Friday, March 16, 2012

Dulce de Leche Brownies

If you hadn't already noticed by the content of this blog, I'm not a huge sweets eater.  I very rarely have anything sweet or chocolaty in my kitchen (the holidays and girl-scout-cookie season are the main exceptions to this rule), and it never really bothers me.  Any cravings for sweet foods can usually be handled with a bowl of cereal or a spoonful of soy ice cream that I keep in the freezer.  Told you -- not a big sweet tooth!  But on those occasions that I'm really in the mood for something sinful, I figure I can just bake it myself.  Chocolate chip cookies can be thrown together in a hot minute, as can a super easy shortbread recipe that I use from Big Girls Small Kitchen.  But I read a blog post about easy dulce de leche and was intrigued enough to want to test it out.  I didn't want to have random cans of this sweet treat without putting them to good use, so a quick search for "dulce de leche brownies" and I had sealed my fate.  My kitchen would once again be home to some decadent, chocolate treats. 

After some internet research on the best and easiest way to cook dulce de leche from a can of condensed milk, I settled on the slow cooker version.  Stove top cooking had a few references to "explosions" and I didn't want to deal with that.  Slow cooking seemed to be the way to go for no fuss and minimal risk.  Turned out AMAZING.  Sweet, caramely, rich dulce de leche with very little effort.  The brownies were similarly easy to put together.  And they were dense, but didn't turn out overly rich, which allowed the sweetness of the dulce de leche to really shine through.  I'll admit: it was nice to have a dessert option for the last couple of nights!  I still have another can of dulce de leche that needs to be used.  More sweets might be in my future.
No-Fuss Dulce de Leche

1 can of sweetened condensed milk (or as many as will fit in your slow cooker)

Remove the paper wrapping from the can of sweetened condensed milk.  Check the can to make sure it has no punctures or dents.  And do not open it!  Lay the can in the bottom of a slow cooker on its side.  Cover the can with about 1 inch of water. 

Heat the slow cooker to low and "cook" the can for about 8 hours.  Check every so often to be sure that the can is still covered with water.  Don't leave unattended in case it starts leaking. 

Once the 8 hours are up, remove the can from the slow cooker and allow to come to room temperature.  Once cooled, place your dulce de leche in the fridge (you can keep it in the unopened can) until you are ready to use it....preferably to make these smashing brownies..... 

Dulce de Leche Brownies
adapted only slightly from David Lebowitz

1 stick of unsalted butter, cut into pieces
8 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 can of your dulce de leche (above)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  In a small sauce pan over medium heat, melt the butter.  Reduce heat to low and add the semi-sweet chocolate, stirring continuously until melted and smooth.  Add the cocoa powder and whisk until it has combined.  Pour the chocolate mixture into a mixing bowl.

Add the eggs, one at a time, to the chocolate mixture, fully incorporating the egg into the chocolate before adding the next egg.  Then add your sugar, vanilla extract, and flour.  Mix to combine.

Prepare a 9x9 inch baking dish with aluminium foil on the bottom and sides of the baking dish.  (The brownies are really sticky, so this step helped a lot for serving and clean up!).  Spray the foil with baking spray.

Scrape half of the brownie mixture into the pan and spread evenly.  Then add large spoonfuls of your dulce de leche to the top of the brownie mixture.  Use about half of the can.  Using a knife, swirl the dulce de leche to even it out.  Scrape the next half of the brownie mixture on top and spread it evenly.  Drizzle the remaining dulce de leche over the brownies and use your knife again to create swirly patterns. 

Bake for about 35-40 minutes, or until the brownies in the middle of the pan have just set.  Test with a cake tester or fork if you want to ensure that they are done.  Eat a brownie warm out of the oven.  Take extras to your friends to impress them with your culinary wizardry.


  1. This recipe is missing 1 cup of sugar that was in the original recipe... poor ruined pan of brownies.

  2. OH NO!!!! Thank you for pointing that out. Poor ruined brownies and poor ruined hopes :( So sorry for overlooking that omissions.

  3. The post has been fixed. I'd send you a pan of brownies to make up for it if I could!!

  4. it's okay - I have a whole jar of tasty dulce de leche and some suprisingly-still-edible-if-not-delicious brownies to show for it. glad I caught it before it caught someone else!