RWA Literacy Signing Carmelitas


I had high hopes of getting another post up before I had to leave for RWA on Wednesday, but that’s sooo not going to happen. Instead I’ll just that if you’re going, I hope to see you there! I’m not bringing many treats with me to the conference (travel and all), but I did throw together some of my favorite bar cookies for Shari Slade‘s table at Wednesday’s Literacy Signing. So if you’re stopping by to see Shari, you might also see treats!

And if you’re not going, well, here’s the recipe for Carmelitas. They’re OMGAMAZING.




A naughty & decadent bar cookie


For the bars

  • 2 1/2 cups caramel sauce (directions below)
  • 1 1/2 cups butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 12 ounces (one bag) semisweet chocolate chips

For the caramel sauce

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


For the bars

  1. Make caramel sauce. Stir until completely smooth; set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine melted butter, brown sugar, flour, oats, and baking soda.
  4. Pat half of the oatmeal mixture into the bottom of an 9×13″ pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove pan from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over crust. Pour caramel mixture over chocolate chips. Crumble remaining oatmeal mixture over caramel.
  6. Return to oven and bake an additional 15-20 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting.
  7. Store at room temperature for up to three days.

For the caramel sauce

  1. Pour the water into a large saucepan. Add the sugar to the center of the pan, taking care not to let the granules adhere to the sides of the pan. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Once boiling, uncover and continue to to boil until the syrup is straw-colored and registers 300 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 7 minutes. Reduce to medium heat and continue to cook until the syrup is a deep amber color and registers 350 degrees on the thermometer, 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, bring the cream and salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan. (if the cream simmers before the syrup reaches a deep amber color, remove it from the heat and cover to keep warm.)
  4. Remove the sugar syrup from the heat. Very carefully, pour about one-quarter of the hot cream into the sugar syrup and let the bubbling subside. Add the remaining cream and vanilla and let the bubbling subside. Whisk the sauce gently until smooth. Cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.


  • Do not stir while making the caramel sauce until the instructions specify to whisk. If your burners heat unevenly like mine, you can gently swirl the pan once or twice, but stirring will result in graininess.

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