When life gives you lemons, make them into brownies

It’s been some time my friends.  I hope anyone reading this is well, healthy and hanging in there.

I’ve been absent for a variety of reasons.  For one, while the working part of the working from home transition has been easy, it means I’ve lost my “client” base.  Baking really just isn’t as fun when I can’t share the spoils–and my creativity has suffered for it.

Speaking of work, it’s really all I’ve been doing.  I work for a university, and like lots of large, human-dense institutions, the pandemic has disrupted just about everything we do.  It’s exciting in a way–higher education evolves at a notoriously slow rate, so a catastrophic event is often the only excuse we have to enact change quickly.  The work has been interesting, I think eventually it will be useful and it’s empowering to be able to contribute during a time when helplessness is often the plat du jour (at least for me).

But, it’s been all-encompassing.

Even so, I had to stop by and share this recipe for lemon brownies.  It’s by Helen Goh, so I really don’t need to say any more.  Except, that, you need them in your life.  And, they’re simple enough in ingredients and technique that you can have them in your life over and over again.

These snack cakes are tart, sweet and on par in deliciousness with their fussier to make cousin, the lemon bar.  And unlike lemon bars, they travel really well should you need something to bring to your next socially distanced outing.

The original recipe calls for half a cup of berries.  I haven’t used them here, but if you have them, go for it! Lemons and blueberries or raspberries are good friends.

I have no idea how often TMHostess will be updated in the coming months.  I have several posts ready for the writing, just not the time (or motivation) to get them to “print.”  So, I’ll see you when I see you.  Stay well and safe.

Helen Goh’s Lemon Brownies

adapted slightly because I can’t help it and converted to include volumetric measurements


  •  1 2/3 C (200g) all purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 C (250g) unsalted butter, cut into dice-sized pieces
  • 1  1/2 C (300g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest, chopped
  • 1/2 C (100ml) lemon juice (separate 2 TBS for icing)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Optional: 1/2 C blueberries, raspberries or whatever fruit you like to pair with citrus
  • 1 C confectioner’s sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line bottom of a 9X9 pan with parchment and grease.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, soda and salt.  Set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan, melt butter on low heat.  Once butter is melted, gently stir-in sugar and lemon zest. Continue mixing (with heat on) until mixture is smooth, shiny and hot (about 2 minutes).
  4. Remove from heat and whisk-in lemon juice (minus 2 TBS) followed by the eggs (one at a time).
  5. Pour mixture into sifted dry ingredients.  Using a spatula, fold until just combined.
  6. Scrape batter into prepared pan.  Bake on middle shelf of oven for 35-40 minutes or until the edges begin to pull away from the pan and the top is golden brown.  Brownies are done when a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean (or with a few crumbs).
  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
  8. Whisk together confectioner’s sugar and 2 TBS lemon.  Water can be added until you get desired consistency.  Using a fork, drizzle icing over brownies.
  9. These will keep in the fridge for at least a week.  You can serve them at room temp but we decided we like them chilled.


How to get a leprechaun to give you directions to his pot of gold

It’s March my friends.  And that means St. Patrick’s Day.  And that means beer.  And Irish names.

A couple of years ago I shared my favorite chocolate cake recipe.   If you’ve been playing along at home, you’ll recall that its secret ingredient is a can of stout beer.  I’m ashamed to admit it has taken me this long to extrapolate the wonders of dark beer and chocolate to brownies.  That’s right, beer.  And brownies.

The good news is that the lightbulb finally went on, and I have a recipe for you.  Like its cousin, the chocolate stout cake, this brownie recipe also begins with a can of beer.  But here, the stout is reduced to about 1/2 cup.  Wait, allow me to explain myself.  I don’t mean that there is less beer.  I mean that it literally gets reduced down via a strong simmer until all that is left is a deep, dark stouty concentrate.  Pwah…less beer.  As if.

Also playing a starring role in this recipe is over a pound of bittersweet chocolate.  Combined with butter and melted until smooth and velvety.

You won’t taste the beer in the brownie.  But, like vanilla or coffee, dark beer boogies with the chocolate to create a deeper, more sophisticated flavor.

I happen to have it on good authority that leprechauns love beer brownies.  So.  Bake up a batch, find a leprechaun and trade for that pot of gold.  Or, keep the brownies for yourself.  The situation is win-win.


Still stuck on that 80s channel on Pandora.

Stout Brownies


  • 1 can stout (like Guinness or Murphy’s)
  • 18 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • .5 lb (16 TBS) unsalted butter
  • 1.25 C granulated sugar
  • 1.5 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 TBS cocoa powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2.25 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 C roasted walnuts


  1. In a medium heavy-bottom saucepan, bring beer to a simmer.  Simmer gently until beer reduces to about 1/2 C.  Remove from heat and let cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9X13 pan with parchment and butter or oil pan and top of parchment.
  3. Using a heavy-bottom saucepan,  melt butter over low heat.  Remove from heat, add chocolate and allow to sit for 3-4 minutes.  Whisk to incorporate chocolate until mixture is completely smooth.  Allow to cool to room tempurature.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, salt and cocoa.
  5. Whisk-in eggs one-at-a-time.  Whisk-in vanilla and beer reduction.
  6. Whisk-in chocolate and butter mixture.
  7. Fold-in flour mixture and then nuts until just incorporated.
  8. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 35-45 minutes, until a wooden skewer comes up with moist crumbs when inserted.
  9. Allow to cool completely before cutting.



Nope, Germany does not have palm trees

I recently learned that TD is a fan of german chocolate cake.   That got the wheels turning.  And, in true pink-peppercorn style I thought; ‘he says he likes german chocolate cake, how about if I make deconstructed german chocolate brownies.’  In my defense, I discovered his affinity because he chose german chocolate cake ice cream at Baskin Robbins.  So…I learned about one thing from another thing and then made something else entirely.  Sounds about normal.

It wasn’t until I was making the dulce de leche that it struck me as odd that something from Germany included coconut as an ingredient.

Now, I’ve never been to Germany, but, I am fairly certain the Bavarian Forest is not home to palm trees.  So, no German coconuts.  Which begs the question–how did the German chocolate cake get its coconut?

The answer?  It didn’t.

The name is actually a bastardization of a recipe that utilized a chocolate by Bakers Chocolate called German’s (after the man who created it).  The original cake (at least according to every source I could find) was created by a Dallas housewife in 1957 and was called German’s Chocolate Cake.  This confection calls a milk-chocolate cake its base and is filled and topped with a pecan, coconut and caramel icing.  In addition to coconut my nod to the original uses dulce de leche and walnuts.  Because, that’s the beauty of baking.

A note on the dulce de leche.  You can buy it if you want.  Even my local understocked grocery store (you know, that one without the mushrooms) carries dulce de leche.  It just happens to cost about $10 a jar.  Do your wallet a favor.  Buy a $1.50 can of sweetened-condensed milk and follow one of the two recipes listed below.  Or, better yet, send me $10 and I’ll make the dulce de leche for you :).

If you like this you might like these

Dulce de Leche

Dulce de Leche Brownies


The Lads.  I’ll explain later

German Chocolate Brownies


  • 12 ounces chopped milk chocolate
  • .5 lb (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1.5  C sugar
  • scant 1/8 C high quality cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 C all purpose flour
  • 1 C toasted walnuts, chopped
  • 1 C (or more to taste) shredded coconut
  • 1 C mini bitter or semi sweet chocolate bits
  • 1 1/2 C dulce de leche (store bought or make your own here or here)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 9X13 pan with parchment and butter entire pan
  2. Using a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, melt butter on low.
  3. Once butter is melted, add chopped milk chocolate, remove from heat and let sit for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Whisk chocolate and butter until smooth.   Allow to cool to room temp.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, cocoa and salt.
  6. Whisk-in eggs one-at-a-time, combining fully between each.
  7. Whisk-in milk chocolate mixture.
  8. Gently fold-in flour until just combined.  Fold-in walnuts, chocolate bits and coconut.  Transfer to prepared pan.
  9. Using a spoon, add dollops of dulce de leche at regular intervals (3 rows of 5 dollups should do you). Run a skewer through the caramel and batter to distribute.
  10. Bake for 34-45 minutes or until an inserted tester or toothpick comes out with moist crumbs when inserted.



Curiously Peppermint Brownies…a mash-update

I knew that I wanted to include my take on the famous Altoid Brownie in this year’s batch of goodies.  However, it wasn’t until I encountered these festive beauties that inspiration hit on how to make them holiday worthy.

Don’t get me wrong, the original recipe is lovely.  I just happen to prefer my own brownie recipe…with baby chunks of chocolate added.

After cutting the truffle-like treats into roughly 1X1 inch squares, I dropped each into a mixture of peppermint sprinkles and powdered sugar.  Slightly pink and smelling of (curiously strong) peppermint, these little cadeaux will be included in my holiday baking for years to come.


Handel’s Messiah.  This piece of music (in its entirety) is easily my favorite holiday tune.  As a child we would see a production of it at the local college nearly every year.  As a college student and into graduate school, I would play this on my Walkman (yes, Walkman) on loop throughout final.  Now, starting the  Monday after Thanksgiving, the Messiah is my most oft played playlist.

Second favorite holiday album?  John Denver and the Muppets.

If you like this, you might like these

Altoid Brownies 

THE Brownie

Holiday Altoid Brownies


  • 1 package peppermint Altoids, pulverized (I used my mini-prep)
  • 16 TBS (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 18 ounces bitter or semi-sweet chocolate chopped in or chips
  • 2 C granulated sugar
  • 2 TBS cocoa
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 eggs, room temp
  • 1 TBS vanilla
  • 2 C flour
  • 12 ounces mini chocolate chips
  • peppermint sprinkles (I found mine at Bristol Farms, also available here)
  • powdered sugar for dipping (2-4 C)


  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees.  Line a 9X13 inch pan with parchment and butter both paper and sides of pan.
  2. In a heavy-bottom saucepan, melt butter over low heat.  Once melted, add chopped chocolate.  Let sit for 2-3 minutes and whisk until smooth.  Set aside an allow to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, cocoa and salt.
  4. Whisk-in eggs one-at-a-time.  Whisk in vanilla.
  5. Fold-in cooled chocolate and butter mixture.  Fold to combine.
  6. Sift flour over bowl of batter and gently fold until the flour is just incorporated.
  7. Add mini chips and fold a few more times to incorporate.
  8. Transfer to pan and into the oven.  Bake until an inserted skewer comes up with fine crumb (35-45 minutes).
  9. Remove from oven and allow brownies to cool completely.  I like to like them sit over night and settle.
  10. In a large ziplock bag combine peppermint sprinkles (to taste) and confectioner’s sugar.  Seal bag and shake for even distribution.
  11. Cut brownies as desired.
  12. Gently emerge a couple of cut brownies-at-a-time into the sugar mixture.  Gently shake-off excess sugar.  Store in air-tight container.



There aren’t many pictures for this post because I tested this recipe veeeeery early one morning before the sun was up.  And, as you’ve all had to painfully experience, the lighting in my kitchen is awful (that’s right, I’m blaming the environment, not the photographer).  I had a meeting.  It was a committee meeting.  The way to get committee people to do stuff is to trick them into it by providing tasty vittles, asking for volunteers and then reminding them that you’ve fed them.  Well, it works some of the time.

In this case, my weapon of choice was a spiced white chocolate brownie.  I know, I know, we had spiced cake last week.  What can I say, it’s fall.  In a word, this baked good is “unexpected.”  With brownies or blondies you aren’t generally thinking cinnamon, ginger or clove.  So, they made a nice contrast to the traditional brownies I also brought (I had a lot to ask for).

And then I threw in some shortbread for good measure.  I like to kick people when they’re down.

Spiced White Chocolate Brownies

Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest, Christmas Cookies, 2011


  • 2 1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 C butter, unsalted
  • 1 3/4 C packed brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 TBS rum
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 6 oz white baking chocolate chopped (TMH note–I used 12 oz)
  • 1 TBS finely chopped crystalized ginger
  • Powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 13X9 inch baking pan with parchment paper.  Grease paper and pan, set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, cardamom, cinnamon, ground ginger and salt.  Set aside.
  3. In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle (or large bowl and electric mixer), cream butter and brown sugar scraping down bowl as needed.  Beat-in eggs, rum and vanilla until combined.
  4. Turn speed setting to low and add flour mixture until combined.  Fold-in chocolate.  Spread batter evenly in prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes.
  5. Cool on wire rack.  If desired, sprinkle brownies with powdered sugar and cut as desired.

Altoid brownies, trust me on this one

I procured this recipe from David Lebovitz who borrowed it from  from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking. Sadly, I can claim no stake its bizarre and wonderful  brilliance.  I will say that based on the rather odd surprise guest ingredient in this recipe and, well, the name of the book itself, I’ve surmised that its authors just might have been in an altered state of mind when they developed it.  Perhaps caused by another type of brownie or edible substance?

The recipe starts, as all brownie recipes worth their weight do: melted chocolate. To this, both white and brown sugars are added.

Then, a whopping five.  Yes FIVE eggs are added.

Next, well, really first if you don’t want to take time out in the middle of your batter preparation.  An entire tin…maybe even a tin-and-a-half of Altoids get sacrificed to the brownie gods.  The instructions suggest using a mallet, rolling pin or pestle and mortar.  I tried the latter first but my pestle and mortar is made for spices and a little undersized for the job at hand.  So, I busted out the meat hammer and went to town.  I do have a picture of what the results look like.  However, the, um, white powder looked startling like a bag of cocaine (or at least what it looks like on TV).  And, despite by Scooby Doesque references in this post, the image wasn’t particularly wholesome.  So, I’ve substituted a shot of the tin as a proxy.

The crushed Altoids and flour are folded-into the batter.

Into the oven.

David Lebovitz notes in his posting of this recipe to err on the side of undercooked.  I couldn’t agree more.  The photo below is of a batch I baked for the suggested 30 minutes.  When I cut them, I thought I’d undercooked them.  What I really did was make the rookie mistake of cutting them the same day I’d baked them (sometimes we don’t follow our own rules) and the results were disappointingly goopy.  By the next day however, they’d set-up beautifully. DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO.  Just to make sure they weren’t undercooked, the next batch I made I upped the bake-time to somewhere between 40 and 45 minutes.  While they were fine, the texture was dryer and the peppermint had lost some of its intensity.  Some of its, shall we say, curious strength.   And, you definitely don’t want that to happen.


Dave Mathews Band of course.

“Baked” Altoid Brownies

Adapted from David Lebevitz adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis & Renato Poliafito

Makes one 9 x 13-inch pan


  • 11 ounces (315g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (60-75% cacao), chopped
  • 8 ounces (215g) unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 1/4 cup (175g) flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons dark, unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Valrhona–that was originally David’s note, but I use Valrhona as well)
  • 1 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120g) packed dark brown sugar
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • optional: 1/4-1/2 teaspoon pure mint extract
  • 1 to 1½ packages of Altoid peppermints, (80-120g), crushed (See Note)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Line the inside of a 9 by 13-inch pan with parchment and butter or oil paper and pan.
  2. Crush the Altoids in a sturdy freezer bag with a mallet,rolling pin,  mortar and pestle–or, if you happen to be feeling particularly violent, a meat tenderizer. They should be relatively fine, but I do like having little bits remaining. . If you want your brownies even more minty, add the larger amount of mints. You can add some pure mint extract to the batter, too.
  3. In a large bowl set over a pan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and cocoa powder.
  5. Once the chocolate is melted and smooth, over the heat, whisk in both sugars. Remove from heat and whisk in three of the eggs completely, then whisk in the other two, along with the vanilla and mint extract, if using.
  6. Sprinkle the flour mixture and the Altoids over the top and using a spatula, gently fold in the dry ingredients until just combined; there might be just a trace of the flour in places. Do not overmix.
  7. Scrape into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Like most brownie recipes, it’s best to err on the side of underbaked than over.
  8. Serving & storage: Once cool, wrap the brownies well and wait over-night to cut.

Dude, brownies

Most of the time I consider baked goods gender-neutral.  I’d like to think that as a product of post-modern feminism, I’m above the cliched sugar, spice and everything nice for girls or squirrels, snails and puppy-dog-tails for boys.  Most of the time, dessert is just dessert.  But.  Every once in a while I come across a recipe that for me, resonates either yin or yang (yeah, yeah, we all know I was just in China and am not fooling anyone).

This recipe for peanut butter and fudge brownies with salted peanuts (Bon Apetit, January 2007) screams: DUDE (though girls will like it too)!

We start with the obligatory macro shot of chopped chocolate.

One of the cool things about this recipe is that the brownie prep occurs entirely in a single sauce-pan.  Unlike my favorite brownie recipe which uses multiple bowls, spatulas and whisks, this one dirties just a single vessel.  Nice.  Butter and chocolates are melted together.

Then, sugar and eggs are added off-the-heat.

Flour is folded in.

And finally, salted peanuts.  How long has it been since you’ve had salted peanuts? While scouring the grocery store aisles for this retro-delicacy, I had a first grade flash-back (luckily this doesn’t happen often).  During reading group, my first-grade teacher Mrs Wilder would give-out salted peanuts as rewards for excellence in diction.  Pulling a stunt like that now would probably land her in jail for child endangerment.  Ah, the good old days, free of nut allergies and litigious parental units.

Once the batter comes together, into a pan it goes.  The included recipe uses a foil-liner.  I used parchment.

Just out of the oven, these look like pretty normal brownies.  But wait.

There is chunky peanut butter frosting in their near future.


And, just when you think it couldn’t get any better, the frosting is topped by a thick layer of chocolate ganache.

Even nicer.

And here my friends, is where I’ve failed you. You see, I uploaded these photos about a month ago and I swear, the upload originally included several scrumptious shots of the finished product.  Alas, they must have been lost in the transfer.  And because I am working off of a six-year-old iBook G4, I am forced to immediately delete all photos once uploaded lest a dialog box once again pop-up telling my that my start-up disk is full.  Which means, no finished photos.

Trust me, these were some good looking bars.  Boys will like them.  So will girls.

Peanut Butter and Fudge Brownies with Salted Peanuts

Dorie Greenspan, Bon Appetit, January 2007


  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 7 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup roasted salted peanuts, coarsely chopped

Frosting and ganache

  • 1 cup chunky peanut butter (do not use natural or old-fashioned)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 7 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped

For brownies:
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 325°F. Line 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan with foil, leaving long overhang; butter foil.

Place 3/4 cup butter in heavy large saucepan. Add both chocolates; stir over low heat until smooth. Remove from heat. Whisk in sugar, vanilla, and salt, then eggs, 1 at a time. Fold in flour, then nuts. Spread in prepared pan. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 30 minutes. Place pan on rack; cool.

For frosting and ganache:
Using electric mixer, beat peanut butter and 1/4 cup butter in medium bowl to blend. Beat in powdered sugar, salt, and nutmeg, then milk and vanilla. Spread frosting over brownies.

Stir chocolate and 1/4 cup butter in heavy small saucepan over low heat until smooth. Drop ganache all over frosting; spread to cover. Chill until set, about 1 1/2 hours. Do ahead Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep chilled.

Using foil as aid, transfer brownie cake to work surface; cut into squares. Bring to room temperature; serve.

Dulce de Leche Brownies, Por Favor!

When I travel I like to bring back a recipe or food idea native to the culture. From Venice came risotto. From France: Camembert. From Taiwan: mochi. So, when I was in Chile for work, I was on the look-out. Chile has great food and I had more than my share of beef, salmon (pronounced saLLmon) and wine of the Carmenere variety (somehow a case of it even followed me home).  But alas, I didn’t return particularly inspired to make something new. So, I’m admitting now, this recipe is a bit of a cop-out.

But before I move on, I have a picture viewing hint.  If you place your cursor over a picture you can click on it to enlarge.  When I was proofing this post the pictures looked really small so I thought I’d bring this little tidbit to your attention.

Dulce de leche is popular in many Latin American countries. It’s very rich, very good and almost impossible to mess-up. So, inspired by David Lebovitz’s own version, I bring you my not-particularly-creative but definitely good dulce de leche brownies.

Since I used my own brownie recipe http://www.tmhostess.com/2010/01/the-brownie-stands-alone/, let’s focus on the dulce de leche. Dulce de leche starts and ends with a single ingredient: sweetened condensed milk. Yep, that’s all (though if you are like me, you’ll add in a little kosher or sea salt).

I’ve come across three ways of making it, two of which I’ve tried, one I will detail here and the third will come next week. The first version involves placing an open can of the stuff in a pot filled with water (well, filled up to about an inch from the top of the milk can). Then you boil the water for about two hours, replacing the water as it turns to steam and stirring the milk occasionally. This worked well when I tried it. Apparently, this technique carries the risk of exploding cans of caramel that seems scares people away. The third version I’ve come across involves using a double boiler.

Here is the second version; credits to David Lebovitz.

Get out your roasting pan and a thick pie or baking dish (I like glass). Yes both; we’re going to bake via water bath. Now, add the sweetened condensed milk to the smaller pan (I used a 9X13 pan for my brownies so I used 2 14oz cans of milk).

Before we move on, want to hear a cool story about South America? See the little dish up in the right-hand corner of the last picture? It’s wear I put my rings when I cook.  But that’s not the cool part.  My friend Melissa brought the dish back for me from her sabbatical trip to South America. While she was there she also met a boy, fell in love, got married, had the world’s cutest baby (seriously, the cutest) and now they all live in Buenos Aires Argentina.  That’s the cool part of the story.

Back to the dulce de leche.  Add about 3 inches of water to the roasting pan.

After you have created the water bath, carefully move whole operation into an oven pre-heated to 450 degrees (really, you should put it on a lower rack than I did).

Bake for 35-45 minutes.

Remove from heat, stir et voila—you’ve got dulce de leche. Really, that’s all there is to it.

But here is the thing. Dulce de leche is very, very dangerous stuff to have around. At least if you are me. Which means fairly immediate re-purposing is required. In this case it involved brownies.

Let the dulce de leche cool to room temperature. While it is cooling, pull together your favorite brownie batter. I’ve linked to mine above.

When the dulce de leche is cool to the touch but still spreadable it’s time to get down to business. Pour half of your brownie batter into a prepared pan.   Now, drop 1/3-1/2 of the dulce de leche in teaspoons, evenly spaced throughout the pan.

Drag a knife through the first layer to spread the dulce de leche a bit.

Next, pour the remaining batter over the spread caramel. Repeat the teaspoon and spreading action. Pretty isn’t it?

Now, into the oven. While you are waiting, pay your dues to Balu the kitchen god who watches every project with vigilance from the top of the refrigerator.

The brownies are even pretty when they come out of the oven.

Let the brownies cool completely. In fact, because of the sticky factor of the caramel, you may want to throw the brownies in the fridge over night before cutting.

And here, straight from Santiago Chile to you (and by straight, I mean completely circuitous and probably not even really related), I bring you the dulce de leche brownie.

Dulce de Leche, version II

1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk

Sea salt to taste.

Preheat over to 450 degrees.

Pour milk into a smallish baking dish (a pie tin will do as well). Please smaller dish into a larger dish (I used a roasting pan). Fill roasting dish with about 3″ of water. Into the oven it goes. Check at about 30 minutes. Stir and then check at 5 minute intervals until caramel is the color of peanut butter (of course you could cook it more or less to taste). Let cool and store in the refrigerator.