These chewy chocolate and caramel filled Carmelitas are easy to make and the most insanely delicious cookie bars I’ve EVER had the pleasure of making and eating.
How is another week almost over?! It’s scary how quickly the weeks are flying by, but I’m trying really hard not to wish the next few months away because I’m so excited to move! I also really find that I am someone who needs something to focus on. If I don’t then I just plod along doing the same thing day in, day out. When I had the wedding to focus on it was great, after we got married I was a bit like “hmm what do I do now?”
The new house is a project house and I have so many ideas. Well… it’s not falling down and it’s liveable, so it is a project, but we can take our time. It needs a new kitchen, downstairs loo, conservatory etc. Upstairs the bathroom is new, it just needs some painting because whoever painted before did a horrific job.
The “conservatory”…. omg it’s literally a greenhouse! It’s so old and even smells like a greenhouse, it’s not usable space at the moment, so it will be our dumping ground until we renovate.
We’re going to move in, settle for a year and then start the work. We’re planning on taking the back of the house off, removing the conservatory and doing a full width extension to create an amazing kitchen/diner/living area. It will be insane!
It makes me super glad that we bought under budget as we have all the money to make it the most amazing space. We could have bought a house on budget in a move in state, but I’m someone who loves to put my own stamp on places, so it would be wasted on me having a turn key property as I’d still want to change things.
As much as I don’t like to admit it, I am trying to plan the extension to work for the future…. so with space for a wheelchair because there’s a possibility I will end up in one in the future and this past 6 months has been a huge eye opener with how quickly my mobility has decreased.
So that went on a bit of a tangent, can we talk about the fact that I had never tried carmelitas until this week. AND OMG WHY NOT because they are the best thing in the world!!!
I’ve seen recipes for Carmelitas so many times and they sounded delicious, but I could never find anything like the Kraft caramels in the UK.
I’ve tried baking with Carnation caramel before, but while it works for some things, it doesn’t set up like caramel does, so any bars I’ve made with it before have fallen apart.
Recently I found Werther’s soft caramels and they are just perfect for recipes like this. The most arduous thing is unwrapping 20+ caramels, but other than that these bars are easy to make and the result? Chewy, oaty, chocolatey, caramel-ly… all the “lys”
You start by making a dough like mixture with oats, melted butter and brown sugar. There are no eggs in this recipe, but you honestly don’t miss them.
I then halved the oat mixture, patted it into a pan, baked it for 10 minutes, before sprinkling on milk chocolate chips and pouring on my caramel mixture. I topped it with the remaining oat mixture and then baked for 18 minutes until the caramel was bubbling and the top was golden.
You’ll want to wait a good amount of time for these to cool because that caramel is MOLTEN. I left it 10 minutes before grabbing a spoon and it was still hot. To transfer the carmelitas to a cutting board to slice, you need to wait for the bars to cool completely so the caramel sets up.
Slice the carmelitas into bars and dig in. You don’t need a big slice as they are quite rich, so this recipe could easily serve 16. If you wanted bigger slices then cut them into 9-12 squares. Enjoy!
- For the dough:
- 2 sticks (226g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 1 cup (200g) light brown sugar
- 1 cup (80g) rolled oats
- 1 1/2 cups (210g) plain/all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- For the filling:
- 1 cup (175g) milk chocolate chips
- 1 cup (160g) soft caramels, unwrapped (Werther's, Kraft etc.)
- 1/3 cup + 1tbsp (100ml) double/heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and spray an 8×8 inch square pan with cooking spray. Place a strip of grease proof paper across the pan. Spray the centre of the grease proof paper and then place another strip across the other way, so you have 4 "grips" to help you lift the carmelitas out of the pan.
- Make the dough first: Place the sugar, oats, flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large bowl and stir briefly. Pour in the melted butter and then mix until a dough forms. It should come together into one big ball.
- Split the dough in half and pat half of the dough into your prepared pan. I used the base of a cup to pat the dough into an even layer. Place in the oven for 10 minutes.
- While the base is baking, create your filling: Place the caramels and double cream into a heat proof dish and microwave for 30 seconds, stir and then microwave for another 30 seconds, stir and then microwave in 10 second bursts, stirring between each, until the caramels are melted. You will need to give it a good stir to get the cream and caramel to combine into one smooth mixture.
- Once the base has baked, sprinkle with milk chocolate chips, pour your caramel mixture on top and then crumble the remaining oat mixture over the caramel.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes (mine took 18 minutes) until the top is golden and the caramel is bubbling, it will still look soft in the centre, that's fine, they'll set as they cool.
- Leave the Carmelitas to cool completely in the pan before transferring to a cutting board and slicing into 12-16 bars. These bars are rich so you don't need a huge slice!
- Carmelitas will keep in an airtight container, at room temperature, for 4 days.