Yield: 9 pistachio carmelitas // Total Time: 1 hr. // Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links.
Buttery and chewy oatmeal pistachio cookie bars stuffed with salted caramel and semi-sweet chocolate.
If you are ever looking for a dessert to satisfy all your sweet cravings, this is the dessert for you. I mean, it’s a chewy oatmeal cookie stuffed with salted caramel sauce, semi-sweet chocolate, and pistachios. Is there a single thing NOT to love about that?!
Pistachio carmelitas recipe tips
Weigh your ingredients
Weighing your ingredients is important for getting the recipe perfect and getting consistent results. Not weighing your ingredients can lead to adding too much or too little of an ingredient which can turn your brownies from rich and fudgy to tough and chewy. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend purchasing a kitchen scale. This one is super cheap and worked well for me when I was starting out!
Mix the dough carefully
When adding in the flour, only fold the mixture just until no flour streaks remain. Overmixing the dough leads to more gluten formation, which can make the cookie dough tough and undesirable.
Let the carmelitas chill before slicing.
I know it’s super annoying, but you’re going to want to let these carmelitas chill for at least 2 hours before slicing. This allows time for the caramel to set up so you don’t have a huge caramel mess in your kitchen. I promise these are worth the wait!
Ingredients and substitutions
All purpose flour: for structure and chewiness.
Rolled oats: for adding some texture to the carmelita dough. I recommend using rolled oats for their texture, but you can use instant oats if you would like.
Baking soda: for leavening the dough.
Baking powder: for leavening the dough.
Salt: for balancing and bringing out the sweetness of the carmelitas.
Unsalted butter: for tenderizing the dough. You can use salted butter in place of the unsalted, just leave out the extra salt in the dough.
Light brown sugar: for sweetening the dough, locking in moisture, and for adding some depth of flavor thanks to the molasses in light brown sugar.
Granulated sugar: for sweetening the dough and locking in moisture.
Egg: for binding the dough together
Vanilla: I use and love this vanilla extract.
Pistachios: the star of the show. I use roasted and salted pistachios but any will work. If you want to swap in a different nut here you can feel free to do so as well!
Semi sweet chocolate chips: for the middle of the carmelitas. I recommend using either semi sweet or dark chocolate chips for a nice contrast to the overall sweetness of the carmelitas!
Salted caramel sauce: you can use a thick jarred sauce, or you can use my *delicious* 15 minute salted caramel sauce.
How to make pistachio carmelitas
1. Make the salted caramel sauce. Optional, but I highly recommend it. You can find my easy 15 minute salted caramel sauce recipe here!
2. Make the cookie dough. Start by melting the butter and whisking it with the sugar. Then, whisk in the egg and vanilla.
3. Add in the dry ingredients. Add in the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Use a rubber spatula to fold the ingredients together until only a few flour streaks remain. Then, add in the pistachios and fold just until the ingredients are cohesive and no flour streaks remain.
4. Bake the first layer of dough. Pat approximately 2/3 of the oatmeal pistachio cookie dough down into a lined 8″ square pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the edges of the cookie begin to turn golden brown.
5. Layer the carmelitas. Remove the pan from the oven, and place the chocolate chips on top of the dough in an even layer. Drizzle the salted caramel sauce evenly over the chocolate chips, then break off pieces of the remaining dough and place them on top of the carmelita. You won’t have enough dough to fully cover the top – that’s fine! It should look like the third picture above. Bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until the dough turns golden brown.
6. Chill the carmelitas. Annoying, but unfortunately necessary. If you cut into these carmelitas too soon you will have a hot melted caramel mess on your hands. Let the carmelitas chill for at least 2 hours in the fridge before slicing.
7. Slice, serve, and enjoy! Once the carmelitas are cooled and set, slice into them, serve, and enjoy! Be sure to store excess carmelitas in the fridge so they stay safe to eat!
Homemade salted caramel sauce
I always make my easy and delicious 15 minute salted caramel sauce for carmelitas and I recommend you try it too! However, you can also sub in a thick jarred caramel sauce and add 3/4 tsp. salt to it. The great thing about the salted caramel sauce is that you can easily make it ahead of time, and it can also be enjoyed in coffee, on ice cream, or by the spoonful!
Pistachio Carmelitas Q & A
Can I double these pistachio carmelitas?
Of course! Simply double all of the ingredients and bake the brownies in a 9×13″ pan, or bake them in two 8″ square pans. Be sure to keep an eye on the brownies if baking in a different sized pan, as the bake times may vary.
How to store pistachio carmelitas
Because these bars are stuffed with caramel sauce, they do need to be stored in the fridge. They will keep well covered in an airtight container in the fridge for one week. They can also be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Why do you measure in grams?
My recipes are all written in grams because it is the most accurate way to bake. When you use a kitchen scale, you ensure that your baked goods turn out as close to the written recipe as possible. Plus, the cleanup is way easier when using a scale! I will provide standard cup measurements but please note that I have not tested the recipe using cup measurements and therefore can not guarantee your recipe will come out how mine did. Here is my favorite kitchen scale, and here’s an article about why I use a kitchen scale, and why you should too!
A note on oven temperature
Ovens vary and fluctuate in temperature. For example, I always have to set my oven to 330°F if I want it to bake at 350°F. If you love to bake like I do, I highly recommend getting an oven thermometer. They are super helpful for letting you know when your oven might be lying to you! I use this one.
Tools and ingredients
8 inch square pan: I absolutely love USA pan products because none of my bakes ever stick to their pans. Here is their 8 inch square pan that I used.
Kitchen scale: the best thing that I ever purchased for recipe development and baking. Here is the one I currently use. It is a bit on the pricier side, but here is the one I used to use and is perfect for starting out!
Parchment sheets: perfect for lining your pans and for photography. I cut these in half when I use the 8 inch square pan, which makes it the perfect size for double lining the pan if desired!
Vanilla: I love using Rodelle vanilla extract. Not only is it a great quality product, but it’s on the lower end of the price that vanilla can be! This is the one I use.
For a full list of tools, equipment and ingredients that I use and love, you can check out this page here.
Did you make these pistachio carmelitas?
If you made these pistachio carmelitas I would love to see them and know your thoughts! Please leave a comment and review down below, and tag me on Instagram @freshbeanbakery. If you have any questions about the recipe I will gladly do my best to answer them in the comments below!
Pistachio Carmelita Dough
- 140 g all purpose flour (1 c. + 2 tbsp.)
- 80 g rolled oats (1 c.)
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- 141 g unsalted butter (½ c. + 2 tbsp.)
- 100 g light brown sugar (½ c.)
- 50 g granulated sugar (¼ c.)
- 1 egg room temperature
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 42 g pistachios (¼ c. + 2 tbsp.)
- 200 g salted caramel sauce (1 c.)
- 210 g semi-sweet chocolate chips (1 ½ c.)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C. Grease and line an 8×8" pan with butter and parchment paper.
- If making the salted caramel sauce, make it at this step and let sit out at room temperature until needed. Alternatively, you can make it up to one week in advance and keep it in the fridge until needed!
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, melt the butter, then whisk in both sugars.
- Whisk in the egg and vanilla until well combined.
- Add in the flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Fold the mixture together using a rubber spatula until only a few flour streaks remain. Add in the pistachios, then fold just until no flour streaks remain.
- Add approximately ⅔ of the batter into the prepared 8×8" pan and smooth it down. Bake for 15-20 min., until the edges begin to brown.
- Remove the dough from the oven. Place the chocolate chips in an even layer on the dough, then drizzle the salted caramel sauce over the chocolate chips. Tear off little chunks of the remaining dough and place them on top of the chocolate/caramel. It will not fully cover the top – this is fine! Bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until the dough begins to turn golden brown.
- Let the carmelitas cool and set in the fridge for at least 2 hours before slicing. Serve and enjoy!