Carmelitas are soft & chewy oatmeal bars filled with a gooey caramel filling and oozing chocolate. These bars are seriously so irresistible & perfect for sharing! Plus recipe video.
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Unlike the hubs, I am not really a big sweets person. When it comes to snacks, I usually reach for something savory while he chooses chocolate, cake, pie and donuts.
There is one exception though…I have a big weakness for anything made with oats. So when you combine them with gooey salted caramel, melted chocolate and pecans….that sweet and salty combination is just pure heaven!
For this reason, Carmelitas are one of my major weaknesses. They’re soft, chewy and have the best combination of sweet and salty. Even the hubs who is not usually a fan of oatmeal bars absolutely loves Carmelitas!
HOW TO MAKE THESE SOFT AND CHEWY CARMELITAS
There are a few separate layers that come together fairly easily. The crust and topping are made with the same mixture. It’s a buttery, soft and chewy oatmeal and flour mixture.
For the next layer, you can use semi-sweet chocolate chips or your favorite chopped chocolate.
The third layer is what makes these bars extra delicious. That sweet gooey filling is made with melted caramel & heavy cream —I used these caramel bits which will save you from unwrapping 30+ candies. Or you can go the traditional route and use the caramel candies.
Once the caramel layer cools, pour over the chocolate chips, and crumble the reserved oatmeal mixture over the top.
These bars are rich, decadent and loaded with an intense caramel flavor. They’re full of texture and the perfect cure for those times you just need that extra special dessert.
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 32 unwrapped caramel squares or 11 ounce bag of caramel bits
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup butter melted
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1-1/4 cup old fashioned oats use gluten free as needed
- 1-1/4 cup all purpose flour use oat flour for gluten free
- 1 cup chocolate chips I like dark but semi-sweet works as well
- Mini chocolate chips
- caramel sauce for drizzling
- chopped pecans
- Add the caramel, heavy cream and salt into a small saucepan over low heat. Cook and stir until smooth and combined. Set aside to cool.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line an 8x8 inch square pan with parchment paper or foil sprayed with cooking spray, leaving a slight overhang to easily remove bars.
- Stir together melted butter, brown sugar, flour, and oats until combined.
- Pour half of the oatmeal mixture into the prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
- Remove pan from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over the crust. Pour caramel mixture over chocolate chips, then sprinkle the remaining crust dough over the caramel, pressing down slightly.
- Return pan to the oven and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting. Place in fridge or freezer to speed up the process.
- When cooled, remove bars using overhang and cut into squares. Top with more chocolate chips, chopped pecans, and caramel drizzle if desired.
Slightly adapted from: Lulu the Baker
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