Monday, November 19, 2012

Fleur de Sel Caramel Carmelita Bars | Secret Recipe Club

It is Secret Recipe Club time again.  Boy how time flies.  Not familiar with secret recipe club, well let me let you in on the secret.  No pun intended.  Wink. Smile.  It is a group of talented food bloggers who are paired monthly with another blogger in the group.  You have time to browse through your assigned blogger’s blog to find the perfect recipe that you want to make.  When reveal day comes along, you can see who was matched with you and what recipe they chose from your blog.  It is so much fun to see what folks select and how they adapt it to their own personal style.

This month I was assigned to Danielle from Hugs & Cookiesxoxo. She is a mom to two wonderful boys named Jaden and Jakey and she calls her husband - "Prince Charming" - that is super cute.  She teaches first grade and loves baking, cooking, blogging and spending time with her beautiful family. She has numerous recipes that are tantalizing and can cure any sweet tooth.  After browsing through her blog several times, I kept coming back to the Carmelita Bars.  They have been on my list for quite sometime and this was the perfect opportunity to make them.

Caramel is one of my favorite things.  After analyzing the recipe, I thought I would create my own caramel squares versus the ones from the store.  The fleur de sel caramels recipe is from InaGarten of the Barefoot Contessa fame and as like the Carmelita bars, that recipe had been a “must make” for quite some time.  If you click here, you can see my post for the fleur de sel and I have also included in this post.  I must warn you, it is highly addictive.  Smile.

I brought these Carmelita Bars to one of my offices the next day and they flew off the plate like wild fire.  In fact one person in the office, who shall remain nameless, ate over 10 of them that day. I am sure they hit the gym after work.  Smile.

Fleur de Sel Caramel Carmelita Bars

2 cups flour 
2 cups quick cooking rolled oats 
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar 
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, melted
16 fleur de sel caramels (see recipe below)
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350º. Grease 9 x 13 inch pan.

In large bowl, combine flour, oatmeal, sugar, soda and salt. Stir to blend. Add melted butter and mix till well combined. Reserve half the crumbs, about 3 cups. Press remaining crumbs into bottom of pan. 

Cut the fleur de sel caramels into small pieces and spread over the bottom layer of the crumb mixture. Sprinkle crust with chocolate chips and pecans then top with reserved crumbs, pressing gently to secure.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or till golden brown. Cool at least one hour before cutting.

Fleur de Sel Caramels

Vegetable oil
1 ½ cups sugar
¼ cup light corn syrup
1 sup heavy cream
5 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon fine fleur de sel, plus extra for sprinkling
1 teaspoon vanilla

Line an 8 inch square pan with parchment paper and brush the paper with oil, while allowing the paper to drape over 2 sides.

In a deep saucepan combine ¼ cup water, the sugar and corn syrup and bring them to a boil over medium-high heat.  Boil until the mixture is a warm golden brown.  Don’t stir; just swirl the pan to mix.  Watch carefully, as it will burn quickly towards the end.

In the meantime, in a small pan, bring the cream, butter and 1 teaspoon of fleur de Sel to a simmer over medium heat.  Turn off the heat and set aside.

When the sugar mixture is a warm golden color, turn off the heat and slowly add the cream mixture to the sugar mixture.  Be very careful, it will bubble up violently.  Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon and cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes reaches 248 degrees (firm ball) on a candy thermometer.  Very carefully pour the caramel into the prepared pan and refrigerate for a few hours, until firm.

When the caramels are cold, pry the sheet from the pan onto a cutting board.  Cut the sheet in half.  Starting with the long side, roll into one piece of the caramel up tightly into an 8 inch log.  Repeat with the second piece.  Sprinkle both logs with fleur de sel, trim the ends, and cut each log in 8 pieces.  Cut glassine or parchment papers into 4 x 5 inch pieces and wrap each caramel individually, twisting the ends.  Store in the refrigerator and serve the caramels chilled.


  1. Oh, my. Oatmeal Caramelitas are one of my guilty pleasures! You've made them EVEN better!

  2. So very nice to be assigned your blog. Loved the chopped salad!

  3. Love! These look insanely good. An awesome SRC choice!

  4. Waht a great choice, Lisa!! I thought about you this weekend because I'm thinking about making those wonderful pumpkin rolls for Thanksgiving...

  5. Mmmm...these sound like heaven and so rich... If "unsaid" person didn't work out that afternoon...well, he/she will have to skip Thursday!

  6. Heavenly. These just sound mouth watering!

  7. Just gotta get the drool off the keyboard...

  8. I love anything with fleur de sel. These are stunning!

  9. These look amazing! I might have to scrap my original Thanksgiving dessert plan to make these! :)

  10. Oh wow, these look really good! So many desserts, I want to make them all!

  11. 10 of these bars in one day?! Oh my goodness, that makes me laugh! What incredible bars, a perfect use for those caramels! :)

  12. Geogeous! Will try them next weekend!

  13. these look incredible and thank u for the kind words-i must make those caramels-have been on my to do list, too!!! xoxo

  14. Gorgeous bar cookies Lisa, I like your recipe selection....sounds like your co-workers are crazy about it too;-)

  15. Oh, my gosh. I thought I was in heaven with the caramels--you had to go and make these bars. I don't blame your coworker for eating 10 of these--they look that good! I demand an invitation the next time you make these. :)

  16. When you start the recipe with "fleur de sel," that is quite dangerous! I think I am in love with these bars! The Secret Recipe Club is a group of talented food bloggers / cooks. It's so refreshing to see many delicious recipes in one place!

  17. These bars look incredible, Lisa. I think your coworkers are pretty lucky to have you and your treats:)

  18. I'm literally drooling over here! These look incredible. I'm not sure I would even share these :)

  19. I'd definitely eat 10 of these too! (Possibly more!) :D They look highly addictive.

  20. Not surprised that these flew off the, how scrumptious!

  21. i'm so totally jealous of your co-workers, especially the person that ate 10 and I had none. Life is definitely not fair.

  22. Excellent post! Love your writing and photography... can't wait to try making this recipe for myself!

  23. I don't think I've ever had a carmelita bar - totally missing out! You are that deliciously evil person who brings irresistible treats to the office - I miss that about working in an office :) Happy Thanksgiving, Lisa!

  24. What an amazing recipe, I would probably eat 10 too but please keep me un-named also :). I'm just not sure if I was making them that the caramels would last long enough to make it into the bars!

  25. Dear all, happy Thanksgiving eve!
    I feel a bit sad that here it’s just another work day (with back to back meetings).
    Would love to hear what you cooked.

    All the best from the Netherlands!

  26. muy buenos los haremos te invito a ver mi blog.
    Un saludo desde españa.

  27. I have always wanted to try carmalitas, but never have. These look heavenly!

  28. Be still my heart, fluer de sel caramels...I can't blame your co-worker for eating 10 of these. I can never make these or I'll be eating all of them.


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