chocolate dulce de leche bars

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Good grief, I’m behind.  I have four Thanksgiving desserts, a chocolate peanut butter fire engine cake (yes, all of those words do belong together), and two recipes for UCLA tailgating (when we beat USC) this Saturday.  Forgive me if I’m a bit less wordy on this one.

butter. sugar. vanilla. this can't go wrong

So, chocolate dulce de leche bars.  On their own, any of those words would be pretty fantastic, but whoever thought to combine them is a bloody genius.  Also, I believe this provides pretty solid reasoning as to why it’s a crime that Gourmet isn’t still on newsstands.

blend till you've got this

But I digress.  These, these were in my kitchen mere weeks ago, and then they were on the kitchen table of the lovely people who invited me to their home on Thanksgiving Day (my family is a bit unconventional and celebrates Thanksgiving on Friday), and they should be in your kitchens as soon as you can get your hands on some dulce de leche.  I stumbled on it in the baking aisle with the canned milks while looking for some sweetened condensed milk with which to make my own; luckily, my past failures with homemade dulce de leche have rendered it the one substance I’m content to purchase pre-made.

this, friends - this is dulce de leche

In the future, I might try adding a layer of pure dulce de leche between the crust and the chocolate, just because the flavor isn’t too apparent through all the chocolate.  I also might throw in a tablespoon or so of flour to the chocolate dulce de leche mixture to firm it up a tiny bit.  Otherwise…go ahead and get on these.  And if you don’t try some dulce de leche plain (or sandwiched between two little almond-y cookies), I don’t think I want to be friends with you anymore.

does this picture explain why you should make these?

[I also made these again.  You’ll see what they were used for next time.]

Chocolate Dulce de Leche Bars

Adapted from the dearly departed Gourmet Magazine

For shortbread crust:

1 stick salted butter, softened

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Scant 1 teaspoon salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

For chocolate dulce de leche:

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup dulce de leche

4 large egg yolks

7 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375˚F.  Butter a 9” square baking pan [*Alli’s note: I doubled the recipe and used a 13×9].  Line bottom and 2 sides with parchment paper, leaving an overhang.  Butter parchment.

Mix butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt gently in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Slowly add flour; blend until a soft dough forms.

Spread dough evenly in pan [*Alli’s note: Grease your spatula.  This stuff is kind of sticky.], then prick all over with a fork.  Bake until golden (15 to 20 minutes) and cool completely in pan on a rack (about 30 minutes).

Simmer cream and dulce de leche in a saucepan, stirring with a wooden spoon until dulce de leche dissolves.  Whisk yolks together in a bowl, then slowly whisk in hot cream mixture.  Return to saucepan and cook over medium heat until mixture reaches 170˚F on an instant-read thermometer.  Remove from heat, whisk in chocolate until melted.

Pour chocolate mixture over shortbread curst and chill, uncovered, until cold and set (about 2 hours).  Run a small knife around pan’s edges to soften, then transfer to a cutting board using parchment.  Cut with a hot clean knife; chill until ready to serve.

*Alli’s note: I drizzled with some melted white chocolate for aesthetic value.

 

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