These carmelitas bars toe that perfect line between a crunchy exterior and soft, gooey center. One bite into them, and its bubblegum-like middle comes to the fore, with its center oozing out as you chomp in. Its middle is a beautiful, creamy caramel center that squirts into your mouth.

recipe for carmelitas bars

The oats in the mix create a lovely texture and chew to the bars. It’s like a soft chocolate-chip cookie, packed full of melted caramel. What’s not to love?

Best of all, these beauties don’t require a mixer to put them together. They’re simple and straightforward to make.

It’s important to get the flour-to-oat ratio right with these. Anything too heavily in favor of oats will make them stodgy but unable to hold together properly. Be sure to follow the ratio closely, with more flour, to help them hold together perfectly.

carmelitas ingredients chocolate caramel oats

The very same mixture is used to make the crust and topping, but cooked differently. This means that while flavor stays consistent throughout each bar, the different textures compliment each other beautifully.

Half of the mix is baked for 10 minutes to help form the crust, while the other half is crumbled on top after you apply the filling.

chocolate crumbled on base layer

The filling is what really sets this all apart. It’s made by melting caramel and heavy cream together in either the microwave or on the stovetop.

Once the filling is ready, you simply drizzle it on the baked crust, before then sprinkle with chocolate and crumble on the other half of the oatmeal mixture. The layered approach to putting this together not only makes it really easy, but also gives them a beautiful, marble-like appearance.

You then put the pan in the oven and bake until the edges have set and the center is bubbly and molten.

Once baked, be sure to let the contents of the pan set and cool down completely before slicing. This can take a few hours or overnight, or you can even put them in the fridge to help them cool down even quicker. Whichever way you choose, just before the outside has set completely before slicing. If you cut too prematurely then you’ll create a mess with melted chocolate and caramel all over the place, and the bars just won’t stay intact.

carmelitas bars set once cooled

Once cooled, the bars will still have that beautiful gooey interior, and the sugar and butter in the mix will have had time to caramelize and work their way into every part of the bake. Words can’t do it justice.

Do I have any tips for this recipe? Allowing them to cool properly aside, what I would also say is that if you’re a bit wary of them being too salty then try adding a pinch of salt. This helps balance the sweetness. You can do this to the crust mixture, or the caramel sauce. Personally, I prefer the latter, but there’s no reason why you can’t do both!

I also strongly recommend lining your cooking pan with aluminum foil. Not everyone does this, especially when already using cooking spray or oil, but I think it just makes cleaning up afterwards so much easier. Especially with something like chocolate, which can get cooked and burned on very easily.

Oatmeal Carmelitas Recipe

These carmelitas bars toe that perfect line between a crunchy exterior and soft, gooey center. One bite into them, and its bubblegum-like middle comes to the fore, with its center oozing out as you chomp in. Its middle is a beautiful, creamy caramel center that squirts into your mouth.

Course Snack
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Cooling 4 hours
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup butter melted (unsalted or salted)
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole-rolled old fashioned oats
  • 1 tspn baking soda
  • pinch salt (optional) to taste
  • 35 caramel squares unwrapped
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ tspn salt to taste
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 350°F/180°C.
  2. Line a 8-inch pan with aluminum foil. Once lined, spray with cooking spray.
  3. Add the butter to a large microwave-friendly mixing bowl. Put the bowl in your microwave and heat on high power until the butter melts, which should be about 60-90 seconds.
  4. Add the vanilla and brown sugar to the melted butter. Whisk until smooth.
  5. Add the oats, flour, salt and baking soda. Combine well to form a fairly thick mixture.
  6. Pour half of the mixture to the foil-lined pan. Use a spatula to distribute the mix smoothly across the pan’s surface, creating an even, flat layer. Set the other half to one side.
  7. Put the pan in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
  8. While the mix is baking, create the caramel sauce. To do this, combine the caramel and cream in a medium saucepan. Heat over a medium-to-low heat. Stir it continuously until melted, and so that the mix can be stirred smoothly. If you want to add salt to the caramel, then stir in ½ teaspoon here. Set the caramel sauce to one side.
  9. Remove the aluminum-lined pan from the oven. Sprinkle with chocolate. Slowly pour the caramel sauce over the chocolate, ensuring to make it spread as evenly as possible. Crumble the other half of the oatmeal-brown sugar mix over the top.
  10. Put the pan back in the oven and bake for a further 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven once the edges are lightly browned and when the middle is starting to bubble.
  11. Leave the mix to cool completely before slicing. Either leave for 4 hours at room temperature, or place a layer of foil over it and place in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
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