RECIPE: browned butter dulce s'more brownies

Apr 4, 2012

browned butter dulce de leche s'more brownies

I made these unforgettable brownies last week and now I feel almost ashamed that it took me so long to blog about them. Do you think they feel unappreciated, unimpressive, or even....gasp, forgettable? I can't even lie and say I remember their silky creamy texture as if it were yesterday, because honestly, I barely even remember yesterday at all (though I'm sure it involved eating, sleeping and going to the potty). One thing that is without question, though, was my motives.

Oh yes. Ever since I've been on this quest to learn where my food comes from before I open my gluttonous American-trained mouth, I've been eating less and less because this house I'm staying in has nothing but pure garbage when you really think about it. Take for example, the late breakfast I just helped myself to upstairs. "Come get some food!" I hear from up above in a shrill being disguised as an angelic voice by the audible hunger rumble in my tummy. Knowing I won't have to think my way through my first meal for today makes me happy to find it already prepared.

But what I find is less than appetizing. Super dense pancakes made from the whitest, tasteless flour mix I ever did see or smell. Oh and let's not forget even though they stripped that flour to death, its probably "enriched" with vitamins and other great synthetic chemicals to make us big and strong. I reluctantly place one on my plate and heat it up. I usually down pancakes like a champ, so instead I decide to boil an egg and and brew some tea to fill me up adequately. I sit down to my breakfast of champions, or rather, the breakfast most of us eat on weekends without any thought, and find some syrup on the table. Fantastic! I don't even have to go looking for it, such convenience. I douse my single pancake with the amber goodness and dig in.

Yikes. While my fork is, well, fork deep in my last drenched piece of flour cake, I turn the syrup bottle casually to see the label. It simply read "Syrup" and underneath, "Kroger" the store from which it was bought. I almost vomited in my mouth a little. No quicker than another celebrity announcing a voluntary check into rehab, did I turn that damn bottle around only to read ingredients that say "high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup (isn't one type enough!?) sugar, water, xantham gum, caramel color, and a couple illegible items I was not interested in. To my horror, I had just consumed absolutely nothing even resembling MAPLE SYRUP. I was eating corn, yet again. And you already know my distaste with this crop. So, all I could do was finish my tea, wash my dishes, and head back downstairs more defeated than ever. 'What the hell did I just put in my stomach', I wondered.

It should come as no surprise, then, why I've been holding back on binge eating of late. I feel completely betrayed by my pantry and fridge now that I know nothing inside of them is actual food. Everything from the ice cream with anti freeze and arsenic to the cheese that one would think contains just cheese, is making me literally sick. I feel tired, sluggish, depressed sometimes just all around malnutritioned. So until I totally revamp my grocery habits and join a CSA, it was time to cheer myself up with some delicious brownies. Why brownies? Well, its like having a birthday cake in bite size form. And what's better cheering up than birthday cake! I'll tell you what. A gooey chocolatey cake with a rich layer of Argentina's version of the best caramel on the planet. That's right folks, dulce de leche. Oh and of course I was forced to test out recipes with just a handful of ingredients that were pure and wholesome, but still made a brownie that packed a punch. So one night last week, with no other non-corn dessert option in sight, I set out to execute dessert made to order. Yes it was almost midnight. Yes I had the munchies. But no, I do not regret it one bit. Now how's that for redemption?

BROWNED BUTTER SMORE BROWNIES
adapted from Alice Medrich
makes 8 brownies (don't over indulge, c'mon!) 

Browning the butter, a secret trick that's all the rage these days, give this brownie recipe a leg up on all the other crappy ones you've probably been subjected to. Its beautiful in its simplicity yet complex enough to make you reach for another. Just remember portion control, mmkay!

INGREDIENTS

  • 10 tbsp organic butter
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup gooood cocoa
  • 1/3 cup gooood semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 organic free-range eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup organic flour
  • organic or artisanal dulce de leche 
  • walnuts (optional)
  • marshmallows (optional)

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium low heat. Continue cooking until butter has turned a golden-brown color. It should smell caramel-y. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate, sugar and cocoa. Add vanilla. Let cool for a moment. Stir in eggs on at a time, until well-incorporated. Stir in salt and flour until just combined.
  3. Line an 8 x 8″ baking dish with parchment paper or just grease it up real good. Pour in half the brownie batter and smooth the surface. Pour in enough dulce de leche to create a thick enough middle layer to your liking (I like mine real thick so each bite has that wonderful salty, buttery contrast to the deep chocolate flavor). Pour remaining batter and then sprinkle with walnuts. 
  4. Bake brownies for 20-25 minutes, or until brownies are set. (A toothpick inserted will still come out with a few crumbs). Immediately douse that bad boy with a heaping handful of marshmallows and put under the broiler to toast for a few minutes with a watchful eye so your house doesn't burn down.
  5. Slice brownies into 8 large squares. (To make slicing easier, run knife under warm water after each row)
pictured: my stack of brownies after a week of baking

6 comments:

  1. These look amaaaazing. The photos are literally making my mouth water right now!

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  2. @ Sarah, ahh thanks! I can't take credit for the mouthwatering photos but the brownies I was proud to make and even more proud to eat :)

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  3. Oh Gosh... I think my heart just stopped beating.

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  4. MMM LOVELY PICS:) I really like your blog and will happily follow.
    If you want some swedish decor inspiration, you can check out my blog:)
    Have a great weekend.

    LOVE Maria at inredningsvis.se
    (Sweden)

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  5. wowwww this has to be delicious.

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  6. Wow, I actually came close to licking the screen in the vain hope I'd be able to gain even the smallest hint of how delicious these brownies would be!

    They look so moist and rich, the perfect combination! x

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xoxo
Leti