The title of this post could also be:
The only thing stopping my husband from being vegan…
Oh Carmelitas… How I love and hate thee.
So tasty. So easy to make. So tasty.
I think I made these off of a Pinterest whim. I know a lot of people say mean things about Pinterest because it is apparently trendy to post things and not try them - well, I actually try a lot of things I pin to my wall. I know other people who do too. Yes, they're related - so maybe we're all the odd ones out, but… oh yes, we're always the odd ones out. It all makes sense.
This recipe is originally from a blog called, Lulu the Baker. I'm not sure if it's her recipe, but that's where I found it. I'm going to be honest - I've tweaked it here and there to see if improvements could be made, but it needs no improvement.
Switching the ingredients to gluten free was for my son, so he could be part of the sweet sweet torture that is smelling the Carmelitas baking and waiting 6 or more hours to finally taste them!
If you want to swap out the gluten free ingredients for run-of-the-mill, already-in-your-cupboard ingredients, knock yourself out! The measurements are all the same, you'll be just fine.
Gluten Free Carmelitas
Preheat oven to 350
3/4 cup butter (melted)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup gluten free flour mix (I used Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Blend)
1 cup oats (Bob's Red Mill gluten free oats)
1 tsp baking soda
Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl, add butter and mix thoroughly. It will be kind of crumbly, don't fret.
Press half the mixture into an 8X8 glass pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 minutes.
This doubles nicely in a larger pan, and I've even done 1 + 1/2 recipe to fill an 11X7 pan. All variations have been excellent - just slightly thicker or thinner crust.
1 package of Kraft Caramels (32 little squares), unwrapped*
1/2 cup heavy cream (whipping cream)
While bottom crust of squares are baking, unwrap the caramels and add them to a medium saucepan. Warm the cream and caramels together on medium (medium high if you pay attention) until all the caramels are melted. Stir frequently. Once it's consistently smooth, set aside.
*You can make this recipe with homemade caramel. I haven't tried yet, because I've made homemade caramel and it takes an hour! I also don't think I could resist eating a grand portion of the caramel before it made it to the squares…. so I've taken the kraft caramel route thus far*
Once your crust is out of the oven - let it cool for a few minutes.
1 cup chocolate chips
Evenly spread chocolate chips over crust. Carefully pour warm caramel over the chocolate chips. It should level itself out, but it doesn't hurt to pour it evenly now does it? Crumble the remaining oat mixture over the top. Take a nice handful, and crumble it evenly over the whole thing. Don't pat it down or try to make it smooth.
Place pan back in the oven for another 20 minutes.
This will take FOREVER to cool down. FOREVER. Just make it at night and leave it for the next day. Don't torture yourself by checking the pan to see if it's cooled yet. It won't be cool. Don't put it in the fridge. Don't go crazy. Just be prepared to wait.
I place a clean dishtowel over mine for the night, and have an unstoppable reason to get up early the next day. These freeze wonderfully, so go ahead and make a batch - cut them up and save some for the next time you have company coming by. They always impress and are truly one of the best squares I've had the pleasure of tasting. Tasting again and again and again……