Wheat-free & dairy-free Carmelitas
Do you have any idea what a carmelita is?
I had bookmarked this recipe for months and finally got around to trying it! I had no idea what a carmelita was until I accidentally came across this gluten-free, vegan friendly version. I had to google it. Is it an American thing? Either the good Lord has protected me from the original carmelitas until now; or they are just not big in South Africa.
I love how Lulu the Baker describes Carmelitas … “See, a Carmelita is not your ordinary, run-of-the-mill treat. Rather, it is like a buttery oatmeal cookie that swallowed a caramel-filled chocolate bar and then got bibitty-bobitty-booed by the dessert fairy godmother and received an extra dose of deliciousness.”
It seems that these oatmeal based slices, filled with chocolate and a caramel sauce, are traditionally made with heavy cream, butter, sugar and dairy-milk chocolate. Thanks to Maryea of Happy Healthy Mama I could try these bad-boys without the guilt!
I’m not going to lie, these slices are by far the most delicious treats that have come out of my kitchen. Period.
Go on. Try these. Now.
- ¾ cup coconut oil, melted
- ¾ cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup oat flour (or 1 cup rolled oats, processed to flour)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon bicarb (baking soda)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup tahini (or your favourite nut butter)
- ½ cup maple syrup (or honey)
- ½ cup coconut milk
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips (or broken up chunks from a slab of chocolate)
Preheat the oven to 180 deg C (350 deg F). If you are not using a silicone baking pan then line an 8X8 inch pan with foil or parchment paper.
Melt the coconut oil in a glass or metal bowl over a bowl of hot water.
Add the sugar to the melted coconut oil and whisk until well combined.
If not using oat flour, blend 1 cup of the oats in a food processor or blender until they are a fine flour.
Add the oat flour and the remaining 1 cup of rolled oats to the bowl with the oil and sugar.
Add the vanilla, salt, bicarb, and baking powder and mix well.
Press HALF of the oat mixture into your prepared baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
While the first layer is baking, prepare the caramel layer. Whisk together the tahini, maple syrup, coconut milk and salt.
After 10 minutes, take the pan out of the oven. Add the chocolate chips / chunks in an even layer.
Next, slowly pour the caramel sauce over the chocolate layer.
Finally, top this with the remaining oat mixture. I sprinkle a small handful of rolled oats on top (optional).
Return the pan to the oven and bake until the edges are lightly browned and the centre is bubbling slightly (approximately 18-20 minutes).
Place the dish in the fridge to set for 2-4 hours before slicing as they will be too crumbly before setting.
Recipe adapted from Happy Healthy Mama.
You want to hear the story of how these delights came about? So, we were invited to a vegan bake-sale picnic in De Waal Park in Cape Town. Why have I never been there before? A serene and green park amidst the hustle and bustle of the city. Sunshine, shady trees,...
When I lived in New Zealand many moons ago (and pre-healthy eating days) I was introduced to the Edmonds Cookery Book; which is filled with pages of traditional kiwi favourites. One recipe in particular got my attention - the famous Afghan Cookies. I made them over...
Blondie bars often pop up on my social media feeds, but either they aren’t popular in South Africa or some how I have been missing out on these beauties for years! Blonde moment, but I admit I had to ask google why these gooey, fudgy bars are in fact called Blondies....