Recipe: The Best Carmelitas You've Ever Had

Guys, how obnoxious is my recipe title? This overly dramatic title is inspired by what pops up every time I Google any recipe. Every dumbo names their recipe “the best blady-blah,” but the problem with that is, who the devil do you trust?! No one. Well, except me of course. Y’all can trust me. But hey, better to be safe and try these out for yourself, eh?

So lets talk Carmelitas. They are the perfect cross between cookie and bar. The breakdown is this: semi-sweet chocolate, toasted walnuts and homemade caramel sandwiched between an oatmeal cookie (minus the raisins, which are the devil). Yessssplease.

Few notes before diving in:
• These puppies are especially delish the second day, so if you can, make these ahead of time - the flavors noticeably have more depth.
• Regarding the homemade caramel, I promise it’s not as daunting as you might think it is. However, if you’re still scrrd and can’t get around your sccrrdness, buy a jar of it <cough> quitter. But I believe in you!
• I highly recommend eating these with a cup of Joe, it is so choice.

Enjoy fellow fiends!

The Best Carmelitas You’ve Ever Had

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup quick cooking oats
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup melted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup caramel (3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream, 1 teaspoon salt)

For the caramel
1.  Combine the sugar and water in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan. This is the only time you can stir the sugar. If you stir it while it's cooking, it turns to rock candy. Place the saucepan over medium to low heat until the sugars start to dissolve, 5–8 mins. Then turn the heat up to medium-high and cook until the sugar starts to caramelize, 5 to 7 minutes.
2.  When the caramel starts to smoke, turn off the heat. Slowly add the cream and careful not to splatter yourself. Don't panic - the cream will bubble violently, and the caramel will solidify. Just give it more time to liquefy again-trust me!
3.  Simmer over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the caramel dissolves and the sauce is smooth, about 5–10 minutes. Pro Tip: Use an oven mitt with the stir-hand for safety.
4.  Stir in salt. Sauce will thicken as it sits.

For the bars
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 9x9 inch square pan.
2. Roughly chop and toast the walnuts for 8 mins or until toasted. Pro Tip: It’s done when you start to smell the toasty nuts.
3. Combine the 1 cup flour, baking soda, oats, brown sugar, salt and melted butter. Mix to combine, mixture will be very crumbly. Press half of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.
4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 10 minutes.
5. Let cool slightly then sprinkle over the crust the chocolate chips and nuts. Mix the caramel with the 3 tablespoons of flour and drizzle over the chocolate chips. Top with the remaining oatmeal mixture.
6. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 15 minutes. Let bars cool before cutting.

Note: This is my personal pref, but I’d scale back on how much caramel you put on. I think it would be plenty sweet with a skosh less. The leftovers you have will go swimmingly on top of vanilla ice cream. Just sayin’.