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+ servings
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5 from 3 votes

Thick and Chewy Carmelita Bars

The most amazing bar cookies, with layers of soft caramel and chocolate sandwiched in an oat cookie crust. Guaranteed to earn rave reviews from everyone, every time!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar light or dark
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt divided
  • 35 small candy caramels such as Kraft or soft Werther’s
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 and 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x9” baking pan with parchment or foil, if possible, for easy removal and clean-up. Set aside.
  • Melt butter in a medium bowl or saucepan. Stir in the vanilla, then sprinkle the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt on top. Stir well until the mixture is even. Scoop roughly half of this mixture out into the prepared baking pan, and press it firmly into a thin, even layer that covers the bottom of the pan, corner to corner. Bake for 8-10 minutes, just until lightly golden.
  • Meanwhile, unwrap caramels and combine them with the cream in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir frequently until the caramels are completely melted and smooth, then stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and remove from heat.
  • After removing the crust from the oven, sprinkle it with chocolate chips, then pour melted caramel evenly over the chocolate. Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture evenly on top. Don’t worry if there are some gaps where the caramel peeks through.
  • Bake for another 18-20 minutes. The top should be light golden brown, and the caramel will be very hot and bubbling. Remove and allow to cool completely, 3-4 hours at room temperature, or 1-2 hours in the fridge, before lifting out the bars, slicing, and serving.

Notes

  • Caramels: I usually use one full bag of Kraft candy caramels for this recipe. They’re a minor pain to unwrap but melt well and have a nice consistency when baked inside the bars — soft and chewy but not impossible to slice. Kraft caramels can typically found in the grocery store in the same aisle with other candies — M&Ms, peppermint patties, that kind of thing — often on a bottom shelf.
  • Yield: The photos here show bars that were sliced from a 9x9” pan into 16 squares. The bars are rich and a bit decadent, so you can definitely cut them into smaller pieces to stretch the serving size.
  • Storage: Bars keep well tightly covered at room temperature for 3-4 days.

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 362kcal, Carbohydrates: 45g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 35mg, Sodium: 280mg, Potassium: 177mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 30g, Vitamin A: 391IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 59mg, Iron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe?Leave a review below, then snap a quick picture and tag @nourishandfete on Instagram so I can see it!