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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Dulce de Leche Brownies

Dulce de Leche Brownies
You've been running around like crazy for the past three weeks, things picking up just before Thanksgiving and not slowing down since. You've been the host one day and the guest the next. You've played Santa, or at least started shopping for your gifts (hopefully!). You're consisting on a diet of party foods and cookies, no matter how many times you swear you're going to eat clean for a day. On top of it, you're meeting pediatricians, attending childbirth classes, and decorating a nursery. Okay, maybe that last part is just me! Needless to say, though, you're busy...and just when you think you might be getting all the cooking and baking and cleaning and gifting all together, you remember you volunteered to bring something to that (fill-in-the-blank) party you were invited to. 
Pin Itbrownies
Have no fear, these brownies will save the day! They're easy, much easier than cookies which require you to shape each one and break out multiple pans. They're simple thanks to using store bought dulce de leche (a jar of caramel sauce would also work)...heck, you could even use brownie mix if you're so inclined! Best of all, they're popular...because who doesn't love chocolate and caramel?! Slow down, take a deep breath, and make a batch of these, then savor the last week before we celebrate Christmas!

One Year Ago: Slow Cooker Vegetable Sausage Soup
Two Years Ago: Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies 
Three Years Ago: Baked Vegetable Mac and Cheese and Green Tea Sugar Cookies
Four Years Ago: Strip Steak with Rosemary Wine Sauce and Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Dulce de Leche Brownies
slightly adapted from Grandbaby Cakes

-1 stick unsalted butter
-6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
-1/2 cup sugar
-2 large eggs
-1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
-5/8 cup all-purpose flour
-1/4 tsp salt
-1 can (12.5 oz) dulce de leche (I used Stonewall Kitchen Espresso Dulce de Leche)

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter and chocolate and microwave in one minute intervals until chocolate is melted. Stir until smooth. Whisk in the sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in the flour and salt, mixing just until combined.
3. Spread half of the brownie batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow brownie base to cool for 20 minutes before spreading the dulce de leche over the base, spreading evenly. Top with the remaining brownie batter, covering the dulce de leche. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in the fridge until ready to serve for firm, fudgy brownies.