Carmelitos

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This has been my “dessert of choice” for years, but I still only make it when there’s going to be a crowd because it makes a lot and they’re not exactly a health food, though I do use more whole foods ingredients in this recipe. These carmelitos are ooey-gooey and sweet but mixed with oats and finely chopped nuts,  and it’s just absolute perfection. I’ve been waiting to share this recipe because I wanted to come up with a caramel recipe from scratch, rather than using a jar from the grocery store (which you still can do, and I still do if I’m in a time crunch; but I think from scratch is always better tasting and better for you). And I have a good recipe for caramel now that I made those honey caramel apples! You follow that recipe for caramel exactly, until you get to the boiling part. Instead of boiling it until it reaches 260 degrees (hard ball stage) you boil it until it’s 235 degrees or in the soft ball stage. Then set it aside and get started on your carmelitos.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need. Because I don’t eat chocolate, I’ll usually use half dark chocolate chips and half white or butterscotch chips. And you can either buy a can of already chopped nuts, or you can chop them yourself. I chop them myself because I’ll always have lots of nuts on hand. And you can really use any kind of nut. Pictured below I have walnuts, almonds and pecans. You can do one type of nut or a variety.  2015-10-30 14.58.36

In a large mixing bowl combine flour, oats, brown sugar, soda and salt. Stir to combine and then add melted butter. Press 2/3 of this dough into the bottom of a 9×13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

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Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips and chopped nuts.

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Stir together your caramel and the 5 Tbsp flour and pour over the top of the pan (avoid edges as it will cook to it).

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Crumble the remaining dough over the top and bake for another 20 minutes.

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Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan before serving. It still looks a bit gooey when it comes out, though the edges will look more done. That’s perfect! Once the chocolate and caramel cool for a bit, it won’t be quite as gooey.

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These are rich, so I usually cut this pan up in about 24  or so squares. Enjoy! (serve warm or at room temperature. I  keep them out on my counter, covered; they don’t last more than a couple of days in our house)

 

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THE RECIPE:

Carmelitos
*makes one 9×13 pan; serves

Dough:
2 c whole white wheat flour
2 c rolled oats (quick or regular)
1 1/2 c brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 c melted butter

Topping:
2 c chopped nuts
12 oz chocolate chips (or butterscotch, white chocolate etc)
1 jar Mrs Richardson’s caramel  (or can make your own by bringing to a boil 1 c heavy cream and 1 c honey. Boil for about 10 minutes until it reaches 235 degrees then remove from heat, and stir in 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1/4 tsp sea salt.  You can make this ahead of time. More detailed recipe here.)
5 Tbsp flour
1/3 of dough recipe from above

If you’re making caramel from scratch, do that first and set aside for use later in the recipe. In a large mixing bowl combine flour, oats, brown sugar, soda and salt. Stir to combine and then add melted butter. Press 2/3 of this dough into the bottom of a 9×13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips and chopped nuts. Stir together your caramel and the 5 Tbsp flour and pour over the top of the pan (avoid edges as it will cook to it). Crumble the remaining dough over the top and bake for another 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan before serving.

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Filed under christmas, Desserts

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