Carmelitas make an easy dessert recipe that everyone loves. Made with a buttery oat crust and topping, chocolate chips, caramel, and pecans, they are a favorite!
Dessert recipes that are simple to make and that everyone loves are important to remember in my book! And these are no exception! When I was in school, I visited a friend’s house one afternoon after school. Her mother was in the kitchen making supper and asked if we wanted to bake with her. When she said that she was making Carmelitas, I immediately began to giggle. You see, when I was just a little squirt, my uncle dated a beautiful woman named Carmelita and I practically had them married before they’d dated more than twice. I was at that age. Anyway, even though I only met her a few times, I remembered the name, her perfume and her long dark hair. So, when my friend’s mom said the name, I couldn’t wait to learn more about what she was making.
Through the years, I’ve tweaked her original recipe, adding nuts, removing nuts, adding more chocolate, but always keeping that delicious crust that encases it all! I’m not sure what ever happened to the Carmelita of my youth, but I can’t help but think she’d be smitten with her namesake bars as much as I am.
Here’s my Carmelitas recipe. I hope you love them as much as we do!
- 2 cups flour
- 2 cups quick-cooking oats
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 1 cup butter softened
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup salted caramel sauce
- Preheat the oven to 350º F. Spray a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with nonstick baking spray or lightly butter and set aside.
- Combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, and softened butter in the bowl of a mixer.
- Mix on low until crumbly with a paddle attachment or mix with a wooden spoon, if desired.
- Press half the crumb mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 12 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips and chopped pecans over the crust. Pour the salted caramel sauce over the chocolate chips and nuts. Add the remaining crumb mixture on top of the caramel sauce. Do not press.
- Return the baking dish to the oven and bake until the crust begins to brown, about 15 more minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. You may refrigerate to shorten the cooling time, if preferred. Cut into squares or bars and serve.