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Yes, I’ve posted these before.  Yes, they are still some of the best cookies I’ve ever had.  If you give someone these for Christmas, they will forever be indebted to you.


32 caramel squares, unwrapped
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

Combine caramels and cream in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until completely smooth; set aside. In a separate bowl, combine melted butter, brown sugar, flour, oats, and baking soda. Pat half of the oatmeal mixture into the bottom of an 8×8″ pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over crust. Pour caramel mixture over chocolate chips. Crumble remaining oatmeal mixture over caramel. Return to oven and bake an additional 15-20 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting.
*A stint in the fridge will help them cool off if you’re pinched for time. They shouldn’t be served cold, but all of that molten caramel takes a long time to cool down. They should be stored and served at room temperature.
**To make a 9×13″ version, simply double the amounts.

***If you want to use homemade or store-bought caramel sauce in place of the caramel/cream mixture, use 1 1/4 cups of sauce.

64 thoughts on “Carmelitas

  1. These rock! Not really a cookie, not really a candy… deliciously in between! My five kids polished them off in one evening! (With a little help from Mom ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I made these Gluten free, using super fine white rice flour, tapioca flour and Pure Oats. Fantastic and no one knows the difference! YUM
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful treat Lulu! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hi Fi. We have always eaten them within a few days. We usually store them in the fridge (although I don’t think you have to), and they taste better on day 2 than on day 1, even though they are awesome right away.

  3. I can honestly say these are the best dessert I’ve had in a long while. Made them for Bunco night. The ladies loved them, but they were still pretty warm. The next day.. Oh My Word… I think I liked them even better!

  4. Lulu,
    Thank you for this recipe and the others you have here! These Carmelitas have been a HIT whenever they are made :). Keep up the great recipes!

  5. Nothing but rave reviews for this recipe! I altered it just a bit and added salt to taste to the caramel cream to make it salted caramel and I used dark chocolate in lieu of semi sweet a few times and liked that too. Best cookie ever!!!

  6. Hey, I know it’s been awhile since this was posted. But, I wondered if you had any experience with freezing these? Thank you!

      1. Iโ€™ve been making these, mostly for the holidays, for a few years now. They are a favorite of ours. Since I like to bake ahead in order to enjoy the holidays, I do freeze them. They freeze very well.
        Thank you for the delicious recipe.

      1. I know it’s been awhile, but I’m curious if I decided to use caramel dip if I would substitute the same amount? 1 1/4 Cup?

        1. Hey Lori! I’ve never tried it, but I don’t see why that wouldn’t work. Can’t go wrong with caramel, right?

  7. I made these last year and everyone loved them so I’m making them again this year! I had to hunt your recipe down. They are so good!

  8. Thank you, Melissa for sharing this wonderful and easy-to-make recipe!

    I made it for a cookie exchange at work and two people ate theirs early to rave reviews. One person also works in an Italian family bakery and took them back to share with coffee. After her brother ate one, he called up and wanted to know where she got them. She will be making them for the family dinner.

    Iโ€™m bringing these for Christmas dinner and giving them away in my NYE loot bag. A sweet ending to 2015 and hopes for a sweet 2016.

  9. Hi in wondering how you get your top crust crumbly? When I mix mine it ends up being sticky so I have to carefully lay pieces all over the top to cover it.

  10. I’ve made these and they are to die for! The caramel filling was too much for me in being so rich. I can always cut the caramel recipe in half. Im going to make these for a friend and her 3 kids. I dont have children. They dont know theyre gona get them! I will double the recipe but not the caramel filling. These are simply the BEST cookie bars on the internet! Im happy they exist. Thank you for your wonderful site!

  11. This recipe looks identical to the one my mom and I used when I was a kid. Now that I’m 800 miles away from her (and her recipe) I am excited to find one to share with my daughter, to keep the tradition alive! These freeze well, in aluminum foil… and they’re actually REALLY good frozen, too. Thank you for posting!

  12. I don’t know what I did wrong. I made these last Christmas and they were awesome. This Christmas they are a bit the same. Almost like there’s too much caramel. Soft much almost. Maybe I didn’t cook it long enough?

    1. Hi Sarah. I’m sorry they didn’t turn out as good as you remember. I have no way of knowing what went wrong, but hopefully they were still tasty enough to eat! Maybe as a topping for vanilla ice cream?

    2. I wonder if the caramel wasn’t completely cool. I made a single batch this year and I let it sit for about an hour, but the caramel may have still had residual heat and hadn’t hardened yet.

      I also made two double batches and let them cool overnight and they were soft, but definitely not runny.

  13. I am thrilled to find your recipe for carmelites. Some how I lost part of my moms recipe we’ve had for years. Your recipe is pretty much identical to the one my mom had. Thank you for publishing it.

  14. These are fabulous. I made them the day ahead for my ladies game night. They will be lucky if there are actually any left for them tomorrow.

  15. I have made several times but still run into the same issue: the oat mixture is too dry. When I put on top, it’s not clumpy at all….more like dusty. I triple checked my measurements this time bc I suspected I shorted the butter….but same result. I have to drag the caramel around to “wet” the topping or it’s too dry.


    Iโ€™ve had your recipe pinned on my food board for years because your recipe is SO amazing! And because i have it pinned and know your post, I was on Instagram and saw this post from a baker. Thought the picture sure looked familiar. Then I went to your recipe. Sure enough….someone is taking credit for your picture. Just thought you should know if it makes any difference to you! And they sure arenโ€™t giving you credit.

    1. Thanks for telling me! I sent them a message on IG, but I don’t think they’ve responded. I’ll check and see if the photo is still unattributed…

  17. Just made these last week and though they are very tasty, they are not oozy like the picture. They look more cakey. So kind of disappointed, but not sure why not oozy. Followed directions perfectly….

    1. Hi there. I have no idea why they would turn out cakey instead of exactly the way they look in the picture. Maybe give them another try and see if they turn out that way again?? I know they’ve always turned out gooey and caramely for me.

  18. This is always one of my go-to desserts. They are a crowd pleaser every time and SO easy to pull together.

    1. Hi Suzanne! I’ve never added salt to make them salted caramel, but you could probably sprinkle a scant amount of kosher salt, fleur de sel, or chunky sea salt on. I’d start with a decent pinch and just eyeball it!

  19. Hi! I found the recipe for Salted Carmelitas from Cookingclassy and they reference your recipe here.
    I have made additional modifications for my own use. Can I share the recipe with family and friends?
    I am happy to reference you as the original source of inspiration!

  20. I first made this for Christmas I think about 8 years. Now I make it three times a year.
    Since my three kids were old enough to choice what they wanted for their birthday dessert. This is now the dessert of choice, I need to double the recipe too. Day one we always serve it warm with vanilla ice cream. After that they either chose with ice cream or as a bar. Both are great. Thank you for the recipe

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