Oatmeal Carmelitas~

Adapted from a Pillsbury Bake Off recipe

2 cups flour
2 cups quick cooking rolled oats
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, melted
14 ounce package of light caramels, unwrapped
1/3 cup half and half
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350º.  Grease 9 x 13 inch pan.

In large bowl, combine flour, oatmeal, sugar, soda and salt.  Stir to blend.  Add melted butter and mix till well combined.  Reserve half the crumbs, about 3 cups.  Press remaining crumbs into bottom of pan.

In a small microwave safe bowl, combine caramels and half and half.  Heat for 4-6 minutes on half power, stirring a couple times during the melting process, until caramels are melted and mixture is smooth.

Sprinkle crust with chocolate chips (and pecans if using).  Drizzle with melted caramel mixture and top with reserved crumbs.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or till golden brown.  Cool at least one hour before cutting.