Week 5 of 12 Weeks of Holiday Treats! I watched Kelsey Nixon make these Carmelitas on the Cooking Channel and knew that I would love them. I was right. They remind me of an Oatmeal Scotchie, but in bar form. I love the chocolate chips and pecans in the middle, I like crunch. I have made these with mini chips, but they melt, so be sure to use regular size chips. They also freeze really well.
I have made these bars 3 times in the last week. They are really easy and so gooey and delicious. I love making caramel, but you can buy caramel sauce and add a little salt to it if you want. Adding the flour helps thicken the caramel during baking and then it will not run all over. I did not let these cool enough before I cut them for these pictures. Be sure to let them cool completely before you cut them. I made a few different kinds of bar cookies the other day and these were the first to go. Three different people asked me for the recipe. This recipe is a keeper.
2 cups flour
1 3/4 cups quick cooking oats
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups butter, room temperature
3/4 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1 1/2 cups Salted Caramel Sauce (homemade or store-bought)
2 1/2 Tablespoons flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 1/2 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray. Add flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, and butter to the bowl of a mixer.
Mix on low until crumbly. Divide dough in half.
Press half of the dough into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
While the crust is cooling, stir flour into caramel.
Sprinkle chocolate chips and pecans over crust.
Drizzle caramel over chips and nuts.
Top with remaining dough.
Bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool completely. Chill in fridge before cutting to squares.
To make caramel sauce: Heat sugar and water in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat. When the sugar has dissolved, increase the heat to medium-high. Boil without stirring until the sugar is a deep amber color, about 5 minutes. Take off the heat and whisk in cream. It will bubble and spit. Whisk in butter and salt. As it cools, it will thicken.