Thursday, June 5, 2014

Carmelitas for a Crowd

Hello everyone!! Today I'm sharing my "go to" cookie bar recipe with you -
CARMELITAS!  Every time I make it for a function, everyone wants the
recipe!! It's perfect for any parties or get togethers, and you never have to
worry about bringing the leftovers home, because there won't be any!!

This is a really easy recipe! The hardest part for me is opening all those
caramels! I always recruit help for that!!

Any Bar Cookie can be Fancied up for a Tea Party simply by
cutting them into smaller squares and placing them into pretty
Petits Four or cupcake liners, which I've done here. 

Makes 54 Bars


3 cups quick oats
3 3/4 cups AP flour
2 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 pound (4 sticks) plus 4 tbsp butter, melted
2 pounds caramels
8 tbsp half-and-half
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chip morsels
(2 cups chopped pecans - optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the quick oats, flour, brown sugar, salt, and baking 
soda in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Add the melted butter
and mix well. Divide the oatmeal mixture in half. Press one half
of this dough into an ungreased 13X18-inch sheet cake pan. 
Bake for 10-14 minutes, until light golden brown.

Meanwhile, melt the caramels and half-and-half in a 2 quart
microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high at 1 minute intervals,
stirring in between, until smooth and creamy. Reserve about
1/3 of the caramel mixture and pour the remaining over the
oatmeal mixture. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the caramel.
Crumble the remaining oatmeal mixture on top and drizzle with
the reserved caramel.

Return the pan to the oven and bake 12 minutes more, until
light golden brown. Cool the Carmelitas completely before
slicing into 2-inch bars. (**The bars freeze well for up to
1 month.)  Lining a pan of bar cookies with parchment
paper will make it easier to remove them to the work
surface where they can be cut more precisely.

This recipe can be halved if you don't need quite so many

I've been baking a lot lately, including Tea Party sweets for 120 ladies,
and Carmelitas for a Graduation Party!!

The Tea Party was lovely and each table was beautifully decorated by
a group of ladies who brought their own china and tableware from home.
I unfortunately didn't get many pictures - most turned out blurry because
I was in such a hurry!! I only got one pre-party photo of the Lemon Tea
Cookies that I made!! Here are some of the pictures.....

The tables were beautiful, don't you think?!

So glad you stopped by!! Hope you have a chance to try the recipe!!


  1. I missed your posts so much! Glad you came back with something great, as always :)
    Lemon tea cookies look gorgeous and the first table is so elegant! :D
    Maybe I'll try the recipe after my exams... more or less next month :'( meanwhile, could you please tell me what is half and half? Thank you! Hope you'll give us soon other fantastic pins and recipes!

    1. Thanks so much Laura, you're so sweet!! I've missed posting very much! Sometime's when life gets so hectic, my blog takes last place! I'm afraid I'm not so good at multi-tasking! I've got dozens of ideas for posts that I want to get to, so hopefully that will happen very soon!! Half and half is a light cream, not heavy cream or whipping cream. I think some countries call it single cream. Hope that helps! I appreciate your comments so much Laura!! I think next, I want to give your Amaretti recipe a try!! xoxo!!! Jina

    2. Oh, I understand, it's the same to me, when I have no time even for myself I do not post on my blog XD Thanks for the advice, you're so kind!! :D

  2. The tables are beautiful ~it must have been fun to go.

    Thanks also for the recipe! They look delicious as always.

    1. It was a very lovely Tea Party! Everything was gorgeous and it was fun to help!! These bar cookies are wonderful!! I know that you are a very busy lady and I always appreciate your visits!! xo!! Jina

  3. You always have the most delicious things on your blog. Love it all!!

    Happy weekend,

    Madelief x

  4. Yay, you have posted another blog!! I love drooling over your gorgeous cooking and have missed it. Wow, what a tea party.....the tables are decorated beautifully and with such attention to detail. The peoople who went to it were very lucky!

  5. Gorgeous table decorations thank you sharing.

  6. Thank you for the delicious recipe! I am making this for a church function one day ahead (for 40 people). So how should I store the carmelitas until the next day? At room temperature, in the refrigerator, or freeze them? Thank you so much!

    1. I would chill them in the freezer or refrigerator before cutting them into squares. They're much easier to cut if chilled. Then you can leave them out at room temperature until you need them. I know that everyone will love them!! Thank you!!