I have always loved salted caramel candies covered in dark chocolate. Making candy at home can be tricky, so I thought to bring those delicious flavors to an easy-to-make brownie. For the brownie batter, I turned to a favorite shortcut of mine—Betty Crocker® Dark Chocolate Brownie Mix. Instead of caramel, I used dulce de leche, a sweet and creamy caramel-like spread made from slowly cooked sweetened condensed milk. You can use store-bought dulce de leche, or even better, make your own following my steps.
Although simple, the dulce de leche does take some time to make. For that reason, I like to cook mine the night before I am going to bake the brownies. Here's how to do it. Place a can of sweetened condensed milk (label removed) inside a large saucepan and completely submerge it in water. Cover the pan, bring the water to a boil and cook for 3 hours over medium-low heat. (Make sure the can is covered with water for the whole cooking time.)
Wait for the can to cool completely before opening. This is how your dulce de leche will look:
Transfer the dulce de leche to a bowl and stir in 1 teaspoon of salt. Set aside.
Now you can get ready to bake the brownies.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (or 325°F for dark or non-stick pans). Grease and line a 9x9 baking pan with parchment paper. Prepare the brownie batter according to the box directions. Spread half of the batter into the baking pan. Top with 1/3 of the salted dulce de leche.
Using a butter knife, swirl the dulce de leche into the brownie batter.
Repeat the same process with the other half of the batter and the remaining dulce de leche.
Bake for approximately 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. When the baking pan is cool enough to handle, transfer the brownies to a cooling rack. When completely cool, cut into squares.
Top each square with melted dark chocolate.
Finish with a generous sprinkle of sea salt.
Put in the refrigerator to allow the melted chocolate to set (about 15 minutes), and then serve.
The flavor and texture combinations in these brownies are so irresistible I find it hard to eat just one, especially if accompanied by a glass of cold milk or mug of hot coffee. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!