Oatmeal Carmelitas are layered cookie bars with an oatmeal and brown sugar crust and gooey caramel and chocolate filling! They are chewy, irresistible and sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Sometimes you just need a sweet and salty cookie bar to lift your spirits and destress after a long day, and these Oatmeal Carmelitas will do just that. They are made up of a creamy chocolate and caramel filling sandwiched between a buttery oat crust. The combination of the chewy oatmeal and gooey center makes for the perfect balance of textures and flavors!
These bars are seriously addicting. Take them to your next potluck, backyard barbecue, birthday party or any get together, and within minutes you will be left with nothing but an empty pan and a few crumbs! The same goes if you are just making a pan for your family, so make sure to sneak a couple for yourself before the kids devour them all.
If you plan on serving to a big crowd, these Oatmeal Carmelitas are just what you need. They come together easily and can be made in advance! Just make sure to keep them in an airtight container in the fridge once cooled and they can last up to a week. If you want to enjoy these bars all warm and gooey though, simply heat them up in the microwave for about 5 seconds and you will be in heaven!
CAN YOU MAKE OATMEAL CARMELITAS GLUTEN FREE?
You certainly can! Just substitute the quick oats for gluten free oats and use oat flour in place of all-purpose flour.
CAN YOU USE CARAMEL SAUCE?
I have not tried this recipe using caramel sauce so I personally cannot say if it would work. I only have tried using the prepackaged caramels and making the recipe exactly as stated below.
CAN YOU ADD NUTS?
Yes! For an extra salty crunch, add in some chopped nuts like pecans, walnuts, or peanuts into the caramel and chocolate filling!
- When making these cookie bars, it is very important not to over bake them. If you do, the crust will become too hard.
- Always use room temperature butter for thick and chewy cookie bars. When you microwave the butter to soften it tends to result in a thinner and crunchy cookie texture.
- Wait to cut the bars until they are completely cooled down to room temperature.
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- 1 package (11 ounces) caramels or caramel bits (I use the Kraft caramels)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup salted butter, melted
- 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 8x8 -inch baking dish with non-stick spray, or line with foil. Set aside.
- Place the unwrapped caramels or caramel bits in a medium saucepan. Add the heavy cream. Cook and stir over low heat until caramel melts completely. Remove from heat.
- In a medium bowl, add the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Whisk to combine, then pour the melted butter all over the top. Stir together to combine everything.Press half of this oat mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven. (Keep the oven on.)
- Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly all over the baked crust, then pour melted caramel all over the tops of the chocolate chips. Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture over the top of the caramel. (It does not need to fully cover it.)Bake for 18 minutes, or until top is light golden-brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely before cutting into bars.
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