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September 2, 2013

Carmelitas Made with Homemade Salted Caramel

Carmelitas Made with Homemade Salted Caramel | The Crafting Foodie

Carmelitas made with homemade salted caramel hold a very special place in my dessert-loving heart.

I first laid eyes on these oatmeal, chocolate caramel cookies when I first moved to New England and went shopping at the local Whole Foods Market. I was three months post-partum, severely sleep deprived and stressed out about all the unpacking/organizing all while trying to help my sweet four-year-old feel comfortable in our new home. I remember scrambling around the market trying to get everything on my list when I took a much-needed detour to the bakery section. I wanted to get Sof a sweet treat, and thought I'd get something for myself. On a whim, I decided on a Carmelita, and I was in love after the first bite.

Carmelitas Made with Homemade Salted Caramel | The Crafting Foodie

Determined to find the best Carmelitas recipe, I quickly realized that most recipes called for bottled caramel sauce or pre-made caramel candies that are simply melted down. While there's absolutely nothing wrong with those options, I knew I wanted my caramel to be salted and I wanted it to be as rich and creamy as possible. Thus leaving me with no choice but to make a homemade salted caramel sauce.

Carmelitas Made with Homemade Salted Caramel | The Crafting Foodie

This Carmelitas recipe rivals the ones I first tasted at Whole Foods, and the touch of salt in the caramel sauce only enhances this decadent bar cookie. I hope you give it a try!

Carmelitas Made with Homemade Salted Caramel | The Crafting Foodie

Carmelitas Made with Homemade Salted Caramel

Adapted from this recipe at



2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups whole grain, old-fashioned rolled oats

1 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, softened


1 cup salted caramel sauce (recipe below)

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

11 ounces of bittersweet chocolate chips/pieces


1 - Preheat the over to 350 degrees F and grease a 13x9 inch-baking pan

2 - In a large bowl mix all of the crust ingredients until well blended and crumbly.

3 - Press half of the crust mixture into the prepared baking pan. Reserve the rest of the crust mixture.

4 - Bake for ten minutes.

5 - While the bottom crust bakes, mix the salted caramel sauce with the 3 tablespoons of flour and set aside.

6 - Once the bottom crust is baked, remove it from the oven and sprinkle it with the chocolate.

7 - Next, evenly drizzle the salted caramel sauce over the chocolate and finally sprinkle the reserved crumb mixture on top of the caramel.

8 - Bake for 20 minutes or until the top crust is golden brown. 

9 - Remove from oven and allow it to cool completely.

10 - Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours until firm.

11 - Cut the cooled bars into squares

Yields 30 - 36 cookie bars


Salted Caramel Sauce

Adapted from Cooks Illustrated


1/2 cup water

1 cup (7 ounces) sugar

1 cup heavy cream

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

3/4 teaspoon salt


1 - Pour water into a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan.

2 - Carefully pour the sugar into the center of the pan, making sure not to allow any sugar to touch the sides of the pan. (If the sugar does touch the sides of the pan, when heated, the sugar will crystalize and ruin the sauce)

3 - Gently stir the sugar with a clean spatula until it is thoroughly wet.

4 - Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat. Without mixing, allow the mixture to boil until all of the sugar is dissolved and the sauce turns a faint gold color.  This will take about 3 to 6 minutes and the mixture will be at around 300 degrees F on a candy thermometer.

5 - Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until the caramel is a dark amber color. It will take about 1 to 3 minutes and reach about 350 degrees F on a candy thermometer.

6 - Take the pan off of the heat and slowly whisk in the cream until combined. (Adding the cream will cause the mixture to bubble vigorously, so please be careful!)

7 - Then stir in the vanilla, lemon juice, and salt.

Yields  1 1/2 cups

I'm linking up to these parties: The Pint Sized Baker: Two Cup Tuesday, Chef in Training Tuesday Talent Show, Craft-O-Mania: Craft-O-Maniac Monday, Skip to my Lou: Made by you Monday, Buns In My Oven: What's Cookin' Wednesday?,Kitchen Meets Girl: Wake Up Wednesdays, The Mandatory Mooch: Tasty Thursdays, What's Cooking, Love? Showcase Your Talent Thursday, The Frugal Girls: Chic and Crafty Party, Pink Recipe Box: Creative Wednesdays, Chase the Star: The Creative Connection, Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons: Kitchen Fun and Crafty Friday, Tatertotsandjello: Link Party Palooza, Tidy Mom: I'm Lovin' It,Happy Hour Projects: Happy Hour Friday , Will Work for Smiles: Show Stopper Saturday, Six Sisters' Stuff: Strut Your Stuff Saturday, Cheerios and Lattes: Saturday Show and Tell, The Country Cook: Weekend Potluck,



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Love your pictures...

Thanks so much for the kind comment! I'm new to the world of food photography, so your compliment is very much appreciated. Thanks for stopping by The Crafting Foodie!

This looks awesome!!! We would love it if you would link up at our linky party:
Live every Wednesday to Sunday.
Hosted by: Parrish @ Life with the Crust Cut Off Dana @ This Silly Girl’s Life
We hope to see you there!

I can't believe I still haven't gotten around to making caramelitas! Love how you've even made your own salted caramel sauce. Pinning :) I'd be thrilled if you'd come on over to Pink Recipe Box and link up at Creative Wednesdays:

Yummy! I love carmelitas and the lady who used to sell them at our farmer's market isn't there any more. Now i can make my own! Pinned! ~ Ali from Pies & Puggles

These are the best snacks!! Love anything with salted caramel sauce. And you have great photographs. Very eye catching.

Hi Nicky,
Thanks for Pinning the recipe! It's really an easy one to put together. I hope you give it a try.
I'd love to join your party! I've just linked up, and I'm checking out my fellow party-goers. Thanks for the invite, and thanks for stopping by The Crafting Foodie. Hope to see you around!


Hi Ali,

I loved baked goods from farmers' markets! I found the best brownies at my local farmers' market, and I'm trying to replicate the recipe before the farmers' markets close for the season. Thanks for stopping by The Crafting Foodie! Hope to see you here again soon.


Hi Zainab,

Thanks for the kind words about my photography! My husband and two little girls gave me a new camera for mother's day, and it's been so exciting learning how to use it.

I share the same love for salted caramel. I don't think I ever make plain caramel anymore!

Thanks for stopping by The Crafting Foodie!


These bars look super amazing!! Thanks for linking up What's Cookin' Wednesday!

OH.MY.STARS! I have no doubt, I could eat this whole panfull by myself...favorite flavors for sure. Nothing beats homemade caramel sauce...and yours is salted???? WOWZERS! Thanks so much for sharing at Weekend Potluck. Can't wait to see what you'll bring along next time.

Wow! These look super delicious! Thanks for sharing, I must try this recipe!

Hi Karly,

Thanks! These bars taste even better than they look, so I hope you give them a try. It's my pleasure linking up to What's Cookin' Wednesday. Thanks for hosting!


Thanks again for sharing these at our Weekend Potluck party. I loved these yummy bars so much I chose them as my personal favorite. Please come over and take a look. And do come again. Oh, and your photos are stunning!! WOW!

Hi Marsha,

Thanks for such a kind compliment and for choosing these carmelitas as your personal favorite! I will definitely be back to party this week, and I'll be bringing my Pinkalicious cupcakes. Your kind words about my photographs are so very much appreciated. I'm super new to photography and food styling. Thanks so much!


Oh my goodness theses are gorgeous and sound amazing!

Hi Mackenzie,

Thanks so much for featuring these on Cheerios and Lattes and for hosting the party! They taste even better than they look!

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