My dad has got an even bigger sweet tooth than I do- if you can believe that. My brothers and I always loved when he went to the store when we were kids because he would always come home with a box of Ding Dongs or Hostess cupcakes. I'm 99% sure that they were more for him than us, and in the end, I think he got more than we did because like Lay's potato chips, one is not enough. I think when Hostess closed their doors, it left a void in his heart that cannot be filled.
That being said, I took three of these Carmelitas to my parent's house last night as a thank you for keeping my two older kids for the night. He took a bite and raised his eyebrows. He inspected the bars a bit closer. He took another bite. He closed his eyes and savored the next bite. He looks at me and states, "Callie... these are almost good enough to make me forget about Hostess." Why, thanks for the compliment, oh master of mass produced cake products.
These bars are ridiculously amazing. Every time I have made them, I have gotten requests for the recipe. Yesterday, I took some into the main office for my work, and someone who missed the delivery route chased me down to get one. Not only will these not disappoint, they will make your wildest sweet tooth dreams come true.
32 caramel squares, unwrapped
1/2 c heavy cream
3/4 c butter, melted
3/4 c brown sugar, packed
1 c flour
1 c rolled oats
1 t baking soda
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
*If you want to make these in a 9x13, double all ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 350.
Place the caramel squares and heavy cream in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Heat and stir until smooth. It took mine about 10-15 minutes.
In another bowl, combine the melted butter, brown sugar, flour, oats, and baking soda. Mix well. Pour half of this mixture into an 8x8 pan. Pat it down. Bake this for ten minutes.
Remove it from the oven and sprinkle on the chocolate chips.
Pour the smooth caramel sauce on top of the chocolate chips.
Crumble the remaining oat mixture over the top.
Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes.
Cool completely, unless you want scalding hot caramel sauce to burn the interior of your mouth. :)
Seriously though, these should be made the night before or several hours before you are going to serve them. The caramel sauce need time to cool and set up properly. The wait may be excruciating, but it'll be worth it in the end.