It all begins with a little caramel... And with a touch of magic - the Carmelita is born. It's such a beautiful thing.
Oh you think I'm exaggerating? Absolutely not. Just trust me on this one. However, these are not healthy in any way (unless you count the whole wheat flour!) so eat in moderation, if you can. I don't have any self control when it comes to delicious desserts, so whatever.
Put your kids/husband/roommate/grandma to work unwrapping caramel candies. It takes a surprisingly long time to unwrap 32 of those little things. Put them in a small sauce pan and add in your heavy cream.
Yeah. I told you they weren't healthy. Just wait. It gets better.
Put this over low heat and stir frequently until smooth.
Meanwhile, grab your butter - a stick and half to be exact - gulp - and pop it in the microwave to melt.
Mix the brown sugar, flour, rolled oats and baking soda in with the melted butter.
Mix until combined.
I use white whole wheat flour just to make me feel a *little* bit better after I eat my fifth square... But any kind of flour will do. ;-)
Grab an 8x8 pan and spray with non-stick spray or grease with butter. Might as well just use the butter. I mean, really.
Press oatmeal mixture into 8x8 pan, creating the "crust".
Pop it in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.
How's your caramel mixture doing? Don't forget to stir! It should go from looking kind of lumpy like this:
... to creamy and smooth. Take it off the heat and try not to drink it from the pan.
Take your crust out of the oven and get excited because here's where it starts getting really good...
Sprinkle some chocolate chips over the crust.
I'm so obsessed with mini chocolate chips lately... Just look at them - they're adorable.
Now grab that caramel that may or may not have a few spoonfuls missing... It's okay, you're only human. Pour it over the chocolate chips like so:
Are you excited yet? Yeah, me too.
Now take the other half of the oatmeal mixture and sprinkle over the top of the caramel. Pop it back in the oven for another 15 ish minutes until edges are lightly browned.
And now, for the hardest part of all: let it cool. Trust me - do not get impatient and try to cut these before they are COMPLETELY cooled. It's a mess. A huge, sticky, delicious mess.
In my opinion, they're best cold - straight from the fridge. Just let them sit about 5 minutes. Perfection.
----------- CARMELITAS ------------
32 CARAMEL SQUARES, UNWRAPPED (DUH)
1/2 CUP HEAVY CREAM
3/4 CUP BUTTER, MELTED
3/4 CUP BROWN SUGAR, PACKED
1 CUP WHITE WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR
1 CUP ROLLED (OLD FASHIONED) OATS
1 TEAS. BAKING SODA
6 OZ. SEMISWEET CHOCOLATE CHIPS (PREFERABLY MINI. I'M KIDDING. BUT SERIOUSLY.)
COMBINE CARAMELS AND SCREAM IN SMALL SAUCEPAN OVER LOW HEAT. STIR UNTIL COMPLETELY SMOOTH; SET ASIDE. IN A SEPERATE BOWL, COMBINE MELTED BUTTER, BROWN SUGAR, FLOUR, OATS AND BAKING SODA. PAT HALF OF OATMEAL MIXTURE INTO THE BOTTOM OF A GREASED 8X8 PAN. BAKE AT 350 DEGREES FOR 10 MINUTES. REMOVE PAN FROM OVEN AND SPRINKLE CHOCOLATE CHIPS OVER CRUST. POUR CARAMEL MIXTURE OVER CHOCOLATE CHIPS. CRUMBLE REMAINING OATMEAL MIXTURE OVER CARAMEL. RETURN TO OVEN FOR AN ADDITIONAL 15-20 MINUTES, UNTIL EDGES ARE SLIGHTLY BROWNED. REMOVE FROM OVEN AND COOL COMPLETELY BEFORE CUTTING. ENTER HEAVEN.