Pumpkin Spice Carmelita Bars

The color looks a little too artificially orange, but they sure sound good! Ingredients: 3/4 cup butter, melted (that's 1.5 sticks or 12 tablespoons) 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup flour 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt 11 ounces caramel candies, unwrapped 1/2 cup heavy cream pinch of sea salt 1 cup pumpkin spice baking chips Directions: Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8 or 9-inch baking dish with enough foil to hang over the edges. Spray foil with cooking spray and set aside. Using a large bowl, whisk melted butter, brown sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt, stir just until combined. Transfer approximately half of the dough mixture to the baking dish, use the back of a spoon or a clean hand press the dough down firmly and create an even, flat layer. Bake for 10 minutes and remove from oven. While crust is in the oven, make the caramel sauce by combining the heavy cream and caramels in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir the mixture constantly until all the caramels are melted and you have a thick sauce. (or microwave on high 4-5 minutes until creamy and smooth - stopping at 1 minute intervals, to stir.) Stir in sea salt and set side to cool. Once cookie crust is removed from oven, sprinkle pumpkin spice chips evenly over crust. Then carefully pour caramel sauce over the top, use a spatula to gently spread it to an even layer. Sprinkle remaining half of oatmeal mixture over the caramel layer. Return dish to oven and bake for about 15 to 17 minutes or until the topping is lightly browned. Allow to cool in pan to room temperature or overnight. (you can also cover and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours). Cut into 2-inch squares and serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, use the foil overhang to remove carmelitas from pan. Place on a cutting board, remove foil and cut into squares. Store in airtight container for up to 1 week, or tightly wrap and freeze for several weeks. adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

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