Chocolate and caramel stuffed in a sweet, oatmeal cookie crust? These carmelita bars are impossible to put down.
These carmelita bars are easy to make and some of the most delicious cookies you'll ever have: Rich, gooey caramel stuffed with chocolate with a buttery brown sugar and oatmeal crust.
And good news! This recipe uses a shortcut to save you from unwrapping dozens of tiny caramel squares. Read on to learn more...
more yummy bar cookies
ingredients and tools
With just a few ingredients, you're on your way to divine bar cookies!
BUTTER -- Start with melted, SALTED butter. If you only have unsalted, that works too. But I suggest adding ½ teaspoon of salt to the recipe.
LIGHT BROWN SUGAR -- Dark brown sugar works as well. Be sure to pack your brown sugar in the measuring cup.
PURE VANILLA EXTRACT -- Many recipes omit the extract, but I find it adds a great flavor.
QUICK COOKING ROLLED OATS -- I like to think the oats add some nutrition to justify eating an entire pan.
FLOUR -- Use all-purpose flour.
BAKING SODA -- As always, be sure not to substitute baking powder.
SEMI-SWEET CHOCOLATE CHIPS -- There is plenty of sugar in this recipe, so the semi-sweet chips work best.
CAN OF NESTLE DULCE DE LECHE --And here is the secret ingredient! Instead of unwrapping lots of caramels and preparing your own sauce, this can of Nestle Dulce de Leche is the perfect amount and consistency to fill your bars.
Find the caramel in the baking aisle or in the Hispanic foods section of the supermarket.
My other favorite thing about this recipe is you only need a couple of bowls and an 8 x 8 inch square baking pan.
how to make the oatmeal crust
First, melt the butter in the microwave or stove-top.
Add brown sugar and vanilla extract and stir well.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and oats. If you're using unsalted butter, add salt here.
Spread half of the mixture in the bottom of your lined baking pan.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.
Prepare your filling
After baking the crust for 10 minutes, spread the chocolate chips on top.
Place dollops of the caramel across the baking pan. The heat should start to melt the caramel so you can spread evenly.
Crumble the rest of the topping on top and bake until bubbly and golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
Let the bars set
It will take at least two hours at room temperature for the carmelitas to cool and set. You may also speed the process by placing the bars in the refrigerator.
Cut into 16 squares and enjoy!
Storing your carmelitas
Store in an air-tight container for up to a week or freeze for up to 3 months.
While our recipes provide both the metric and non-metric amounts, for best results, we recommend a digital scale.
I use an oven thermometer for accuracy. (This is how I know my oven runs 25 degrees cold.)
more caramel recipes
Do you love caramel? Check out these recipes: