Dulce de leche brownie bars

I’m not a huge chocolate person. No, that doesn’t mean that I hate chocolate. I don’t mind chocolate and I think it can make a nice accompaniment to things, I just don’t get what all the hype is about. Since there were a few chocoholics at our Thanksgiving table though, I thought it only right to make a chocolate dessert. I decided on dulce de leche brownie bars.

They were a huge hit with everyone at the table and I will definitely be making these again. Though they take some time they’re actually really easy to make and they can be made several days ahead. The hardest part of the whole process is cutting them in to squares.

This recipe is adapted from the Grasshopper Squares recipe from Gourmet magazine (which I also plan on making at some point because I do love mint with chocolate). Enjoy!

Dulce de leche brownie bars

Brownie layer

  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5-6 oz good quality semisweet chocolate chips (I just eyeball half the bag)
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk; lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 3 Tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • Large pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly butter an 8×8, then line completely with foil leaving a 2 inch overhang on all sides. Butter foil.

Melt butter and chocolate with brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Remove from heat.

Whisk eggs and vanilla in to chocolate mixture until combined. Then whisk in dry ingredients until just combined.

Pour batter in to foil lined pan as evenly as possible and bake 15-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs.

Allow to cool completely. Store in refrigerator.

Dulce de leche

  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

Peel the label off of your can (only so it doesn’t make a mess in your pot). Place sealed can in a deep pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and allow to boil for 2 hours making sure the water never dips below the can and adding more boiling water when necessary.

It is very important that the water not dip below the can because the pressure of this can cause the can to explode, which is not only messy, but dangerous. I suggest keeping a kettle of simmering water next to the pot to add when needed and check every once in awhile. Remember that the deeper your pot the better.

After 2 hours, gently dump the water and can in the sink (I usually do this through a colander to give the can a softer landing). Allow to cool until you are able to handle the can, but contents is still warm, which will take a few hours.

Pour warm dulce de leche over chilled brownies and smooth with an offset spatula. Chill completely in refrigerator.

Chocolate ganache

  • 5-6 oz good quality semisweet chocolate chips (ie the other half of the bag)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Put chocolate chips in mixing bowl and set aside.

In small saucepan bring cream to a simmer.

Pour cream over chips and allow to stand one minute, then whisk until smooth.

Allow to cool slightly until ganache is still warm, but manageable. Pour over completely chilled dulce de leche layer and smooth with offset spatula.

Cool completely in the refrigerator.

Cutting, serving and storing

Once brownies have completely cooled remove them from pan by picking up the the foil overhang. Peel the foil from the brownies.

Run a long sharp knife under hot water and wipe dry. Cut brownies in to squares continuing to heat and dry the blade as necessary. This will take some serious upper body strength.


Remove from refrigerator a few minutes before serving.

Brownie bars can be stored layered between sheet of wax paper in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Yields 12-16 bars

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