I had a jar of dulce de leche from Trader Joe's that I bought before the holidays, intending to make sandwich cookies for my holiday baking gifts and sandwich the cookies with dulce de leche. Best laid plans and all that. No, I never made the cookies I'd planned on so that meant I had a jar of dulce de leche still sitting in my pantry, wondering how it was going to be used.
Pinterest once again to the rescue. I searched dulce de leche brownies and most of them were for chocolate brownies that essentially treated the dulce de leche like caramel and swirled it into the batter. Nothing wrong with that and if I'd had a jar of caramel, I might've tried one of those recipes. But I was in the mood for something non-chocolate that wouldn't compete with the dulce de leche flavor like chocolate would.
So I found this recipe from Butter Lust (great name). It's basically a blondie with a layer of dulce de leche in the middle. Perfect. I did modify the recipe though. The original one called for 2 teaspoons of coarse sea salt, hence the "salted" in the title. I put a slightly different spin on it by cutting the salt to 1 teaspoon in the batter (I used regular iodized salt) then sprinkling some fleur de sel over the layer of dulce de leche. I figured that would make the salt a little more prominent.
So.... if you're still sticking to your New Year's resolution to watch your intake and eat more healthy, you're going to hate me. Because I'm going to advise you to make this recipe NOW. It was amazing and delicious and even more amazing. A simple buttery blondie with brown sugar caramel overtones makes it tasty enough. Add the dulce de leche for some decadence and you have a diet buster worth extra time in the gym. Don't let the pictures fool you – I couldn't get a good enough shot to get their goodness to come across. Try for yourself and see.
Let the blondies cool completely and set (if you can wait that long) or it'll be too mushy. I liked it at room temperature but if you like a more firm texture, try freezing it and eating it half-frozen or well chilled. Superb.
Salted dulce de leche blondies
Modified from Butter Lust
1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dulce de leche
1 teaspoon fleur de sel
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 x 9 baking pan with foil and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar.
- Add vanilla and eggs until just combined.
- On low speed, add baking soda, salt and flour, mixing until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Press 2/3 of the batter in the bottom of the pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the bottom layer begins to set.
- Remove from oven and pour the dulce de leche evenly over bottom layer. Top with spoonfuls of the remaining batter, covering as much of the dulce de leche as possible and return to the oven.
- Bake another 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and blondies are golden brown. Cool completely before cutting.
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