Oatmeal Caramelitas

oatmeal carmelitas
I am not a test taker.
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Never have been, never will be.  I get hives.  I don't know how to study and I stand by the fact that cramming as much information in your brain is unhealthy and has no chance of sticking for the long term. 

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Group projects are something I can get behind.   I work best in groups and I think it's the most real life thing you can do in school.  Does anyone have a job where they sit by themselves all day long and are not allowed to reference the internet or phone a friend for collaboration? 

If you do have this kind of job, I'm sorry.  I'm a people person... this would do me in. 
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The best things in life come out of collaboration as far as I'm concerned.   
Cookbooks have proved to live up to my claim.  My favorite cookbook happens to be a collaboration and this one is on its way to the top of my list. 

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Sugar, Sugar is a collaborative cookbook where the authors ask others to submit recipes and the stories that go along with it.   

This book is a treasure chest of sweet memories and perfect recipes. 

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Oats, chocolate, nuts and creamy caramel couldn't be more perfect for each other. 
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From my little kitchen to yours... Enjoy.

Oatmeal Caramelitas
Recipe from Sugar, Sugar
Recipe Notes
If you love chocolate, you can add more chocolate chips.  If you are a caramel purist, you can take the chocolate chips out all together or reduce to a half cup so you have a stronger caramel. flavor.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 cups quick-cooking oats (or instant)
1 (14 ounce) bag Kraft soft caramel candies, unwrapped (about 50)
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (see recipe note)
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Step by Step
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with butter or cooking spray.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.  Place the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or place ingredients in a bowl to use a  hand mixer.  Beat on medium speed until creamy.  Slowly add the flour mixture and blend until incorporated.  Use a wooden spoon or spatula to fold in the oats.  The mixture will be crumbly.  Transfer half (about three cups) of the mixture to the baking dish.  Use your fingers to gently press and spread the mixture evenly on the bottom of the baking dish.  Bake for 10 minutes to set.

While the first layer is baking, place the caramels and milk in a small saucepan.  Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the caramels are melted.  Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

Remove the crust from the oven.  Sprinkle the chocolate chips and pecans (if using) evenly over they top.  Carefully pour the caramel mixture on top of the chocolate chips and nuts, and spread evenly.  Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture over the top.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned.  Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.  Then refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until the bars are set.  Cut into two inch squares.


  1. SWEET! ;-) Love your background to "test taking!" :-)

  2. Wow! These look amazing. And count me in for group projects! I couldn't agree more.

  3. my all time favorite little kitchen dessert! these are amazing!

    and... i think you might have been refernecing our "study sessions" the last 3 years of college. collaboration and candy... the only way we got through it. xo

  4. I want one now! These look incredible.

  5. I use to make a similar bar cookie with my mom and I have not been able to find the recipe. I must try these. They look delicious.

  6. These look incredibly sinful and I am certain I could not stop at just one. I am so glad you stopped by my website. Look forward to keeping in touch. Take care, BAM

  7. These look incredible. Thank you for sharing a great looking cookbook. I'm always looking for a new one!

  8. Wow, this look great...so flavorful with the caramel layer.
    Thanks for this recipe and hope you are having a wonderful week Ashlea :)

  9. Ooooh, that caramel layer looks awesome! I'm sure they are crumbly, sweet, sticky, and wonderful!

  10. OMG!!! I am drooling here, wow what a punch of sweet!! gotta have!

  11. And you say writing isn't your thing???? This is lovely and I feel exactly the same way!

  12. These bars are taking oatmeal to another level! I love them :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  13. Ashlea! My best friend came in town shortly after you posted this. She loves Carmel, chocolate, and coconut... I made these bars and added coconut. They were so delicious! Thanks for another great recipe!! Love every one I try!

    1. So glad to hear it! Im not a shredded coconut fan, but I can imagine it would go perfectly.

  14. I miss my little kitchen updates! Are you coming back soon?!

    1. Hi Laura, sorry for the delay but I'm back! Thanks for reading.