Delicious. Oats, chocolate, caramel -- what more could a girl want?! Or a boy, for that matter. Frog Prince loves these.
Warning: These are incredibly addicting. Do not double. Do not make when you only want one sweet treat to eat... it will be hard to stop after just one. We know from experience. Frog Prince blames these bars for making him gain 5 pounds the first time he spent Christmas with my family....I think there were probably other culprits too. But, we want to give you fair warning.
Carmelitas - From the Flatten Family
2 C flour (I tried 1 C whole wheat, 1 C all-purpose, and it tastes great!)
2 C oatmeal (regular or quick cook; we use quick most often)
1 1/2 C brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C butter, melted (I use less, about 1 C)
2 C semi-sweet chocolate chips (or dark chocolate!!)
1 jar Smuckers caramel ice cream topping (Fat Free... not like it matters here....)
6 T flour
Preheat oven to 350. Combine flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt together. Stir well.
Add in melted butter and mix well to form crumbs.
Press half of the crumbs into a 9x13 pan. Then, bake crust at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, until lightly browned.
Remove from the oven, and sprinkle chocolate chips over the crust.
Blend caramel and 6 T flour together.
Then, pour the caramel mix over the chocolate chips.
Sprinkle with the remaining oatmeal crumb mixture.
Continue baking for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. (The bars may look gooey, depending on how much butter you use... do not over bake! Mine don't look gooey because I use less butter; they're a bit crumbly, but excellent none-the-less)
Resist the urge to eat one right when they come out of the oven. Chill for 1-2 hours before cutting and serving. We usually leave our bars on the counter for 2-3 hours before eating... okay, we probably sneak a bite after the first 45 minutes or so.... :) Just keeping it real.
As a disclaimer -- the less butter you use, the more crumbly the bars become. I use less butter and we don't mind them crumbly. My mom makes the "full" recipe, and her bars are gooey and delicious... and a real treat.
This recipe is linked at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday and Chocolate Friday!