Salted Carmelita Bars

Salted Carmelita Bars
Yields 24
  1. 1 cup sugar
  2. 1/4 cup water
  3. 1/2 cup heavy cream
  4. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  5. 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt
  6. 2 cups flour
  7. 2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
  8. 1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  9. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  10. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  11. 1 cup butter, melted
  12. One 12-ounce package semisweet chocolate chips
  13. 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  1. In a small saucepan combine the sugar and the water. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Place the saucepan over medium-high heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Using a pastry brush dipped in cold water, brush down any sugar particles that cling to the side of the pan. Continue to boil until the sugar caramelizes and turns a deep amber color, being careful not to let it get too dark and burn.
  2. Place the saucepan in the bottom of the sink. Carefully pour the cream into the melted sugar. The sugar will bubble violently and give off steam. Return the saucepan to low heat and stir until the caramel is dissolved and smooth. Add the butter and stir until melted. Add the teaspoon of flaky sea salt and set the caramel aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, baking soda and teaspoon of salt. Stir until combined. Add the melted butter, stirring until mixture is crumbly.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13 X 9 baking pan with foil. Spray the lined pan with canola oil cooking spray.
  5. Reserve half of the mixture (about 2 3/4 cups) and press the remaining mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Sprinkle the chocolate chips and the pecans evenly over the crumb mixture.
  6. Drizzle the caramel over the chocolate and nuts. Sprinkle evenly with reserved crumb mixture.
  7. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.
  8. Remove the foil from the pan. Cut into bars.
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