Dulce de Leche Brownies

As November comes to a close, so too does my time commuting to Boston. This is my last week of work at the firm, and while I’ve enjoyed seeing my old friends again, I’m excited to once again have more time (and energy!) to devote to this blog. With all of the holiday baking plans I have in store, the timing couldn’t be more perfect! Plus, I know Shane will be glad for me to resume my chef duties at home; he’s done a great job getting dinner on the table every night and I’m fortunate he stepped up to help out. If you’d asked me a few months ago if I’d like to have someone cook dinner for me every night of the week I’d have said yes without hesitation, but I’ve actually missed it quite a bit. Ahhh, perspective…

Dulce de Leche Brownies

As part of last weekend’s baking marathon, I finally got a chance to make these dulce de leche brownies that I’ve been eyeing for months. Some leftover dulce de leche in my fridge from the cupcakes I made recently gave me just the excuse I needed to stop procrastinating and whip these up. The batter is made entirely in one saucepan and literally takes, at most, about 10 minutes to put together, so now I feel a bit silly that I waited so long. I urge you to get in your kitchen and make them asap – just look at that rich, dense brownie and the gooey dulce de leche swirl! These are intense – the texture reminded me of fudge more than any brownie I’ve ever made, so a tiny piece will totally satisfy you. I sent them to work with Shane on Monday and later that afternoon he forwarded me an email from his coworker which said (in part): “there are no words to explain how ridiculously BOMB that brownie is.” If that doesn’t convince you to give these a try, I’m pretty sure nothing I can say will either :)

Dulce de Leche Brownies

Dulce de Leche Brownies
from David Lebovitz

{I used store-bought dulce de leche, but if you want to make your own, here’s one method. Also, if you go the store-bought route, I recommend warming the dulce de leche in a small saucepan over low heat while you make the brownie batter – it’ll loosen it up just enough to make it easier to swirl.}

8 tablespoons (115g) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
6 oz (170g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup (25g) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
3 large eggs
1 cup (200g) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (140g) flour
1 cup dulce de leche

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line an 8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on opposite sides to lift the brownies out after they’ve baked.  Spray the pan/foil with nonstick cooking spray.

Add the butter to a medium saucepan and set over low heat.  Melt the butter, stirring occasionally.  Add the chocolate and continue cooking over low, stirring constantly, until the chocolate is melted and smooth.  Turn off the heat under the pan and whisk in the cocoa powder.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Stir in the sugar and vanilla and, finally, the flour.  The batter will be very thick.

Transfer half of the batter to the prepared pan and spread in an even layer. Dollop about one third of the dulce de leche over the batter and use a thin knife to swirl the two together (just a few times). Spread the remaining brownie batter in the pan, then dollop the remaining dulce de leche on top and again use a thin knife to swirl the them together.

Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the brownies feel just slightly firm on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached.  Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the brownies cool completely before removing and cutting into squares.