Monday, July 22, 2013

Gluten Free Carmelitas

I admired Carmelita recipes on Pinterest for quite a while before I tried my hand at making them gluten free.  I generally have found cookies made with substitute flours to leave me feeling like I'm eating something weird.  So when I got the idea to use my own tried and true dough,  Ultimate Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, I was pretty hopeful I was on to something good.

I think by all accounts they are quite the decadent bar cookie.

You have a couple options for making them.  If you have a crowd to feed, I'd double the recipe like shown in the photos and use a 9 x 13 pan. Otherwise, you can use an 8x8 or an 9x9.

I have also prepared the recipe just as instructed below in a 9 x13 pan when I'm making it just for our family.  It's not as rich or thick.  If you cut your dough in half once it's prepared you can genreally cover the bottom of the pan with a thin layer of cookie dough only one or two extra tablespoons "borrowed" from the other half. Don't be concerned if it looks too thin, it will rise as it bakes.

Begin by making the cookie dough. And then spread in the bottom of your chosen dish lined with parchment.

Please note that the photo above is a doubled recipe in the 9x13 pan.

I have made this without lining a pan when I used a piece of stoneware and they came out fine, but it is nice to be able to lift the bars out with the parchment, once they are completely cooled and cut them into squares. I have also lifted them out of the pan partially cooled and placed it directly on a cooling rack.  Eliminating the hot glass dish, speeds the process.

While the bottom layer of cookie cooks, prepare your caramel.

Unwrap the caramels and place in small saucepan with whole milk and cook on low heat until melted through and smooth.

After about 10 minutes, pull out the pan and top with chocolate chips and then caramel sauce.

Crumble remaining dough on top and bake for 10-15 more minutes depending on your pan size.

Remove from oven when nice and brown.

You may be tempted to eat these before they cool.  I know. It smells amazing, but it will be better if you  wait.  It will be sweet gooey mess.  Tasty, but really too rich and gooey to enjoy thoroughly.

Cut into squares and serve. You wont' regret the wait. :)

  • 14 oz caramel squares, unwrapped
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup flax seed meal
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional


Combine sugar, brown sugar, and coconut oil in a large bowl. Beat until creamy. Add eggs, vanilla, and baking soda: mix well. Add peanut butter and mix. Stir in the oats, chocolate chips, and nuts if desired.

Pat half of the oatmeal mixture into the bottom of an 8x8" pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.  If you are using a smaller dish, or doubled recipe,you may need a little longer

While it bakes, combine caramels and milk in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until completely smooth; set aside. 

Remove pan from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over crust. Pour caramel mixture over chocolate chips. 

Crumble remaining oatmeal mixture over caramel. Return to oven and bake an additional 10-15 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting.


If you're pinched for time, you can cool the pan in the fridge after it's been out of the oven a while. All of that thick layer of caramel takes a very long time to cool completely. They should be stored and served at room temperature.

***To make a 9x13" version like shown, simply double the amounts.  Can be made with recipe amounts shown above but will result in a thinner cookie bar.

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