If you know me well, you know I love my sweets. There’s an added bonus if the sweets are properly paired with a salty. If I have a combination of the two in front of me (ex: a bowl of M&Ms and a bowl of pretzels), I could literally gorge myself silly going back and forth between the two. DANGEROUS!
Overall, I much prefer the sweet over the salty, and in the sweet department, I prefer anything chocolate. The chocolate obsession, I believe, is hereditary. I still have memories of my grandma telling me how much she loved chocolate as she mischievously grinned from ear to ear, fully exposing her chocolaty gooed Milky Way teeth. After she passed away, I even inherited her Hershey’s Chocolate Lover’s Cookbook.
In the beginning of the month I shared a meal recipe and today I’m going to share a dessert recipe with you. Side note: I’ve just decided now that this is going to be a monthly occurrence (one meal recipe in the beginning of the month and one dessert recipe about midway through the month).
I have a little bit of a confession to make. This recipe that I’m going to share with you…I haven’t actually made them myself. I fully enjoyed eating them at a picnic, and my friend so graciously passed the recipe onto me. Oatmeal Carmelitas are so amazingly delicious! It’s chocolate…it’s caramel…it’s crunchy goodness all rolled into one! One thing I know for sure is that I CANNOT WAIT to make them! I’m actually currently texting away to my grocery store-bound husband the ingredients that I need so I can make them TONIGHT! So here it is! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups uncooked quick-cooking oats
1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, melted
1 (12-oz.) package semisweet chocolate morsels
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted (optional)
1 (14-oz.) package caramels
1/3 cup half-and-half
1. Stir together first 5 ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add butter, stirring until mixture is crumbly. Reserve half of mixture (about 2 3/4 cups). Press remaining half of mixture into bottom of a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch pan. Sprinkle evenly with chocolate morsels, and, if desired, pecans.
2. Microwave caramels and half-and-half in a microwave-safe bowl at MEDIUM (50% power) 3 minutes. Stir and microwave at MEDIUM 1 to 3 more minutes or until mixture is smooth. Let stand 1 minute. Pour evenly over chocolate morsels. Sprinkle evenly with reserved crumb mixture.
3. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars.