Carmelitas – Cooking Classy

These Carmelitas are one of the ultimate cookie bar recipes! Two layers of oatmeal cookie dough sandwich layers of both rich chocolate chips and luxurious caramel, and then everything bakes together into heavenly decadence. These cookie bars are dangerously delicious!  

Stack of four carmelitas cookie bars.

Decadent Carmelitas

If you like buttery oatmeal cookies, dark chocolate, and sweet caramel you will be smitten with these over-the-top treats!

It’s an indulgent three desserts in one. So in other words you’ll find them to be completely irresistible.

They are soft and chewy thanks to that oaty cookie base, then you’ll find some fudgy chocolate goodness in the center, and they’re highlighted with velvety creaminess thanks to that caramel candy.

Let the baking season begin early with these tempting Carmelitas cookie bars!

Carmelitas cookie bar recipe ingredients.

Carmelitas Recipe Ingredients

  • 32 caramels, unwrapped (such as Kraft)
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) (120ml) heavy cream
  • 1 cup (140g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (98g) old fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup (170g) packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp table salt
  • 12 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1 Tbsp pieces
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (184g) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Collage of eight photos showing how to make carmelitas cookies.

How to Make Carmelitas

See full directions in recipe box below.

  • 1. Pour cream over caramels in a saucepan and melt over low heat, or melt in microwave safe dish in microwave.
  • 2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Stir in vanilla and melted butter.
  • 3. Press half the oatmeal mixture into 8×8-inch baking dish, then bake for 10 minutes.
  • 4. Sprinkle chocolate chips over oatmeal cookie layer, then pour caramel over top.
  • 5. Press remaining oatmeal mixture on top of the caramel, then bake.

Carmelitas after baking in a square baking dish.

 

Storage

  • I recommend storing these bars in the fridge up to 4 days. If already cut wrap individually.
  • Keep in an airtight container.
  • These can also be frozen for up to 3 months.

Carmelitas on parchment paper.

Helpful Tips and Substitutes

  • If you don’t have old fashioned oats on hand quick oats will work as well. The texture will just be a little less chewy.
  • Out of brown sugar? DIY brown sugar can be made by mixing 2/3 cup granulated sugar with 2 tsp molasses.Mix together first before adding to the recipe.
  • Swap the chocolate chips. Have a serious sweet tooth? Milk chocolate chips will work in place of semi sweet. Or on the the other hand for deeper flavor, bittersweet chocolate chips will work great too.
  • Optionally add nuts. You can also add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans to the oat cookie dough mixture.
  • You need to wait for these bars to cool completely before cutting into them, otherwise they’ll be a total runny caramel mess.
  • For an extra highlight of contrasting flavor you can sprinkle the sea salt either on top of the caramel layer or on top of the carmelitas for that salted caramel flavor.

Close up photo of stack of caramel chocolate oatmeal cookie bars.

More Caramel Recipes You’ll Love:

Carmelitas

Carmelitas

These Carmelitas are one of the ultimate cookie bar recipes! Two layers of oatmeal cookie dough sandwich layers of both rich chocolate chips and luxurious caramel, and then everything bakes together into heavenly decadence. These cookie bars are dangerously delicious!  

Servings: 12

Prep25 minutes

Cook30 minutes

Ready in: 55 minutes

  • 32 caramels , unwrapped (such as Kraft)
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
  • 1 cup (140g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (98g) old fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup (170g) packed light-brown sugar (break up any clumps)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp table salt
  • 12 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1 Tbsp pieces
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (184g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp (scant) flaky sea salt, such as Maldon (optional)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 8-inch baking dish (and optionally line with sheets of parchment paper if you’d prefer to lift bars out to cut, then butter parchment).

  • Pour cream over caramels in a microwave safe bowl, heat mixture on HIGH power in 30 second intervals, stirring well after each interval until melted and smooth (alternately you can combine the two ingredients in a saucepan and melt over low heat), set aside.

  • In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and table salt.

  • Place butter in a microwave safe bowl and heat butter in microwave until melted. Stir vanilla extract into melted butter then pour mixture over dry ingredients. Using a fork, stir well to evenly coat.

  • Press half of the oat mixture evenly into the bottom of prepared baking dish (layer will be thin) then bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. 

  • Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips into an even layer over baked cookie crust, then pour caramel mixture evenly over chocolate chip layer.

  • Sprinkle optional flaky sea salt evenly over caramel layer (if using), then sprinkle top evenly with remaining oat mixture. 

  • Bake in preheated oven 16 – 20 minutes until lightly golden. Cool completely on a wire rack (it will take a few hours. To speed up the cooling you can chill in refrigerator).

  • Store in an airtight container in a single layer in refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving.

  • You can’t substitute instant or steel cut oats for the old fashioned oats. They won’t give you the same texture! 

Nutrition Facts

Carmelitas

Amount Per Serving

Calories 453
Calories from Fat 216

% Daily Value*

Fat 24g37%

Saturated Fat 14g88%

Trans Fat 0.5g

Polyunsaturated Fat 2g

Monounsaturated Fat 6g

Cholesterol 44mg15%

Sodium 170mg7%

Potassium 218mg6%

Carbohydrates 57g19%

Fiber 2g8%

Sugar 37g41%

Protein 5g10%

Vitamin A 514IU10%

Vitamin C 0.2mg0%

Calcium 74mg7%

Iron 2mg11%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Recipe adapted from Allrecipes and Lulu the Baker.

Salted Carmelitas | Cooking Classy

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