Carmelitas and lovely simplicity

My friend Barb introduced to me to caramelitas a while back.  I have been meaning to make a batch but ya know…life and other recipes kept getting in the way.  Yesterday I decided it was time.  Mission accomplished and these babies turned out just right. Sometimes, I find that if I make it my mission to accomplish the simple tasks without getting all fussy and over complicating things, life is so sweet.  And simple.  Along the same lines…I love to take pictures.  I have a really nice camera that Big Daddy won for me through the company he works for…the wonderful Farm Bureau Insurance…and I love to take pictures of my kids. I get that baby out and click away.  When I remember to bring it along.  I don’t keep it in the car at all times and sometimes I miss some great moments….or I would if I didn’t have my phone.  Many of the pics I take for my blog are taken on my phone.  I have some terrific picture editing apps and I am working on getting better at using them.  My phone allows me to take those every day shots that you cannot plan for.  You know…we call that life.  I started following a page on facebook called Click it up a notch.  I love her.  Them?  Anyway, she has some awesome photography tips for amateurs like me.  She initiated a #28lovelydays challenge on Instagram and I am loving it!  It challenges me to find the lovely in everyday.  And everyday life is quite lovely.  So much of what we do everyday can be lovely.  Beautiful. We just have to recognize it.  These caramelitas are the same exact way.  A bunch of fairly common ingredients blended together to make one heck of a dessert.  I am working on letting myself embrace what is already there.  Instead of searching for things out of reach, or adding to or complicating things…I am making something beautiful out of what is in front of me.  Simple can be lovely.  Bake up some carmelitas as soon as possible and tell me I’m wrong. ~AMB

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The view after dropping my babies off at their school…one of my #28lovelydays

Carmelitas (recipe adapted from http://www.thebakerupstairs.com)

Stuff you need~

32 caramel squares, unwrapped (I used the new fabulously ingenious caramel bits and I used a whole bag and then another cup full)

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon sea salt , optional (I used fleur de sel which is a little thicker and more coarse than regular sea salt but sea salt is fine)

3/4 cup butter, melted (that is one and half sticks)

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed

1 cup flour

1 cup rolled oats

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

What to do with the stuff~

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare an 8 x 8 inch baking dish by rubbing the bottom and sides with a stick of butter.  (not the whole stick ya’ll…just get some on the bottom and sides.  To be clear.  lol) Combine the heavy cream and caramel bits in a small saucepan over low heat.  Stir frequently until the caramels are completely melted and the mixture is completely smooth.  I stirred in the salt at this point.  Set aside (I kept the saucepan on my warming element on my stove to ensure it didn’t cool and get thick).  In a medium bowl, melt butter.  Next, stir in the brown sugar, flour, oats, and baking soda.  Press half of this mixture into your prepared baking dish.  Bake this for 10 minutes.  When you pull it out, sprinkle the chocolate chips over the baked layer.  Next, pour the warmed caramel sauce over the chocolate chips.  Finally, add dollops of the remaining butter/flour/oatmeal mixture on top of the caramel. It is hard to spread it.  I just kind of let it spread over the warm caramel naturally.  Then I flattened it as much as I could with a silicon spatula.  Pop this luscious concoction back into the oven.  Your kitchen will smell like heaven.  Let it bake for about 25 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool completely.   Cut into squares and serve.  If you really want to be naughty (who doesn’t?) serve topped with some vanilla ice cream and a little drizzle of caramel topping.  Yeah…I said it.  I only mean if it is your birthday, your dog’s birthday, your aunt’s birthday, or if you made it through the day without cursing anyone out…only for occasions that call for a little celebrations.  I am all about celebrating small victories, ya’ll.  Or I am all about caramel sauce?  Either way.  You can address your thank you notes and notes of praise to Cajun Mama Cooks.  Just saying.

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Ooey, gooey, sweet, salty, chewy carmelitas….

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So many lovely things can be found in our days…

Watermarked Photo (56)

 

Our lovely fur babies…Idaho and Toby

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