Chocolate Chip Carmelitas

Plate of carmelitos

I had clipped out this recipe a year or so ago and recently rediscovered it. The recipe is by Louis Lambert, a chef in Texas. He first made these Carmelitos for Lady Bird Johnson. Since then many presidents including Clinton and both George and George W. Bush have tasted these decadent bars. They are full of chocolate hips, pecans and dulce de leche.

It made so many that I took a sampling everywhere I went it. The great thing is it looked really
sweet but wasn’t. I used canned Dulce de Leche but next time will make it from scratch. There
really is no comparison.

3 cups plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 sticks (1 pound) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
2 1/4 cups light brown sugar
One 16-ounce jar dulce de leche (1 1/2 cups); see Note
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped pecans

carmelitos in progress

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Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter a 9-by-13-inch metal baking pan. In a large bowl, whisk 3 cups of the flour with the baking soda and salt. Add the butter, oats and brown sugar and mix until combined. In a small bowl, mix the dulce de leche with the remaining 3 tablespoons of flour.


Pat half of the oat mixture into the baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Scatter half of the chocolate chips and pecans over the crust. Dollop half of the dulce de leche mixture on top. Crumble the remaining oat mixture evenly into the pan. Cover with the remaining chocolate chips, pecans and dulce de leche. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until the edges are set. Let stand uncovered at room temperature overnight. Cut the carmelitas into bars and serve.

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