This recipe is 47 years old. It was the 1967 18th Pillsbury Bake-off winning recipe, created by Erlyce Larson from Kennedy, Minnesota.
In fact, it’s quite a popular recipe, but I share it with you under protest. Well, maybe not protest, because I’ve been making them for years and years…and they are actually a favorite of mine.
So, let me be clear.
I’ve never understood the name.
…and….I’m not sure I like it.
It’s kind of like my name.
I’ve grown accustomed throughout the years, that when I’m introduced to someone new…. We shake hands, and right at that same moment, I receive a confused look from the other person, and they say … “I’m sorry, what is your name?” … “Prudy or Pru” I’ll answer… “Prudence”. It never fails, they say my name a couple of times as if they’re trying on a pair of shoes that they’re not sure that will fit them right. Sometimes it rolls off their tongue easily… and then there are people who truly struggle.
Trudy, Judy, Purdy, and Pam. I’ve been called all of these, many, many times.
I understand that.
It’s a different name that their brain can’t wrap itself around, so the signals to the tongue get all mixed up.
So, like those people who struggle with my name, I have struggled with the Oatmeal Caramelita name. In my simple mind, it just doesn’t fit. All I want to ask is “Erlyce, my friend… what made you come up with that name?”
I mean, I know why my parents came up with my name. I was named after my beautiful grandmother, Prudence.
The fact that I don’t care for the name is truly nothing against Erlyce. She’s probably a very nice lady…and we’d probably be great friends (Well, maybe not after I’ve just rejected her cookie name publicly…I’m so sorry Erlyce) if we ever met. And like I said, the name has no impact on my admiration for the cookie bar itself. I love it.
I don’t know why I don’t like the name, I just cannot explain it. Maybe it’s because the chocolate chips and walnuts are nowhere referenced in the name. Maybe because my brain puts the “ita” with a fruity frozen drink, or a pretty girl’s name…but not an oatmeal caramel chocolate chip nut bar.
I’m sure Erlyce worked hard to come up with a name for her cookie bars.
Or maybe she didn’t. Maybe she knew instantly…
Maybe her daughter’s name is Caramelita. Or maybe her grandmother’s.
Or maybe the word caramelita sounded exotic to her.
I respect that.
I respect all of that.
Trust me. Coming from a girl with a funny name myself, I know that I don’t have much room to talk.
I don’t know….I guess that Erlyce picked that name because she loved it….and since they’ve been caramelitas for 47 years, I can’t see any other name for them. I suppose it does fit. It’s just hard to roll off my tongue.
I guess that it doesn’t really matter what they’re called…they are a delicious cookie bar…and…I’ll still continue to make them, because I love them. And truly… the oatmeal and caramel are the stars of the show.
So, I’ll just grin and bear the name… Oatmeal Caramelita… and say it a few times, hoping that my brain and tongue will finally agree….while I enjoy every last bite of them.
And today I’m sharing this recipe at Angie’s Fiesta Friday #26, where I happen to be co-hosting with Jess from Cooking is My Sport! I am so thrilled to be co-hosting with Jess. This beautiful girl is truly inspirational with all of her amazing recipes..and the stories that she shares with her recipes are always fun, but passionate at the same time. Her words show the love that she has for cooking.
A special thank you to Angie for hosting Fiesta Friday! Now here is a girl who is truly an artist when it comes to the culinary scene. Angie’s blog, The Novice Gardener, is just beautiful. Not only are her recipes delicious, but they’re show stoppers… Awe inspiring.
I hope that you’ll stop by and see all of the delicious recipes that everyone has brought to the table this week!
….AND….If you are a blogger and haven’t had the chance to link up, now is the time! If you are new to this party, or even new to blogging…we welcome you to join us! It is a wonderful way to meet other blogger friends, and gain exposure and views! Please feel free to contact me, Jess, or Angie if you have any questions! We are here to help, and look forward to meeting you!!
Life is good…it’s a “You can’t judge a book by it’s
cover name. What’s inside…truly…is what matters…” kind of good.
Makes a 9×13” pan
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 – 1/4 cups margarine or butter, melted
14 ounces caramel candies, unwrapped
½ cup evaporated milk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish; set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and salt and oats. Pour in the melted butter, and stir until you have a crumbly mixture.
Press half of the crust mixture into the baking dish into an even layer. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from oven. Sprinkle the chocolate chips and walnuts over the baked crust.
While the dough is baking, combine the evaporated milk and caramels in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir the mixture constantly until all the caramels are melted into a thick sauce. Let sit at room temperature until the crust comes out of the oven. It doesn’t have to cool completely!
Pour the caramel sauce over the chocolate chips and nuts. I usually pour it in rows, so that it covers the whole top. Don’t drive yourself crazy trying to spread it with a spatula…the caramel will melt and it will end up spreading!
Sprinkle the remaining dough over the caramel, so that it covers the whole top.
Bake until the top is golden brown, about another 15 minutes or so. Remove from oven, and let cool completely.
Cut into squares. These can be kept at room temperature if you like them softer…or in the refrigerator if you like them a little on the harder side. Personally, I like them at room temperature!