Flourless Oatmeal Cookie Carmelita Bars made vegan & refined sugar-free for a healthy treat
So one of my closest friends from college has been requesting I make her Carmelita bars for about 6 months now. At school, they had them in the dining hall and she was beyond obsessed. I personally had never even heard of a Carmelita until college and really haven’t thought or seen them since then.
A traditional Carmelita bar is made with butter, flour, sugar and pretty much every other ingredient I don’t usually use on the blog. I promised Maya I would make these for her though, as long as I could clean them up a bit to make them “blog-friendly”.
This brings me to these Flourless Oatmeal Cookie Carmelita Bars. I have to say this may have been the hardest and most challenging recipe yet for me to make. It was like a hurricane came through my kitchen when I was testing this recipe and I was trying so many ways to make it. And then I finally landed in this one.
A perfect balance between an oatmeal cookie and the traditional Carmelita.
I brought these to Maya and was SO nervous for her response. After she took a bite and I had the stamp of approval, I was grinning from ear to ear.
Flourless Oatmeal Cookie Carmelita Bars
Yield: 9 bars 1x
- Cookie bottom layer:
- 1/2 cup coconut oil melted and cooled (you may need a bit more after mixing)
- 2 cups oat flour (have no tested another flour)
- 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- Caramel layer:
- 1 can coconut milk (light or full fat)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup (honey or agave will work)
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup creamy almond butter (or your nut butter of choice)
- Third layer:
- 1/2 cup pecans (sub your nut of choice)
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- Cookie topping:
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 cup oatmeal
- 1 cup oat flour
- 1/3 cup coconut oil (have not tested another oil)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Begin making the caramel sauce by combining ingredients in small space pan
- Bring to a boil then simmer for about 3 minutes until all ingredients are combined
- Remove from heat and set aside
- Begin making the bottom cookie layer by combing all ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl
- Spray and 8×8 baking dish VERY well or use parchment paper/aluminum foil
- Press down the bottom cookie layer, filling the 8×8 dish
- Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes
- Add the chopped pecans and chocolate chips then pour caramel layer on top (you may not need all of the caramel so use as much as you’d prefer)
- Add the top cookie layer and bake in oven for 15-20 more minutes, the caramel should be bubbling
- Let cool for at least 3 hours, I DO NOT recommend eating these immediately as you want the bars to really set!
- Category: vegan, gluten free-friendly
- Cuisine: dessert
Thank you Lucky Vitamin for sponsoring this post. It means so much to me to work with brands that I love and who support rachLmansfield!
Marina @ A Dancer’s Live-It
Love love love the use of coconut milk AND almond butter in the caramel layer! You’re speakin’ my language! I’m totally checking out Lucky Vitamin now because I haven’t used it yet, thanks for sharing Rach! xo
Thank you so much!!! It is seriously the best! I love Lucky Vitamin, it’s amazing!! xx
Hi Rachel! Could I use regular coconut milk packed in a 1L bottle or a tetra pack? Or do you only use the thick part of the canned milk that appears after storing the can in a fridge?
definitely worth a try, it just might not be as thick but it will still work i think! xx
Hi there!!! Can’t wait to make these! I know you probably haven’t tried it, but do you think a liquid sweetener such as maple syrup or honey could go in place of the coconut sugar?
have only tested with coconut sugar but can’t hurt to try! xx
The wonderful thing is that I think that there has rarely been a time when I didn’t have an ingredient that your recipes called for; you make the best imitations of favorite foods.
Aw yay!! that is so perfect!! xx
i have pretty much all flours except for oat flour! do you have a suggestion for a different type of flour that may work instead? I cant wait to try these-they look dreamy!
do you have oatmeal? you can make oat flour with that, just blend it until flour consistency!
Just a quick question regarding cookie topping.
it says oatmeal and I was confused as to oatmeal vs old fashioned oats??
If you could let me know that would be awesome
oatmeal and old fashioned oats are the same.
Hi can you give me tips, I try baking it 2 times based on your recipe. But the results are not too good, toping be a little bitter and unappealing colors. I do not know that for a long to bake or what
hi gula – how odd! i haven’t hear this happening before. i recommend following the instructions and ingredients exactly to ensure it turns out great!
Do you happen to have the nutritional information for this recipe? I’ve been dying to make them for my “cheat snack,” but wanted to get a little more info beforehand.
Hi Linda! Please see my FAQ for this info 🙂 https://rachlmansfield.com/frequently-asked-questions/
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