I’ve been so anxious to post this recipe because it’s just so darn good. It’s gooey, salty & sweet, and the crust adds another layer of texture. It’s just yummy! I baked these for the Bake for Hope bake sale benefiting breast cancer research. They sold out and were a hit! I was inspired by my friend Kelly’s to die for Carmelita Bars. Recently, my siblings and cousins tried Kelly’s bars and they were in love. They insisted that we make her sinfully rich Carmelita Bars and of course they disappeared by the end of the day. They ranked these bars as one of the top five desserts of all time, granted they are between the ages of 10-15 and “of all time” to them is really not that long! The Carmelita Bars are so delicious and decadent that you only need a little bite. Many kids now a days are learning more about food and are more conscience of the ingredients that go into it what they eat (thank you parents, teachers & Jaime Oliver’s Food Revolution!). The kids were shocked about how much not so good for you things were in something that taste so good. I reworked the recipe and added another layer of flavor: salt. The coarse salt definitely helps balance out the bar’s gooey sweetness and enhances the flavor of the bar. The salted caramel chocolate bars are definitely rich, but aren’t quite as indulgent as the original Carmelita Bars. My brothers & sister still rank my new version as top 5 desserts, so it’s a winner! The kicker is the recipe is so easy!
My sister and two cousins helped out in the kitchen. (While the other kiddos played on the PS3 – when they come they bring over their own gaming console – so we’ll have 3 set up at one time – and my husband is usually playing with them!) These three made sure that they got first dibs on the finished dessert! I love cooking and baking with my family – especially the kids. They are so much fun! (They told me they would bake so I could take pictures of them to post on my blog – that way they can be famous – haa,haa) I guess everyone has to start somewhere…a food blog it is!
Salted Caramel Chocolate Bars
Prep: 10 mins Cooking time: 30 mins Yields one 9 x 13 pan of rich goodness
1½ C All Purpose Flour
1½ C Quick Cooking Oats
1¼ C Light Brown Sugar
1 C Regular Butter, melted
½ tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Baking Soda
1¼ C Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 19oz of Butterscotch Caramel topping (if you can’t find butterscotch topping – regular caramel topping is fine too. I find the 16oz jar of caramel topping works well too (mixed with 5 Tbs. of flour).
6 Tbs Flour
¼ tsp Coarse Kosher Salt or Coarse Sea Salt
Preheat oven to 350º, grease a 9×13 glass baking dish with cooking spray (make sure you get the sides too)
Combine flour, oats, sugar, butter, cinnamon and baking soda in a large mixing bowl
Press ½ of the flour and mixture into the baking dish, bake for 10 mins
Pour caramel topping into a medium size bowl and stir in the 6 Tbs. of flour
Pull baking dish from oven, sprinkle chocolate chips over warm crust, pour thicken caramel evenly over the chocolate chips (You can use an offset spatula to help spread the caramel) Sprinkle the coarse salt over the caramel topping.
Crumble the rest of the crust mixture evenly over the caramel topping. You can gently pat the crumbly crust – but do not press down. Bake for an another 20 minutes.
Let cool completely and then cut into bars. If you wish – you can sprinkle an additional tiny pinch of coarse salt on top of the crust before it cools completely.
Eat, indulge…and repeat! Ahhhhhh bliss