Monday, August 4, 2008


It doesn’t take much to talk me into baking. Someone at work made an off-handed comment about how she deserved some cookies, and that was enough to send me to my kitchen. I had tucked away this recipe from Food and Wine’s March 2007 issue. These are Texas-standard cookie bars, but I had never baked them. I’ve eaten carmelitas from Whole Foods, and theirs are fantastic. They’re very dense and filling but deliciously so. The chewy layers of chocolate chips, pecans, and caramel make it hard to stop with just a dainty bite.

While shopping for ingredients, I was reminded that dulce de leche is also known as cajeta. I thought it would be easy enough to locate, but two grocery stores later, I finally found it near the peanut butter and nutella. You can also make your own from sweetened condensed milk. The brand I bought is made from goat’s milk, but others are made from cow’s milk. I could have happily sat down with the jar and a spoon and called it a day, but instead I assembled and baked the carmelitas.

The dough comes together quickly, and the half used for the base gets pre-baked. Then, the other ingredients and crumbled remaining dough are layered on top, and the pan is returned to the oven. There is a curious instruction about leaving the pan to cool and letting it sit uncovered at room temperature overnight. Uncovered all night long? I couldn’t do it. We have a cat, and who knows what other creatures could have found their way into the carmelitas overnight? I left it for several hours and then covered the pan before going to sleep. Maybe being left uncovered overnight makes for a firmer cookie bar. Mine were a little crunchy on the bottom, yielding in the middle, and just slightly firmer on top, and I was quite pleased with my result. I brought the cookie bars to work, and happy munching ensued.


  1. This looks so unbelievably good. My family will love these treats.....Great blog you have here too!

  2. love carmelitas! except i thought the caption read "chocolate chip, oatmeal carnitas..." at first. gross. after i realized i was crazy, i thought yum!

  3. Those looks so incredibly delicious - I tend to like anything with dulce de leche.

  4. Oh, hello delicious carmelitas!!! I've got to give these a try!

  5. saw these on your blog the other day and decided to make them tonight. just out of the oven!

    one of my housemates came downstairs and said they smelled great -- i told him he had to wait until tomorrow, haha. :) hoping they end up as yummy as yours look!


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