Dulce de Leche Brownies

Ingredients

3/4  cup  butter
3  ounces  unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1-1/2  cups  sugar
3    eggs, lightly beaten
1-1/2  teaspoons  vanilla
1  cup  all-purpose flour
Caramel Swirl

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x9x2-inch baking pan with foil, extending the foil over the edges of the pan. Grease foil; set aside.

2. In a medium saucepan, melt and stir butter and chocolate over medium-low heat until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in flour just until combined.

3. Spread batter evenly in the prepared pan. Top evenly with spoonfuls of the Caramel Swirl. With a thin metal spatula, swirl into batter.

4. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched and edges are starting to pull away from sides of the pan. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Using the edges of the foil, lift the uncut brownies out of the pan. Cut into bars. Makes 16 brownies.

To Store: Place bars in a single layer in an airtight container; cover. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze up to 3 months.

Caramel Swirl: In a small saucepan, combine 12 unwrapped vanilla caramels, one 3-ounce package cream cheese, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1 tablespoon milk. Cook and stir over medium-low heat just until caramels melt. In a small bowl, beat 1 egg yolk; gradually stir into the caramel mixture.

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Ok, I admit. Sometimes, I like to be BAD. Bad like in making a batch of brownies or some other goodie with all the fat. I’ve read that to cut out fat like butter and oil you can replace it with applesauce or pumpkin puree. That isn’t the same for me. You have to have SOME kind of fat in there. If I were going to lighten up this recipe, I’d use 1/3 cup of egg beaters, 1/2 cup of applesauce and 1/4 cup of butter. Or if you’d really like you could use a box of that no pudge brownie mix instead to make things simple.

I’ve also been in love with dulce de leche lately. Instead of making the caramel sauce, I just put a couple of tablespoons of dulce de leche on the batter and used a tooth pick to swirl it around in the brownie. It took about 15 minutes longer than the recipe calls for to cook. Chocolate Brownies + Dulce de Leche = HEAVEN.

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