It’s that time of the year again. You know, December: the month of Christmas lights, good cheer, the smell of warm apple pie wafting around every street corner, the murmur of family chatter over holiday feasts, and the universally-acknowledged wish that we all had the metabolic capacities of high school swimmers again.
Yeah, that time.
These fudgy, rich, and not-a-dry-crumb-in-sight brownies made me wish really, really hard for that metabolism. Ditch the woolen socks (although after these I could use a roomier pair of jeans) and come onnnn, Santa!
In our extended household, holiday dinners are always something of a battlefield. Imagine the Spartans meeting the Huns meeting Napoleon Bonaparte, then imagine them getting squished into an itty-bitty little corner by Brobdingnagian knocking elbows and clattering plates. Stretchy pants are the phrase of the day, and chopsticks are our surprise weapon of choice here.
I like to think we burn off all of our food just by fighting for it–but I may or may not have majored in Wishful Thinking in college.
So as you sit there at your computer regretting all the extra stuffing, strudel, and sausage you shoveled onto your plate this lovely weekend-after-Thanksgiving (for all you Americans out there, at least!), I am going to sit here at MY computer–completely blameless, thumbs twiddling–and introduce you to these Epic Dulce de Leche Brownies. Please enjoy the photo-music I have prepared for you while you wait…
La la la la lots, and to all a good–no, amazing, awesome, EPIC brownie!
And you can feed them to the people around you so you feel better about yourself, ha ha. <– But seriously, this actually works…have you tried it? Then don’t talk until you have.
These are, hands down, unlike any brownie I have ever made–and I say that having made all of these uh–mayzing variations. You saw the “Dulce de Leche” in the title and thought these were just normal dulce de leche brownies, didn’t you? Oho, not so, my fast friends. Here’s the secret to these incredibly fudgy, and possibly most flavor-packed brownies ever: the dulce de leche goes straight into the batter. Not swirled, not drizzled. IN.
Although I have recently taken to creating my own recipes (including my all-time favorite Best Chewy Biscoff Blondies recipe–have you checked it out yet?), I have Sommer from A Spicy Perspective to thank for this recipe. She even goes to the trouble of diagramming the epic proportions that make up this extra-thick, ultra-fudgy brownie! Talk about dedication. I was sold faster than a Black Friday Playstation 4 combo set (which, sadly, I have not yet been gifted).
But really, you need to make these to believe these–they will have your family and friends caroling your praises all season long! And with New Year’s resolutions galore right around the corner, you’ll want to make these NOW. There’s no time like the present–and what better present than gifting yourself a batch of the best brownies ever?
Epic Dulce de Leche Brownies
Yield: 1 9×9-inch baking pan; 16 large squares
Adapted from A Spicy Perspective, who is basically a genius
- 8 oz. (or approximately 1.5 cups) dark chocolate chips–semi-sweet will work in a pinch
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter or margarine
- 7 ounces dulce de leche OR homemade dulce de leche (Recipe below)
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 5/6 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons instant coffee granules, crushed
- 1.5 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (other add-ins, such as nuts or chopped candy, may also be added)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×9-inch baking pan with lightly greased foil and set aside.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, melt butter, chocolate, and dulce de leche together in 30-second intervals, stirring vigorously between each interval.
- Beat white sugar into melted chocolate mixture.
- Add vanilla and egg, then mix until combined.
- Add flour, cocoa powder, salt, and coffee granules. Stir in until just incorporated.
- Gently fold in 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and other desired add-ins.
- Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, until toothpick comes out MOSTLY clean–trust me, your brownies will be ready to party at this point! Remove the pan from the oven and immediately sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips. Wait 5 minutes, then spread the melted chocolate over the tops of the brownies.
- Allow to cool completely on stovetop before cutting brownies into fudgy, delicious squares of epic proportions.
Dulce de Leche Recipe
There are many ways to make dulce de leche at home. I used the oven method, which is simple and requires 1 (16 oz.) can of sweetened condensed milk–for the recipe above, you will only require half of this amount, or 8 oz.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Pour the condensed milk into a baking dish and loosely cover it with foil.
- Place this baking dish in a roasting pan or a larger baking pan; fill the large pan with hot water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the smaller pan. Then slide both pans into the preheated oven.
- Bake for approximately 80-90 minutes, stirring at 15-minute intervals. Your dulce de leche will achieve a rich golden caramel color and should be fairly thick. For more visual and detailed instructions, see the Wiki page for How to Make Dulce de Leche.