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Redemption Brownies


Recently, I made brownies and did not have chocolate in the house to melt down.  So, I made them with only cocoa powder.  It was an epic fail.
Lesson learned, do not take short cuts with brownies. 

Feeling extremely unsatisfied with that batch of bad brownies, my craving for them was unfulfilled.
Seeking redemption, I decided that this effort had to be proportionately as good as the last batch was bad…  meaning, these brownies had to rock. 

I had about a cup of dulce de leche left over from this and aside from eating it straight from the container with the biggest spoon I could find (a thought which I seriously entertained), I decided that I should be a bit more creative.

Needing to expunge the memory of these humdrum brownies, it was clear that this was what my leftovers were intended for.

Making brownies from scratch takes about 5 minutes longer than making them from a box.   The only extra step is melting chocolate into butter, the rest of the process is the same. 

To say that brownies from scratch are the same as boxed mix is like saying cheese in a can is the same as an aged cheddar.

We have all used boxed mixes or frosting in a can, but sometimes you need to have the real thing and this is most definitely the best brownie I have ever made.

Dulce de Leche Brownies

  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
  • 6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup dulce de leche

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Line an 8-inch square pan with a long piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil that covers the bottom and comes up over the sides.  Place another sheet over, making a large cross with the edges that overhang the sides.  Grease the bottom and sides lightly with butter or non-stick spray.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan.  Add the chocolate pieces and stir constantly over very low heat until the chocolate is melted.  Remove from heat and whisk in cocoa powder until smooth.  Let cool slightly, to ensure eggs to do “scramble” when added.  Add eggs, one at a time, then stir in sugar, vanilla, then flour, just to combine.  Do not over mix.

Scrape half of the batter into the prepared pan.  Drop one-third of the dulce de leche, evenly spaced, over the brownie batter, then drag a knife through to swirl it slightly.  Do not drag the knife through too many times, or you will not have lovely pockets of dulce de leche, you will have incorporated it into the batter.

Spread the remaining brownie batter over, then drop spoonfuls of the remaining dulce de leche in dollops over the top of the brownie batter, drag a knife through to swirl again.  Try not to drop the dulce de leche exactly where you did underneath, that way you will get an even distribution throughout.

Bake for 35 – 45 minutes.  The brownies are done when the center feels just-slightly firm.  Remove from oven and cool completely.   Lift out of pan with overhang of paper/foil.

These brownies actually become better the second day and will keep well for up to 3 days.

Recipe: David Lebovitz,  The Sweet Life in Paris


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