Yikes. Perhaps I have been too forgiving lately with cooking, but I tried a carmelita recipe that was so heavy in butter and caramel, that I seriously considered throwing the whole thing away before even finishing the recipe and trying it. Perhaps I was a little cruel to the blogger who posted it.
– OR –
Perhaps my healthy eating habits have seriously changed the way I look at food.
Either way, I realized I needed to improve my baking skills. I can easily look at a recipe for dinner and modify to my liking, but when it comes to baking, I find it a bit more difficult. My new goal is to improve the “sweet” recipes that I rarely have the courage/desire to make [anymore]. Really, my biggest beef with desserts is that I could either have a meal or I could have a small snack. It’s a no brainer that I would choose the meal.
To accomplish this task of making a healthier version of carmelitas (which I had no luck finding in a Google search), I combined 2 recipes that I thought would compliment each other. Version 1: Rachel Ray’s Chocolate Carmelita Bars and Version 2: Kath Eats Real Food’s Baked Oatmeal Snack Bars.
Healthier Carmelitas (Chocolate-Oatmeal-Caramel Bars)
- 25 caramels, unwrapped
- 3.5 tablespoons evaporated milk
- 1 1/2 cup oats (quick or old fashioned), uncooked
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 large egg
- 3 additional Tablespoons evaporated milk (or skim milk)
- ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Use empty butter wrapper to grease 9×13” pan
- Melt caramels and evaporated milk in small saucepan over low heat, stirring often, until melted.
- Combine oats, flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt, and mix.
- Combine egg, milk, and melted butter in a separate bowl. When mixed, combine with dry ingredients.
- Press ½ mixture into baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven and add chocolate chips. Top with melted caramel. Finally, add remaining oat mixture. Bake an additional 15 minutes or until lightly brown.
- Cool for 15-20 minutes.
- Refrigerate for additional coolness. (Yes, I said that.)
Husband reviews: Carlos says about the original “Butter. That’s all I taste.” Mines, he says, “So much better! You put in caramel and chocolate, you may as well taste it!” The original recipe called for 12 tablespoons butter. I reduced it to 6 Tablespoons.