This is my updated version of an old classic called “Carmelitas”, oatmeal bar cookies with a creamy caramel filling made with caramel ice cream syrup. The old version calls for caramel syrup mixed with a little flour to thicken it up. This new version uses a thicker, less-sweet caramel sauce called Smucker’s Simple Delights Salted Caramel, which is so thick it doesn’t require any extra flour. And since it’s less sweet and has kind of a salty flavor to it, I was able to add some sweet white chips to the filling without making the bars overly sweet.
In the photo above I cut the bars pretty large, but these are so rich and buttery that in reality I cut them about a third of that size. It’s really up to you how bit you want to cut them, but do cut them when they’re nice and cold so you’ll get a clean cut. Another nice thing about this recipe is the caramel filling stays soft and doesn’t get rock hard when chilled.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (9 oz)
- 2 cups quick-cooking oats
- 1 ½ cups firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or 1 teaspoon if using unsalted butter
- 10 oz butter, salted or unsalted, very soft (but not melted)
- 1 (11.5 oz) jar Simple Delights Salted caramel topping, softened or at room temperature
- 1 1/3 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
- 2/3 cup white chips
- 2/3 cup toasted and chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13 inch metal pan with foil and grease the foil.
- Mix the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl. Add the soft butter and stir until blended. Reserve half of crumb mixture (about 3 cups or 504 grams), then press the rest into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle chips and nuts over baked crust. Drizzle evenly with softened caramel. Crumble reserved topping evenly over the top.
- Return to oven and bake an additional 18 to 22 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 1 hour or until completely cooled, then chill for 2 hours or until filling is set.
- Lift from pan and cut into bars.