Yummy caramel mixed with chocolate chips, a little browned butter and a buttery oatmeal cookie crust are what make up Carmelitas. Great to send as a care package or to make for your next party or family get together.
Christmas break is drawing to a close for us and even though we’ve been eating lots of Christmas goodies over the past weeks, I want to send something yummy back to school with the girls. This Carmelitas recipe is an all time favorite in our house, and a little different from traditional Christmas cookies. Unwrapping the caramels is the hardest part. Gooey yumminess is all I can say. 🥰
Why you’ll love caramelitas
- Chocolate and caramel are an irresistible combination
- Oatmeal adds a chewiness to the bar
- You can mail these to a friend or loved one
- An all time favorite that has been around forever!
What you’ll need
- Chocolate chips – a combo of milk and semi-sweet works the best
- Caramel squares – you can also buy the caramel bits and avoid unwrapping the individual caramels to avoid more temptation
- Cream – this gives an even creamier taste to the caramel
- Oatmeal – you’ll need to use the old fashioned rolled oats not instant
- Pantry staples – butter, vanilla, brown sugar, flour and baking soda
How do you make this carmelitas recipe
Step 1: Brown or melt butter and pour over flour, oatmeal, baking soda and salt. Divide in half and place half in the bottom of a baking pan and bake for 10 minutes.
Step 2: Unwrap the caramels and melt with heavy cream.
Step 3: Remove the crust from the oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over the top.
Next pour the melted caramels over the chocolate chips and crumble the remaining dough over the top. Bake for an additional 15 minutes.
Pro tip: Browning the butter isn’t necessary, but I think it enhances the flavor with just a few extra minutes added to the entire process.
I would suggest cutting these into small bites as they are very rich and a little goes a long way!
- Chop a half cup of pecans and sprinkle them over the caramel, then add the remaining oatmeal.
- Substitute your favorite chocolate combination, or empty out all the bits and pieces of chocolate in your pantry, any combination will work.
What’s the best way to ship cookies or bars
I ship a lot of cookies and bars to family and I have a method that keeps them fresh and also keeps them from breaking apart as they’re thrown around. I first place the treats in a ziplock freezer bag and freeze them. Then I place the frozen treats in a plastic disposable container. They don’t weigh very much and they’re sturdy enough to keep them from falling apart in transit. Then I put newspaper all around the disposable container and ship. Most of the time they get there intact.
FAQs and tips
This delicious bar is a mixture of chocolate and caramel held together by oatmeal.
You can go the easy route and use the Kraft caramels like I did. If you want to make your own, it will need to be thick like my vanilla caramels or else you will have gooey bars which aren’t a bad thing, but harder to eat. It should firm up when it comes to room temperature.
Carmelitas need to cook for at least an hour before eating. It’s tempting to try and nibble on one right away but it’s worth waiting until the chocolate and caramel set. If you’re in a hurry, place them in the fridge.
Carmelitas can be frozen for several months. Let them cool completely. Double bag to keep from getting freezer burn.
More dessert bars you’ll love
More sweet treat recipes you can ship
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 10 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup milk choc chip
- ½ cup semi sweet chocolate chips
- coarse sea salt
- 32 caramel squares unwrapped (11 ounce bag)
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350º. Place parchment paper in bottom of an 8×8 pan.
- In a microwave bowl, heat butter until melted, or brown the butter by cooking on the stove for 3-5 minutes until it is brown. Cool for a few minutes if you have browned the butter and add vanilla.
- Mix together the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt and pour the butter over the dry mixture, stirring with a fork until mixed.
- Divide the cookie mixture in half and place half of the mixture in the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
- While baking, combine the caramels and heavy cream and microwave until melted stirring at 30 second intervals for about 2 minutes.
- Remove pan from the oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over the crust. Pour caramel mixture over the chocolate chips and sprinkle with about ½ teaspoon of sea salt and crumble remaining cookie dough on top.
- Return to oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until the edges are lightly brown.
- Once removed from the oven allow them to come to room temperature and then refrigerate for a couple of hours. Cut into small squares.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- You can use a package of caramel bits if you don’t want to unwrap the individual caramels.
- Cut into bars before refrigerating to avoid the caramel getting too hard.
- You can use any mixture of chocolate you like.