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Oatmeal Carmelitas

Prep time 25 mins
Bake time 30 mins
Yield Makes 24 to 30 bars
Line the pan with nonstick aluminum foil, if desired. Once baked and cooled, lift the foil and the cookie out of the pan. Place on a cutting board, and carefully peel foil away from sides of cookie. Cut into bars.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups uncooked quick-cooking oats
  • 1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 (12-oz.) package semisweet chocolate morsels
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted (optional)
  • 1 (14-oz.) package caramels
  • 1/3 cup half-and-half

How to Make It

  1. Stir together first 5 ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add butter, stirring until mixture is crumbly. Reserve half of mixture (about 2 3/4 cups). Press remaining half of mixture into bottom of a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch pan. Sprinkle evenly with chocolate morsels, and, if desired, pecans.

  2. Microwave caramels and half-and-half in a microwave-safe bowl at MEDIUM (50% power) 3 minutes. Stir and microwave at MEDIUM 1 to 3 more minutes or until mixture is smooth. Let stand 1 minute. Pour evenly over chocolate morsels. Sprinkle evenly with reserved crumb mixture.

  3. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars.