I go through phases where I get really, really addicted to Pinterest. I think it’s a Pokemon-esque thing where I have to get ALL the best pins for a certain topic, and currently, I have 44 boards. (Sigh.)
One of my more epic boards is the Noms for MY Belly collection, where I throw random recipes that maybe I’ll make one day. See, I tend to be kind of domestically challenged. Don’t get me wrong–I can cook, but my attention span stinks and there’s nothing worse than taking an hour to create something when I just get bored a quarter of the way into the process. (Like, do I really need four bowls to make this? And I have to hand chop this chocolate!?)
So, I tend to stick to recipes that I can throw together in fifteen minutes or less but still taste amazing.
For my plethora of cookouts yesterday, I decided to make Carmelitas. These bar cookies have brown sugar/oatmeal crusts and are stuffed with caramel and melted chocolate. They’re so good, you’ll just stand over the pan (piping hot from the oven) and eat spoonfuls because you want to make sure they’re not “poisoned”.
Here’s the official recipe from Pillsbury, and here’s the Pinterest version but I’m gonna break it down and tell you exactly how I did it. (It will be the way that cuts the most corners but still turns out good.)
Carmelitas–a Goopy Masterpiece
Stuff You Probably Have at Home:
2 Cups of Flour
2 teaspoons of Baking Soda
1.5 Cups of Brown Sugar
1.5 Cups of Melted Butter
a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
Stuff You Probably Will Have to Buy at the Store:
2 Cups of Rolled Oats
(okay, this one took me awhile to figure out. What the heck are ROLLED oats? After six minutes of staring at the wall of oatmeal, I just got a canister of the regular Quaker Oatmeal and hoped for the best.)
64 unwrapped Caramel Squares and 1 cup of heavy cream.
Uh. Yeah. No. That junk is expensive, and I didn’t feel like trying melt caramel AND clean it up. So, instead:
1 bottle of Caramel syrup (from the ice cream topping aisle)
So, preheat your oven for 350, and stick the butter in the microwave and jab the buttons over and over until it melts. (After two minutes of staring at the sticks of butter, and trying to calculate how many sticks are 1.5 cups, I finally gave up and just did 1.5 sticks. That sounds right…? Don’t yell at me, Meg!)
In a bowl, mix together the brown sugar, flour, baking soda, rolled oats (or oatmeal!), and then the butter PIPING hot out of the microwave. Mash everything together, and then take half of it and press it down on your pan. (9×13!)
Stick in the oven for ten minutes and go watch Gossip Girl.
Come back eleven minutes later because Chuck and Blair were onscreen and you couldn’t stop watching. Take crust out of the oven. (SMELLS SO GOOD. I must be doing this right.)
Take the bag of chocolate chips and
carefully measure out 12 oz dump the entire bag on top of the crust. Spread it around nice and pretty.
Next take your bottle of caramel syrup and
carefully measure out 2.5 cups dump the entire bottle on top of the chocolate chips. Spread it around nice and pretty.
Take the rest of your crumbly oatmeal mixture that you left on the counter and dump it on top of the caramel/chocolate confection. Press it down so you can’t see the caramel.
Stick everything back in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Get distracted by the latest Victoria’s Secret catalog and come running back in after 18 minutes. If you’re lucky, the crust will be a pretty brown color.
Take everything out, and stare at the pan. It’s probably too hot to eat, right? Watch it jiggle suspiciously as you set it on the counter. (Thank God for my granite!) Walk away and swear that you’ll wait until it’s cooled, but then come back three minutes later and scoop out a bite.
It is the best thing you ever tasted. It is also a molten hot mess.
You now have twenty minutes until the BBQ, and the only way this is edible is if people stand over the pan and eat it with spoons (like you’re doing right now).
The original recipe says:
Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting.
*A stint in the fridge will help them cool off if you’re pinched for time. They shouldn’t be served cold, but all of that molten caramel takes a long time to cool down. They should be stored and served at room temperature.
Bring to BBQ with a collection of spoons and watch as your friends pass the pan around and take heaping bites.
You win at baking!
(And, real talk, if you do give it time to cool down, you can cut it into bars and win even further.)