Whole Foods Carmelita bars are quite a treat, unless you have food allergies. So, I decided to create my own allergy-free version. This recipe uses a dairy-free caramel sauce, which can be found here. The result is a wonderful, addictive, crunchy, chocolate-y caramel bar. I adapted this recipe from the BrownEyedBaker.com.
Like most cookie bar recipes, this one starts with whisking together the dry ingredients and creaming together the shortening/butter and sugar.
The flour mixture is combined with the creamed sugar, and then the oats are mixed in, forming a crumbly shortbread dough.
The original recipe calls for sprinkling on the chocolate chips and covering them with the caramel sauce. Because the shortbread is still hot, the chocolate chips melt and combine with the caramel. If you want to keep the caramel and chocolate chips separate, I would recommend spreading out the caramel first and then sprinkling the chocolate chips on top.
I must say this recipe was a smashing success, enjoyed by all in our family. They seem to be as addictive as the Whole Foods version!
Shared on: Gluten free Fridays, Allergy-free Wednesdays, Gluten free Monday, Allergy Friendly Friday
Allergy-free Carmelita Bars
- 2 c gluten-free flour mix
- 1/2 t xanthan gum (omit if flour mix contains gum)
- 1 t baking soda
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/2 c (1 stick) Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks, softened
- 1/2 c dairy-free, soy-free vegetable shortening
- 1 1/2 c light brown sugar
- 2 c GF quick oats
- 1 c vegan chocolate chips
- 1 c caramel topping
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 baking dish.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter, shortening and sugar until fluffy. Slowly add the flour mixture on low speed. Add the oats and mix on low until just combined. Mixture will be crumbly.
- Transfer half of the dough to the baking dish, pressing down until you have an even layer with no cracks or crumbles. Bake for 10 minutes and remove from the oven.
- Pour the caramel sauce over the shortbread and spread evenly. Sprinkle evenly with chocolate chips, and then top with the remaining shortbread dough.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the topping is lightly browned. Cool to room temperature, and then refrigerate at least 2 hours before cutting into bars. Store leftovers in an airtight container.