Thursday, April 16, 2009

Oatmeal Carmelitas

My grandmother brought carmelitas to a family dinner once. I must have been in elementary or middle school when I first had them. We had moved from Ohio to Pennsylvania in 1988, but back then, my grandparents drove out to see us every few weeks, and Grandma ALWAYS brought food. (I am convinced she is the source of my journalistic and baking interests, but that's all for another post at another time.)

The gooey bars were offered. Then devoured. We were skeptical at first - so many layers, an oatmealy crumble on top, etc. - but quickly fell in love with them. Luckily, my mom got the recipe and made them for us, too. I've made them more times than I can remember - they've become a favorite of every place I've worked. My little torn out recipe square is battered, oil-stained and well-worn.

I love these bars because they're easy, delicious and can be enjoyed cold or warm, so I don't have to worry about anything except preventing them from completely melting.


Ingredients:
Crust
2cups flour
2cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1 1/2
cups firmly packed brown sugar
1teaspoon baking soda
1/2teaspoon salt
1 1/4
cups margarine or butter, softened (*a substitute like "I can't believe it's not butter" does not work well)
Filling
1(12.5-oz.) jar (1 cup) caramel ice cream topping
3tablespoons flour
1(6-oz.) pkg. (1 cup) semisweet chocolate chips
1/2cup chopped nuts (optional)

Directions:

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 13x9-inch pan. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. In large bowl, combine all crust ingredients; mix at low speed until crumbly. Reserve half of crumb mixture (about 3 cups) for topping. Press remaining crumb mixture in bottom of greased pan. Bake at 350°F. for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in small bowl, combine caramel topping and 3 tablespoons flour; blend well.

Remove partially baked crust from oven; sprinkle with chocolate chips and nuts. Drizzle evenly with caramel mixture; sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.

Return to oven; bake an additional 18 to 22 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 1 hour or until completely cooled. Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours or until filling is set. Cut into bars.


The crust mixture.

Drizzling yummy caramel goodness on the crust and chocolate chips.

Fresh out of the oven!

Source: Pillsbury bakeoff winner, 1967.

3 comments:

Still Single

I loved them! Now, for some reason, I feel the need to bring you stuff in containers so you return them full of sweet goodness!

Kristin

That trick JUST might work! :-)

Nancy

*drool* :-)

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