There is literally hundreds of ways you can make a brownies different, like chocolate brownies with tahini. But if you only ever try one, let it be this chocolate brownies with dulce de leche recipe. It is that damn good.
These rich cocoa brownies are stuffed with dulce de leche, then topped with salty pretzel pieces. As if that is not enough, after they are baked, they are drizzled with more dulce de leche.
Is dulce de leche the same as caramel?
Not really the same, though they are similar and when you try dulce de leche for the first time, you will definitely think they are similar.
Dulce de leche is a milk and sugar based caramel. Basically you cook sweetened condensed milk, which is milk and sugar combined already, until the sugars caramelize. The caramel we are all familiar with is made from sugar and water.
And you absolutely do not have to make your own, they sell cans of it in every single grocery I have ever been to in the last 8+ years. You can also get fancy dulce de leche like this, which I have also had and it is delicious. Does it taste better? Yeah, and it not as thick as the cans from the grocery store, but it is significantly more expensive.
You can make your own though, if you so desire. And you can find directions on how to here.
I have pretty much one brownie recipe that I use all the time, that I love. And I use it for this dulce de leche brownie recipe too. Here's what you need:
- Browned butter. Browning butter couldn’t be easier, and I do it all the time to bring out a deeper and nuttier flavor. Just cook melted butter past the melting point. The butter will bubble and foam, and eventually settle down. The milk solids in the butter will brown and the flavor resut is nutty and delicious.
- White sugar
- Cocoa powder. The dulce de leche is so sweet that using a cocoa powder brownie recipe is the perfect compliment.
- Salt. Because there is nothing better than a little salt with chocolate and caramel
- Vanilla extract
Using a boxed brownie mix for this recipe
Here's my thoughts on that...
Listen, I am absolutely not the person who thinks every damn thing out of your kitchen should be 100% homemade. I have five kids, three jobs, three dogs and a husband who is literally sitting so close to me at the table right now, we are touching arms. I get it.
You maybe don't have all the ingredients for making your own, you maybe think you don't have the time, maybe your kids really really like boxed brownies (mine prefer them hands down). All of these are legit things, tho I will say the time it takes isn't so much more. So all that being said...USE BOX MIX!
As a recipe developer, I must provide you with a scratch made brownie recipe for these dulce de leche brownies. But use what you have and what will work for your house! Who cares! All that matters is that you eat them and enjoy them. How you get there DOES NOT MATTER.
Making box brownie mix taste better
Now a few quick and easy tips for making your boxed brownies 'extra'...
- Add a ¼ cup cocoa powder. This makes them extra chocolatey.
- Add salt.
- Throw in some vanilla.
- Use melted butter instead of oil. Doesn't have to be browned, just regular melted is fine. Brownies should be made with butter. Period.
Tips for success
A few things to make sure you have the best dulce de leche brownies
- Spread half the brownie batter first, then spread ¾ of the dulce de leche can over that and then the rest of the brownie batter. Canned dulce de leche you get at the store in tick so it won't spread super easy and that's ok, doesn't have to be perfect.
- Push your pretzel pieces into the top of the brownies to make sure they stay put.
- To get that dulce de leche drizzle on top, warm the remaining dulce de leche on the stop top in a sauce pan with a little bit of cream or half and half to thin it out for drizzling. It can burn to the pan so don't overdo it.
A little sprinkle of extra seas salt (just tiniest bit) is the perfect finishing touch.
Other brownie recipes you may love:
- 1 mixing bowl
- 1 8x8 square baking pan can be glass or metal
For the brownies
- 16 tablespoons butter browned
- 2 ½ cups sugar
- 1 ½ cups unsweetened cocoa powder I use ½ black cocoa powder and ½ regular unsweetened
- ½ tablespoon salt I use kosher
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- ⅔ cup flour
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 13.4 ounces dulce de leche see above for making your own if you prefer
- 1 cup of pretzels crumbled
- Heat oven to 325 and line an 8x8 square baking pan with foil and butter or spray with cooking spray.
- Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Keep cooking until butter stops foaming and bubbling, you will notice the browned bits forming at bottom of pan, scrape those up with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat; immediately add sugar, cocoa, 2 teaspoons water, vanilla, and salt. Stir to blend. Let cool 5 minutes (mixture will still be hot). Add eggs, beating hard with a wooden spoon or spatula - most importantly DO NOT USE A WHISK) to blend after each egg addition. When mixture looks thick and shiny, add flour and continue stirring with a wooden spooning until blended.
- Pour ½ the batter into prepared baking dish and spread to level out. By the spoonful drop about ¾ of the can of dulce de leche onto the brownie batter and spread around as best you can. Spread the remaining half of the brownie batter on top. Sprinkle the pretzel pieces on top of the brownies and lightly press them into the batter.
- Bake at 325 for about 45 minutes or until set in the middle. Cool completely.
- TO make the dulce de leche drizzle. Warm the remaining dulce de leche in a saucepan with a little bit of cream or half and half to thin out. Start with a little cream and whisk, adding until desired thinness for drizzling.
- Drizzle the warm dulce de leche over the cooled brownies before cutting and serving.