Cranberry Chocolate Carmelitas with Vanilla Rose Caramel

Any recipe that starts with butter, sugar, and cream is usually a dietary turn-off, but, believe me, these carmelitas are worth the extra mile run or Zumba class.

This recipe is somewhat of a process. It starts with making fresh caramel, then baking a crust, layering on the fresh caramel, and then baking it with a crumbly top crust.

To make it easier, you can totally skip the caramel making part. You can just as easily buy a bag of store caramel and melt it with about a 1/2 cup of heavy cream for the same effect.

Side note: Rose essence is different from rose water. Essense is concentrated rose so you get more flavor with less of an amount. A little goes a LONG way – adding too many essense can easily overpower your dish.

Planning to make this recipe?

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INGREDIENTS

caramel

  • Unsalted Butter, 1 ½ sticks
  • Heavy Cream, 1 cup
  • Honey, 1/3 cup
  • Warm Water, 1/8 cup
  • Sugar, 1 cup
  • Vanilla Extract, 1 tsp
  • Rose Essence, 1/2 tsp

 crust/topping

  • Unsalted Butter, 1 ½ sticks, melted
  • Light Brown Sugar, 1/2 cup
  • AP Flour, 1 1/2 cup
  • Rolled Oats, 1 cup
  • Baking Soda, 1 tsp
  • Salt, 1/2 tsp
  • Chocolate Chips, 1/2 cup
  • Dried Cranberries, 1/4 cup

HOW TO MAKE IT

Start by making the caramel. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper then spray it with oil. In a small saucepan on medium heat, add in the butter and cream. Stir until the butter completely melts. Set aside. In another saucepan, add the honey, warm water, and sugar. Mix this so that it gets pasty. Now turn on the heat to medium and let this cook for about 8-10 minutes or until a light caramel color forms. Once the color forms, reduce the heat to low and slowly whisk in the butter/cream. Once evenly whisked together, increase the heat to medium and let cook for another 10 minutes or until a darker caramel color forms. Remove from heat and add in the vanilla and rose. Immediately pour this into the greased/lined 8×8 pan. Lightly tap the pan on the countertop to release any air pockets. Sprinkle a little sea salt on top then let this cool in the fridge.

While the caramel cools (at least 1 hour), take a break and then let’s make the carmelita crust and topping. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, add the melted butter and brown sugar. Mix this so it combines. Now add in the flour, rolled oats, and baking soda. Mix this so it forms a crumbly consistency.

Take half of the mixture and press it into a greased 8×8 pan using a spatula. Bake this for 10-12 minutes or until a light golden color forms.

Remove from oven and add in the chocolate chips and cranberries. Once the caramel is lightly firm, break it up over the chocolate/cranberries. If it’s more thick/syrup-like, pour it over the chocolate. Crumble the remaining flour and oats mixture on top of the caramel and bake for about 20 minutes or until the top forms a golden crust.

Let cool completely. Done!

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