A couple of weeks ago my husband went with me to Whole Foods and found the cookie case. I'd never even seen the cookie case - leave it up to my husband to find the cookies. Cookies are not usually my thing, but there was one that caught my eye. The Carmeltia Bar. And it was pretty much the most wonderful thing I have ever eaten. I knew I could recreate them without the white flour, white sugar, and whatever additives might be lurking in them. So I did, and they are even more amazing than the original.
1 c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
2 ½ c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 c. oats
1 c. salted caramel
1 c. chocolate chips
¾ c. pecans, chopped
Ingredients for Salted Caramel:
1 c. sugar
¼ c. water
6 TBS. unsalted butter
½ c. heavy cream
1 ½ tsp. salt
It's best if you can make the salted caramel a few hours in advance or even the day before. It will thicken up if it has a chance to sit. Believe it or not, this caramel freezes and defrosts beautifully. I usually make a large batch and keep it in my freezer for whenever I need it.
Add the sugar and water to a saucepan over medium heat. Stir it until the sugar dissolves, but stop when it starts boiling.
Let the mixture boil for several minutes until it turns a dark amber color. I used coconut sugar, which is naturally dark, and it got darker still. Then, add the butter.
Whisk the butter in so it all melts. As soon as it is completely melted, turn off the heat. Add the heavy cream and salt and continue whisking.
Once the remaining ingredients are incorporated, stop and set the pan aside. Let it cool for a couple of minutes, and pour the syrup into a glass jar. The batch makes about 12 ounces, so you will have some left over after making the bars.
Now you are ready to make the Salted Carmelita Bars.
Cream the butter and sugar together with a stand or hand mixer.
Mix in the flour ½ cup at a time. I use freshly ground flour from my Wondermill.
Add in the baking soda, salt, and oats. Mix again until it is just combined.
The dough will be a little crumbly. Take half of the dough and press it into a well-greased 9x13" baking pan so that there are no cracks.
Bake in a preheated 350° F oven for 10 minutes. Remove and pour on the salted caramel, then the chocolate chips and pecans. The chocolate chips I use are 70% dark chocolate from Chatfield's; they are dairy, nut, and soy-free and have no additives!
Crumble the remaining half of the dough over the top.
Put it back in the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Let it the bars cool at room temperature, and then put them in the refrigerator for at least an hour. This makes them much easier to cut.
The bar on the left is a Carmelita Bar from Whole Foods. The one on the left is my Salted Carmelita Bar. They look pretty similar!
These are all mine!
Store covered in the fridge. Enjoy!!
Printable: Salted Carmelita Bars