This past Saturday I sold food at a Craft Bazaar. It's a pretty amazing cause as 5% of the vendor's profit helps families adopt children. The Adoption Connection sponsors the event, which is a group of families within our church body who have either adopted or are looking to adopt children. I got involved in this four years ago by selling homemade chili and my baked goods. As the years have progressed, so have the Health Department's operating procedures for permits and what you can and cannot sell at bazaars.
This dials out to me not selling any soup next year, because I could only sell soup from a can. Unless of course, I wanted to pay an $85 dollar permit for a one day event, then I could make soup from scratch. But anyone who's ever worked in selling food knows that the permit plus cost of food and packaging would not meet the overhead costs. I have done baked goods every year though and my oatmeal carmelitas are a permanent fixture on the menu. People can't get enough of these and you truly cannot have just one bite.
It's the gooey goodness of the caramel, the richness & texture of biting into the chocolate chips, and the buttery, salty, crumble of the compacted crust. Yes, it's seriously that good. I'm salivating just thinking about them. I have realized that food not only has to taste good, but have a wonderful texture to keep me wanting more...especially desserts.
There's a couple other reasons they're so gosh darn good.
- One they're not time consuming, but people will think you slaved in the kitchen.
- Two, they're bar cookies (I'm totally a fan of the bar cookie if I know they can taste better than a drop cookie--time saver).
- Three, when people eat them, they're one of those sweet treats that make people's eyes pop and then the, "OHHH MY Goodness! (with a MMMM added in)"
I implore you to add these to your shopping list, holiday baking, or simply because you need to eat sweet oatmeal love with caramel & chocolate.
Crust mixed together
Bottom crust baked for 10 minutes
The caramel and chocolate chip filling
Top crust and ready to bake for 18-22 minutes.
Oatmeal Carmelitas (printable recipe)
I have been making these for over many, many years now and they're ALWAYS a hit. The recipe came from a college housemate's cookbook, but I don't know the original source. Whoever it was is genius.
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups quick cooking oats
1 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
12 ounce caramel ice cream topping
3 Tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper. Combine all of the crust ingredients into a large bowl and mix together on low speed until nice and crumbly. It should resemble a fruit crisp topping. Put about 1 1/2 - 2 cups of the mixture into the parchment lined pan. Your pan should have a layer of packed in crust without making it too thick and not ultra thin. Bake this for 10 minutes.
While the bottom crust is cooking, combine the caramel topping with the 3 tablespoons of flour, till no streaks are left. Once the 10 minutes are up and you've removed the pan from the oven. Sprinkle the 1 cup of chocolate chips over the half-baked crust. Then, drizzle the caramel syrup as evenly as possible over the chocolate chips. Take the remaining crust mixture, using your hands and crumble over the filling mixture. You want to try and cover all of the caramel and chocolate chips as if you're sealing them in.
Return the pan to the oven and bake for 18-22 minutes. Cool to room temperature on a cooling rack. Once cooled, cover and put in refrigerator for 2 hours. Cut into bars as big or small as you'd like and relish the goodness.
**The original recipe uses walnuts or pecans as well in the filling, but I never put them in. I think it's about a 1/2 cup of chopped nuts if you'd like to add them. You might want to toast them to make them even better.
**I have interchanged rolled oats with quick oats and I think the quick oats produces a better texture. However, it's not a big deal at all if you only have rolled on hand.