Holiday Gift Blitz: Caramelitas

31 Dec

When I first saw Kelsey Nixon on the Next Food Network Star, I have to admit that I thought she was wildly annoying–like a twelve-year-old teacher’s pet I would never want to watch on tv. Yet I absolutely love her new show, Kelsey’s Essentials, on the Cooking Channel. Charles and I watched her holiday gift episode (where she made her own vanilla extract with vanilla beans and vodka!), and as she was making these little guys, we kept looking at each other and saying “Holy shit–that looks delicious.” We had to make our own salted caramel sauce and try these out!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 3/4 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 1/2 cups Salted Caramel Sauce, recipe follows
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons flour
SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon gray sea salt, crushed or kosher salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 by 13-inch pan.Combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, and softened butter in the bowl of a mixer. Mix on low until crumbly. Divide the mixture into 2 equal portions.

Press half the crumb mixture in the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove and cool slightly.

Sprinkle the chocolate chips, and chopped pecans over the cooled crust.

Mix the salted caramel sauce, and flour together, and drizzle over the chocolate chips, and nuts. Top with the remaining crumb mixture.

Return to the oven and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until the crust starts to brown. Allow the pan to cool, and refrigerate it until the caramel filling is set.

Cut into bars and serve.

I made these into gift bags for a few folks (until they ran out!):

There was *so* much butter in here that I’m not sure I’d make them again, although they were really delicious. I will most definitely make the salted caramel sauce again and try the salted caramel milkshake (gasp!!).

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One Response to “Holiday Gift Blitz: Caramelitas”

  1. Rebecca January 6, 2011 at 11:48 pm #

    I know my comment is a little late, but I just have to say: I think this might be the Best Thing I Ever Ate.

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