Monday, October 4, 2010

Dulce de Leche Brownie Bites

After a stressful week, I picked up a a can of condensed milk with the intention to make dulce de leche. After a little internetz research, I discovered the old-school candy making technique was more advanced than I was prepared for. I opted instead to boil down the condensed milk over the stove top. Yes, it's simple in the way that there is only one step, but a sacrifice in the way that you cannot leave its side. But I promise these little puppies are even better than the mouth-watering pictures.
    (adapted Martha recipe)
  • 1, 14oz can condensed milk (see Brands I Like)
  • 2 cups flour (King Arthur Brand is my fav)
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon Ghirardelli cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 + 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

NOTE: The first time I made these, I tried making thumbprint cookies as pictured below. However, when the cookies baked they flatten out more than I liked, so the next batch I put the cookie dough balls into a muffin pan. This worked like a charm. Fuss free, plus you can make even bigger cookie like the pic above!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the dulce de leche first, so it can cool and be easily malleable when you're ready to fill the brownie bites. In a small sauce pan, or better yet, a double boiler if you have one, add the can of condensed milk. Put heat on low and slowly stir the milk until it starts to heat up. Once hot, raise the temperate to a medium heat. Stir constantly and get comfortable.

Keep stirring! This process will take approximately 25 - 30 minutes. You need to stay by that stove side the entire time. Stay attuned to the condensed milk. If you catch sight or scent of any hint that the milk is burning, lower heat immediately. Adjust heat as needed and after about 15 minutes, and you're feeling nothing as happened, the milk will finally start to thicken. Between 20-30 minutes you'll feel the milk turn to a caramel thickness. I removed mine from heat after 25 minutes, when at the consistency shown above. Set aside.

Sift flour, cocoa powder, and salt into a small bowl.

Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium, and add yolks, cream, and vanilla. Scrape sides of bowl. Beat in cocoa flour mixture until just combined.

TO MAKE COOKIES: Roll balls using 2 teaspoons dough for cookies. Place cookies 1 inch apart on greased baking sheets. With chapstick or handle of a wooden spoon, press gently in the center of each to create an indentation. Bake until cookies are just set, about 6 minutes.

TO MAKE BROWNIE BITES: (Recommended Method) Roll balls using 2 tablespoons dough for brownie bites. Place cookie dough balls into greased muffin tins. Bake until cookies are just set, about 8 minutes.

While brownie bites/cookies bake, shape dulce de leche into chickpea sized balls for cookies - or mable sized balls for brownie bites. You can flatten these slightly to make more of a button shaped candy. After specified time above, remove brownie bites/cookies and add one dulce de leche candy to the center of each. If cookies have lost indent, press indents again. If making brownie bites in muffin tins, just push the dulce de leche buttons into the center of each. Rotate the brownie bites/cookies when putting back into oven. Bake for an additional 6 minutes.

Let cool completely and enjoy! These decadent treats were a hit will Bill :)

Brands I Use

You can find condensed milk in grocery stores usually with the latin american foods. Here's the random brand that I grabbed at my local store. One small can will be plenty, and you can always roll the extra into buttons and enjoy as homemade candies!

If you have ANY recipe that calls for cocoa powder - this is what to use. Bill's mother bought us a container once to make her frosting recipe, and I've been using nothing else since.


  1. La Lechera also comes in a SQUEEZE BOTTLE! It's a controlled substance, so proceed with caution.