Caramelita Cookies

Since the holidays I have to admit that the space between my two ear holes has been mostly empty.  Besides the idea for these cookies all I’ve got rattling around in there is my weekly battle with my kid’s bunk bed.

Now if you don’t have a bunk bed, then you won’t understand why this simple issue is taking up brain space that should be reserved for way more important issues, like the Golden Globes and Bachelor Sean.

But let me tell you, that darn bunk bed and I aren’t friends.  Not even a little.



I have decided I am gonna become at least a thousandaire when I come up with a better way to put clean sheets on the beds.  Seems simple, but just how?

Forget about the near-concussions from the ceiling repeatedly banging into my head.  Forget about the pulled muscles from trying to tuck the sheets under the mattress…that back corner is the devil’s dwelling…let’s first focus on the weight limit situation…

I know in my normal brain that I am fully supported by architecture of the top bunk.  However, it doesn’t stop my unnormal brain from convincing me that I will break the support slats falling partially through the top bunk, trapping me there, hanging in a mattress taco, awaiting my husband’s return from work to free from imminent death via mattress suffocation.  And honestly we all know when he finds me there hanging, being eaten by the mattress he will inevitably fall a little bit out of love with me.  It’s only human, I can’t fault him.

For the sake of my marriage I need a better way to come up with putting new sheets on my kid’s bunk beds.


But in the meantime I decided on the next viable option…the cookies.  Not all life’s problems can be fixed in one day.


If you’re not familiar with a Caramelita, it’s a yummy oatmealy, caramelly cookie bar.

My friend Kristan made some not too long ago with Rolo Candies, which I thought was a pretty inspired idea!


So I thought instead of making them the usual bar-way, why couldn’t these be cookies?

Well I did it…here’s how…

Caramelita Cookies.

Caramelita Cookies | Cookies & CupsI used lots of brown sugar…

PhotobucketAnd also lots of oats…


It’s a quick dough…very similar to an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie…

PhotobucketWell, here’s the trick.. chill the dough.

I know, you don’t want to, but it’s important here.

THEN you’ll need to grab your Rolo candies and stick those in the freezer…

PhotobucketAmber told me the importance of freezing your candy…if you don’t, the caramel will ooze out and leak out of the cookie, sticking to the baking sheet, creating a big old mess.

Also, chilling the dough keeps the cookie shape, holding the caramel inside, not letting it escape!


I tried these cookies with caramel squares also.  Didn’t work, guys…at least the regular Kraft caramels.  After they baked, the caramel got super hard and too chewy for the middle of a cookie.  The Rolos stay much softer, perfect for the filling!

Another tip.. if you are impatient and don’t want to chill the dough or freeze the Rolos, you can bake them, and let them cool completely on the baking sheet before moving them.  That will help the caramel set up and not fall through the cookie.  I speak from personal experience.

Caramelita Cookies | Cookies & Cups


Caramelita Cookies
Makes about 40 cookies
  • 1¼ cups butter (2½ sticks) room temperature
  • 1½ cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups quick oats
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • approx 40 unwrapped Rolo candies, frozen
  1. In stand mixer cream butter and brown sugar together for about 1 minute. Add in eggs and vanilla and mix until incorporated and smooth.
  2. Turn mixer to low and add in flour, baking soda, salt and oats. Turn mixer up to medium until evenly mixed. Turn mixer down to low and add in chocolate chips. Mix until evenly distributed.
  3. Chill dough for at least an hour. During this time freeze your Rolo candies.
  4. When dough is ready preheat oven to 350° and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Take about 1½ Tablespoons of cookie dough and wrap it around a frozen Rolo, forming a ball. Place your dough balls about 2 inches apart on lined baking sheet. (Make sure that you have enough dough on the bottom of the cookie that none of the Rolo is exposed)
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes until edges are golden and tops have just set.
  7. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for 4-5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Freezing candies and chilling dough is recommended because the Rolo will sink to the bottom of the cookie and stick to your pan.
If you forget to freeze the candies and chill the dough, allow the cookies to cool completely on the baking sheet.


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56 Comments on "Caramelita Cookies"

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Colleen @ What

Heavenly! Just heavenly.

tijuana (po

that is too funny! i know how you feel. i have 4 kids, 2 boys and 2 girls. each set of kids have bunk beds. and i tell ya, i dread the day when it is time to wash their sheets. i think we should just come up with a ‘bunk bed changing sheets’ workout. you have to burn about 500 calories changing them, right? 🙂 on to those amazing cookies. can i have a dozen. please?

Erin @ Texanerin Baking

Oh! Love that last picture!

I’m sorry for your bunk bed woes. It was enough to convince me to never ever buy a bunk bed for my future children. What a bunch of fuss. Or I know! Make them change the sheets themselves. Tada! Problem solved. 🙂

And the cookies look fantastic! I’ve never tried freezing candy. Thanks for the tip.

Carolyn Mustopa

These look divine, and I can’t wait to try them. Also, as the mother of 3 now-grown children, let me put my 2 cents in: if your child is old enough to sleep in the top bunk, he/she is old enough to change the sheets. My kids were the few in their freshman dorms who knew how to do their own laundry. Get them started now.

Lauren at Keep It Sweet

Everyone loves caramelitas, how could the not like a caramelita cookie? Um, I used to want a bunk bed as a kid, now I can see why my future children will never have one.

Cookbook Queen

I love this recipe!!!

Also, I didn’t know you were supposed to change your kid’s bunk bed sheets….

Weeeeelllll…..crap. I’ve been doing this mom thing all wrong.

Jill @ KitchenFunWithMy3Sons

I LOVE caramelitas and these look awesome! Everything you make is amazing!


Those sound so delicious and easy to make! Definitly going on my cookie list!


I learned that freezing the innards of your cookie/cupcake filling is super important from personal experience too! Great recipe! 🙂

Averie @ Averie Cooks

They look crazy good! I love oats and tons of texture and love them in here – and Rolos, yes! I once made caramelitas-style bars with caramels and had to unwrap like 40 of those buggers. Rolos are way smarter b/c the foil comes off easier 🙂

Aimee @ ShugarySweets

Putting the sheets on the top bunk has been relegated to my husband. Too many broken nails, knuckles and skulls made this necessary. Now I just “listen” as he struggles!!
These cookies look delicious!


I love carmelitas and I love cookies. This is a dangerous combo for me….and I love it.

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

These look so freaking fabulous!


I slept on the top bunk for 18 years and I still have no idea how to effectively put the sheets on. I think I just accepted the fact that one corner would never be on all the way. Ever.

I want to bite into something that caramelly delicious. Right now.


Holy yum! Shelly, I wish you were my next door neighbor!

Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies

Just let the kids sleep without sheets, Hoarders style. Oh, and cookies! Rolos are totally my weakness so sticking them in cookies is a fabulous idea.

Annie @ Annie

I mean, the fact that this yields 40 cookies is reason enough to make them. Then I can give 10 cookies to friends and family and eat 30 myself.


I just made a similar cookie:) Still need to post them! I will be making yours for sure!

Diane @ Me, Him And The Cats

These look really yummy!


I luuuuurrrve carmelitas! What a fun way to remake them.

Charul @ Tadka Masala

I am so seriously in love with the gooey caramel-ness which you can see inside the cookie. Love!

Jenna @

O.M.G. Really? I swore I wasn’t going to bake any cookies until at least right around Valentine’s Day after eating myself into a near cookie coma over the holidays. (Chocolate chip cookies are a breakfast food, right????) This post kind of makes me lose my resolve. Plus, I can totally justify these for breakfast since they have oats in them. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

Carla @ Carlas Confections

I LOVED your mattress taco visual. Made me laugh out loud. Luckily, Im alone right now… otherwise I would have looked crazy! Annnnd these cookies look heavenly too. Great tips for baking with caramel candies too 🙂

Sarah B.

These cookies look A. MA. ZING. And I love your bunk bed story. My sons once had bunk beds and I hated them. They were the devil. Changing the sheets was so awful! So I feel your pain and wish you luck!

Becca from It

Good gravy, Shelly! These cookies are making my heart go pitter pat!

Also, bunk bed and waterbed sheets are from Satan. The end.

Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies

Too funny, but I have to agree! If the boys are old enough to sleep up there, they should be going through the risk of mattress taco, not you. Especially ‘cus no one is going to fall out of love with them if they end up in a mattress taco.

Thanks for the link love – because yeah – freezing rolos is totally the way forward for cookies. I love carmelitas, and I want these suckers tonight!

Erin @ Adventures of a Hungry Redhead

What a great idea! I was going to make salted caramel chocolate chip cookie bars this weekend but now I’m torn!


Yummay!! What’s not to love about a recipe with rolos??!! Cannot wait to try this recipe! Can it be baked as bars? If so, what temperature and how long would you recommend?Thanks!

Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes

I just got so excited when I saw these!!! Sad, but true hahaha


I love everything about these cookies…it’s healthy because it has oats in it, right? 😀

Noble Pig - Cathy

Well I think I fell in love with you thinking about the mattress taco
..ha-ha! And I wa

Mercedes@Satisfy My Sweet Tooth

Fabulous, just fabulous! I love Rolos and thank you for all of the helpful tips about freezing the cookie dough and the candies! I have Pinned these and cannot wait to make them myself!

Brian @ A Thought For Food

Oh yes yes yes… does it get any better than these cookies? I don’t think so.


Rolos are my favorite. I must have these.

Buy Biscuits Online

Nice blog.. Thanks for sharing this information with us

Melissa in NJ

I had a bunk bed and hated changing the sheets, too, so I did it like once a year. Ssshhhhhh! Don’ t tell anybody. I didn ‘ t like making the bed either, so I didn’ t…. I didn’ t know those cookie- bars were called carmelitas but Damn I love ‘ em. Yours look great!


Disaster! I made these for a potluck at work and they did not look anything as beautiful as yours. What did I do wrong? They tasted yummy, but I was thoroughly embarrassed about the presentation- they looked like pathetic pancakes. I am going to try them again because they are so scrumptious, but I wish I knew what I did incorrectly.


You are singing to my soul with this one… both with these gorgeous, sumptuous cookies, and with your commentary about your headspace being empty/focused on mission critical issues like The Bach, Golden Globes, Princess Kate’s new portrait, etc. since the holidays. Now that I know that I’m not alone, I choose to eat cookies and read my People mag in a guilt-free zone. Thank you!


I hate our bunk bed set for this very same reason. After an unfortunate episode where I climbed up the ladder and BROKE one of the rungs, in front of the other 3 people in our family, and the husband saying, “Honey, you aren’t as little as you think you are” (I am thin, by golly!), and the girls laughing their heads off….. the girls put their own stupid top bunk sheets on now. I needed these cookies then… to help me eat away my upset-ness! LOL!


I. Must. Have. These. Now. Can you use old-fashioned oats? I think that’s what I have here. Otherwise, I have all the ingredients without running to the store.


I made these for someone’s birthday at work and they were a huge hit. However, it didn’t make close to 40 cookies.. more like 20. But, overall, delicious… after some trial and error at first.

Leslie @ Triathlete Treats

I just made these!! They are amazing!! Thanks for all of the GREAT recipes!!

Shelly B.
So, I have a girlfriend who makes the best carmelitas and when I saw this recipe I quickly forwarded it to her and told her we Must. Make. These. We followed the recipe to a tee (except we used right-out-if-the-fridge butter.) and they turned out AMAZING!!! Of course, ours didn’t yield 40 cookies because we ate most of the batter, but we got 2 – 2 1/2 dozen out if it. I think I might even use this recipe (without the rolos) when I make oatmeal chococalte chip cookies. I love how they kept their shape and didn’t flatten out… Read more »

I am using rolos this time but I have also used milk duds which work well. they have the carmel in them and also make the cookie have a chewy middle!


milk duds also work well in place of the rolos


These sound so delish, can’t wait to try them. Thank you for sharing. btw, in your directions, there is a small error. After baking, you meant to let the cookies “cooL” on the baking sheet, not ‘cooK’. Thought yo might want to edit that. : D

Jewell Ulrich
Oh my goodness … these cookies look fantastic! I can’t wait to try them! I just about died laughing while reading your bunk bed story! I can totally relate. Our boys had bunk beds, and instead of climbing up onto the bed to make it, I discovered it was easier to pull the bed away from the wall and just make it while standing on the floor. I’m tall, so it wasn’t a problem for me. It might be worth investing in some of the little sliders that you place under furniture legs to help it glide across the carpet… Read more »
Forgetful Sian

Just wondering if anyone can help me out…I found a link to this page through a food page on facebook (which had a lot of other ideas I wanted to try out) But I have completely lost the page to be able to like it!!! >:( Soooo does anyone have any idea what page it was? Def going to try these on the weekend!! 🙂 x


I had the same trouble as Nicole. Cookies taste amazing, but didn’t look it. I chilled dough and Rolos and followed directions to a T. Can’t figure out what went wrong.