Carmelita Bars

This recipe comes from The Model Bakery Cookbook which I bought for their english muffin recipe. Lo and behold, the book is chock full of wonderful recipes. I downloaded the kindle edition of this book and look forward to cooking through it! This picture is not as great as it could be because I forgot to add the sugar to the crust! They are messy but I am still taking them to share with my volunteer group. The caramel was easy to make-you need a super clean pan so the sugar doesn’t seize up so I washed the pan and rinsed it with a little vinegar before making the caramel.

Carmelita bars


2 c. sugar

1/2 c. water

2 t. light corn syrup

1 c. heavy cream


3 c. old fashioned rolled oats

1 2/3 c. unbleached all p flour

3/4 c. packed light brown sugar

1/2 t. baking soda

1/4 t. salt

3/4 c. unsalted butter, melted

2 T. water

1 c. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips

1 c. chopped walnuts

Make the caramel first by stirring the sugar, water and corn syrup together in a large saucepan over high heat until the sugar has dissolved. Boil, without stirring, occasionally rotating the pan by the handle and swirling the syrup, washing down any sugar crystal that form on the sides of the pan with a natural bristle brush, dipped in cold water. Cook 3-5 minutes until the syrup is smoking and the color of copper. Reduce heat to low and carefully add the cream, stirring until the caramel is smooth. Remove from heat and cool until tepid and thickened, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour (and line with parchment) an oblong13″by 9″ baking pan. Whisk the oats, flours, brown sugar, baking soda and salt together in a large  bowl. Stir in the melted butter and water until mixture is moistened. Remove 1/4 of mixture to a bowl for topping. Press remainder firmly into baking pan. Bake until golden, about 20-25 minutes. Remove and spread the caramel over the crust. Sprinkle the chocolate chips and walnuts over the caramel. Crumble the reserved oat mixture over the top. Bake for 15 minutes until topping is barely golden brown. Remove and cool completely. Run a knife around the outside edge and cut the bars into pieces. I like my bars small so I got about 36 out of this pan. Store in an airtight container at room temp for up to 3 days.



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