium: 88mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 248IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg
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    Adapted from Pillsbury.

    stack of gooey oatmeal carmelitas

    Ooey gooey carmelitas recipe -a soft and chewy brown sugar oatmeal cookie crust with a thick layer of chocolate and caramel. Take one bite and you'll be hooked!
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