About a month ago I was at my mother-in-law’s house visiting and she was going through all of her old recipes to keep or throw away. That’s kind of my ultimate dream; treasure hunting at its finest. The worse the actual recipe card looks the more intrigued I am.
Heavily used handwritten recipes with lots of spills and stains on them are absolute gold. You know what I’m talking about?
I stumbled on this Carmelitas recipe from my mother-in-law’s friend. You can tell it was old because it uses margarine. When was that big? The 80’s?
I substituted butter for the margarine because, hello butter. You can have these in the oven in less than five minutes. You guys they are buttery, sweet, gooey, chocolatey, and a little bit salty with the oats and nuts.
IS THERE REALLY NOT AN EGG IN THESE CARMELITAS?
I know us bakers are trained that baked goods without eggs usually turn into hockey pucks. Guess what? You do not need an egg in these Carmelita Bars. They’re still very tender and you won’t miss it at all.
TIPS TO MAKING THESE CARAMELITAS PERFECT
- Since there’s a lot of sweetness going on with the brown sugar and caramel, I think that semi-sweet chocolate chips are perfect but milk chocolate chips are too sweet. Which is also why we are add salt to the dough to balance out all the sweetness.
- Rolled oats vs quick oats: Quick Oats are finer so they will make your crumble thicker because they are able to stick together like a dough unlike rolled oats. Rolled oats are good too because they have more of a defined texture. It really just comes down to personal preference and you can’t lose either way.
- Most recipes for Carmelitas use caramel squares mixed with cream as the center. They taste fine when warm but if they’re at room temperature or cold you can break your tooth trying to bite through one which is why we are using caramel topping instead.
- Can I double this? Yes! This recipe can easily be doubled and baked in a 9×13 baking dish.
- To cut these Carmelitas into perfect squares, cool completely.
OTHER DESSERT RECIPES
- S’mores Cookie Bars
- Cinnamon Roll Blondies
- Salted Caramel Apple Cups
- No-Bake Cookies
- Turtle Buckeye Brownies
- Homemade Reese’s Bars
These Carmelitas are a buttery, brown sugar and oats bar with chocolate chips, nuts, and caramel inside. These are a great dessert for a crowd!
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup quick cooking oats (also works with old-fashioned oats)
- 3/4 cup brown sugar packed
- 3/4 cup butter melted
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (6 ounces)
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
- 1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping (see note)
- 3 tablespoons flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 8" or 9" square baking dish. An 8" dish will yield slightly thicker bars.
In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, oats, sugar, butter, baking soda, and salt. Mix to form crumbs. Put aside a rounded 1/2 cup of the mixture. Press remaining crumbs in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes.
Sprinkle chocolate chips and nuts (if using) over baked mixture. Mix 3 tablespoons flour with caramel mixture and drizzle over chocolate chips and nuts.
Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture on top trying to cover most of the caramel. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely before cutting. You can speed these up by placing the bars in the fridge. Serve and store bars at room temperature.
This can be doubled and baked in a 9x13 baking dish.
I've also made these without adding flour to the caramel mixture. Depending how thick your caramel sauce is you may not have to add the flour.
Source: My mother-in-law's friend Peggy Rothmeier.