It’s the detritus that gets me: the rainbow of miscellaneous crap lying everywhere after I’ve packed a bajillion boxes.
Listen, I can pack boxes all day long. My obsessive-compulsive brain relishes the opportunity to play real-life Tetris with my possessions, categorizing them and nestling them together in a perfect cube. I can handle that.
But all of this CRAP. What even is all this stuff? On my counters and in my cabinets there is a veritable jungle of odds and ends: a lint roller, baggies, a leaf (what?), a random assortment of screws and hardware-looking-thingies, a hair band, a button that probably matches some a clothing item I own, a billion notes and receipts and coupons and CORDS. WHAT THE CRAP DO ALL THESE CORDS GO TO?!
What IS this stuff? It makes me lose my ever-lovin’ perfectionist MIND. What box do I put it in? It can’t go with the kitchen stuff. It can’t go in a box of clothes. I could have a giant miscellaneous box, but isn’t that the moving equivalent of a junk drawer — something I’ve guarded myself against developing for years?
I’m getting down to that point, though. I’ve packed all the clothes, all the dishes, all the turtle supplies, all the toiletries (even, funny story, the toilet paper — which I then realized we weren’t quite finished with. Oops.) I’ve packed all the categories. And I’m up to my eyeballs in the detritus. Since we have but a few precious hours until morning comes and the movers arrive, I might go crazy and start flinging things into a junk-box sooner than I expect.
At least I take comfort in the knowledge that most of you out there are sitting in a comfy chair in a fully unpacked home, and that hopefully someday within the next week or so, I will join you (in having a fully unpacked home, that is; not in your home. That would be weird. Unless you’re making carmelitas, in which case, I’ll be over in a few.)
These carmelitas are the maximum in ooey gooey chocolatey goodness. Heated up with a drizzle of chocolate and caramel and a big scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, they really are the bee’s knees. I need to stress eat one or two (eight.) right about now!
One year ago: Sausage & Toast Breakfast Strata in Baked Tomatoes
Two years ago: Apple Cinnamon Cream Cupcakes: NOT Back-to-School Cupcakes!
Three years ago: Old-Fashioned Burger Stand Burgers & Easy French Fries
Four years ago: Chocolate Cheesecake Stuffed Cupcakes with Ganache
Recipe by: Adapted from Our Best Bites
Yield: 20 carmelitas
These are gooey, chocolatey, caramelly, and amazing! They’re quick and simple to make, and served warm with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, they’re to die for.
1 cup butter, softened
1 3/4 cups packed brown sugar
1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar (or you can use all light)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
1 Ghirardelli dark chocolate bar (I used 86%)
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans (optional)
store-bought caramel sauce, warmed according to package directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with parchment paper, leaving an overhang that will help you to pull the bars out later. Spray the paper a little with cooking spray.
Beat butter in a large mixing bowl until fluffy. Add brown sugars and cream until fluffy, 2-3 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed. Beat in eggs, vanilla extract, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour slowly, mixing until just combined, and then stir in the oats. Press about 2/3 of the dough into your prepared pan, covering the bottom. Sprinkle chocolate chips, pieces of the chocolate bar, and nuts (if using) over the top. Pour caramel sauce over top just until the bars are all nice and drizzles (you probably won’t use the whole jar).
Take pinches of the rest of your oat mixture and flatten them into “shingles” in your hands, laying them over top of your chocolate and caramel filling until it’s roughly covered. Bake the bars for 22-25 minutes or until top is light brown. Don’t overbake them. Let the bars cool in the dish until they are room temperature. Lift them out and onto a cutting board and slice (I like to drizzle them with melted chocolate at this point). You can store them in an airtight container until you’re ready to serve them — and at that point, I recommend heating them up and adding a big scoop of vanilla bean ice cream!
todd sumlinAugust 10, 2013 at 1:44 am (10 years ago)
And I ate them all!!!!!
TieghanAugust 10, 2013 at 2:35 am (10 years ago)
I hear you!! We have so much crap. Crap that I have no idea how it even came into the house. It is insane! Hope the move goes well in the morning!
Oh and the Carmelitas look to die for! I love Carmelitas so much and make them all the time for my family. SO darn good!! I will have to try your recipe soon!
Jennifer-The Adventuresome KitchenAugust 10, 2013 at 3:19 am (10 years ago)
OMG- I totally remember that from when we moved 10 years ago!! The crazy story? We STILL have boxes untouched in the basement… I donated several about 5 years ago that we’d schlepped and not opened to two homes… Moving does keep you cleaner. When you’re settled, stuff – the crap- has a way of sneaking in..you stuff things you don’t know what to do with in a corner, or stack hidden behind a chair…Especially if you have an old house with no storage…it’s CRAZY. I’m ready to move just so we can get rid of stuff!!
Hope the move goes smoothly and that you have a fabulous oven to make new treats in!! Cheers!
Katrina @ Warm Vanilla SugarAugust 10, 2013 at 12:03 pm (10 years ago)
These are total heaven in a bar!!
tanya1234August 10, 2013 at 12:45 pm (10 years ago)
yum yum thankxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Melanie @ Just Some Salt and PepperAugust 10, 2013 at 1:57 pm (10 years ago)
I’m moving in a couple weeks and I hate packing and unpacking. I might have to make these to help get me through!
Lorinda M - The Rowdy BakerAugust 10, 2013 at 9:47 pm (10 years ago)
I so get it. When we’ve moved, each box was fit with precision. It was like putting together a puzzle and there could be NO empty spaces. By the end of the move, stuff was crammed into old hampers or pillowcases! You just do what you have to do to get ‘er done.
Good luck, and thank you for the lovely, gooey recipe!
NicoleAugust 10, 2013 at 9:51 pm (10 years ago)
Oh My Ooey-Gooey Goodness! These look so tasty 🙂
JaneAugust 12, 2013 at 4:15 pm (10 years ago)
Oh my goodness. My stress level was rising with you when I thought about where all of the miscellaneous items belong. I’ve lived in four places in that last year and I am entirely with you on tetris type packing. I get a kick out of it. But all that random crap! Carmelitas look like just the cure.
HeatherAugust 13, 2013 at 8:33 am (10 years ago)
I just moved myself within the past week and I so feel your pain. I really wish I could make these right now, but I have a wonky oven that’s not getting replaced until Thursday. (Lets just say that turning my oven on resulted in lots of smoke and a smoke alarm going off for over 20 minutes while my kids and I fanned the crap out of my place. Really, super fun.) Come on, Thursday! LOL.
RachelAugust 13, 2013 at 3:05 pm (10 years ago)
Looks amazing. Just found your blog because I am friends with Ariel Boswell who recommended that I visit your baking adventure. Glad I did– lovely looking carmelitas. Will be back!
DinaAugust 13, 2013 at 11:21 pm (10 years ago)
these look delish!
Monique @ Ambitious KitchenAugust 14, 2013 at 1:38 am (10 years ago)
Amy | Club NarwhalAugust 14, 2013 at 6:01 pm (10 years ago)
Julie, I am dying over here! Nothing like a gooey carmelita to set my OCD heart a flutter. I am with you with feeling the total pain of clutter (mostly because of my illogical fear of becoming a hoarder). Good luck in the move!
Nancy @ gottagetbakedAugust 19, 2013 at 1:09 am (10 years ago)
I’ve only ever had to move once (from my parents house into the apartment I bought with my husband) and at that time, there was very little to bring with us. I dread the next time we move – how did we accumulate so much crap in such a small space?! Good luck with your move. Just keep a few pans of these ooey gooey, decadent carmelitas lying around to head off any stress induced meltdowns!
Tracy | Peanut Butter and OnionAugust 19, 2013 at 11:52 am (10 years ago)
You had me at gooey!
Danielle @ TheBestDessertRecipes.comAugust 22, 2013 at 8:29 pm (10 years ago)
These look absolutely heavenly!
JuanitaAugust 24, 2013 at 9:24 pm (10 years ago)
These were wonderful. I made them for a co-worker’s birthday at work and they were gone in no time. I’d definitely make the recipe again. Thank you.
Julie RubleAugust 24, 2013 at 9:32 pm (10 years ago)
That is great to hear, Juanita!!
Renee @ Awesome on $20August 27, 2013 at 5:08 am (10 years ago)
I currently have a small bucket of cords sitting at the end of my sofa. Every bloody thing needs to be plugged in. I hope you threw half of that stuff out. I need to make carmelitas very soon.
RachelFebruary 5, 2016 at 11:31 am (7 years ago)
I just made these and they came out SOOOOO good. I had a jar of homemade dulce de leche that I used instead of store-bought caramel sauce, which was a lovely substitution. Once again, Julie at Willow Bird for the baking win! Keep up the great work. I absolutely love your blog.
JanOctober 24, 2022 at 2:09 pm (7 months ago)
Hi:) I love your recipes!! I’m prepping for thanksgiving and wonder if these freeze well? Are they something I could make in advance and just thaw for that day?
Julie RubleOctober 24, 2022 at 2:14 pm (7 months ago)
Thank you Jan 🙂 I’ve never tried it, but my hunch is that they would freeze just fine. If it were me, I’d double or triple wrap them, freeze them, thaw them in the fridge a couple days before Thanksgiving, set them out to get to room temp Thanksgiving morning, and then maybe pop them in the oven for a few minutes before serving so they’re warmed up and slightly gooey.