Carmelita Bars

These Carmelita Bars are what you make when you want a cookies but don’t want to babysit one cookie sheet after another. It’s also what you make when you want to bribe your kids back into form.

Every summer it’s the same story, three weeks before school starts, we start gearing up with back-to-school shopping for clothes and school supplies, and bedtime gets rolled back to a reasonable hour that won’t leave their heads hitting the table by 10am. And every year it’s a battle.

This year. . . . I can’t even believe I’m saying this, I’m almost afraid if I type it, I will jinx it. But here it goes, because it’s worth sharing–no battles. None. What’s even more crazy is usually Naomi or I do their back to school shopping. This year, the boys insisted on picking out their clothes, even the toddler who apparently needs little kids Stance socks (13.99 a pair–gulp!).

While I’m glad they are growing up, I’m also leery of the idea of them becoming more self aware of their image. So when I’m asked if something looks cool, my response is always, “Do you like it?”. If I’m pushed it’s usually a simple, “Looks great dude.”


Bedtime hour is a different story. There is always the whining, the pleading and the begging and arguments of why does bedtime have to be rolled back now when it’s still summer. And like any good parent I tell them, “Because I said so.” And when that is met with more resistance I offer these Caramelita Bars as breakfast.

Yield: Makes 36 bars

Carmelitas Bar

Carmelitas Bar


  • **Recipe adapted from Food Network
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 3/4 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup chocolate chips, divided use
  • 1 /4 cup chopped pecans, divided use
  • 1 1/2 cups Salted Caramel Sauce (homemade or store bought)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons flour


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly cover a 9 by 13-inch pan with non-stick spray.
  2. In stand mixer bowl, fitted with a paddle attachment, add in the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, and softened butter. Mix on low until fully combined and mixture is crumbly. Evenly divide the mixture into 2 equal portions.
  3. Press one half the crumb mixture in the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove and cool slightly.
  4. Sprinkle 1 cup chocolate chips, and 1 cup chopped pecans over the cooled crust. Mix the salted caramel sauce, and 2 1/2 tablespoons of flour together, and drizzle over the chocolate chips, and pecans. Top with the remaining crumb mixture and remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and 1/4 cup pecans.
  5. Transfer the pan back to the oven and 15 to 20 minutes or until the crust starts to brown. Remove from the oven and transfer pan to a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes then, transfer to the refrigerate for the caramel filling to set, about 2 hours.


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