Holiday Dulce de Leche Chocolate Bars

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Holiday Dulce de Leche Chocolate BarsDo you ever bookmark a recipe, then lose it in your files until it’s too late in the season to make it?  That’s what I did with this one, for the last two years.  Oops!  Finally, it resurfaced on a day when I was looking for something different and holiday-ish to make for whatever reason.

I was surprised to see powdered sugar listed in the crust ingredients, and was very pleased with the subtle sweet results.  This crust was a perfect base to the thick caramel-y filling, allowing the flavor to stand out.  And although the chocolate topping had a bit of a snap to it, I just loved this entire combination.

And so did the large neighbor family I talk so often about.  🙂

Holiday Dulce de Leche Chocolate Bars

Holiday Dulce de Leche Chocolate Bars

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: 35 to 48 bars, depending on size of slices

Serving Size: 1 bar

Holiday Dulce de Leche Chocolate Bars

Tired of holiday cookies? Try these caramel bars instead, that can be decorated any way you like, or just left with a chocolate topping. Scrumptious either way!

    For the crust:
  • Cold butter for buttering the pan
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • For the filling:
  • 7 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 cans (14 oz each) sweetened condensed milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • For the chocolate topping:
  • 10 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • For the swirled topping (optional):
  • 3-4 ounces white chocolate
  • 3-4 ounces green Wilton candy melts
  • 3-4 ounces red Wilton candy melts
For the crust:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of a 9-x13-inch baking pan, then line with parchment paper, allowing the paper to hang over the sides. (This butter only serves to help the parchment stick to the pan.)

Beat the butter and powdered sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in the vanilla, then stir in the flour and salt until incorporated. Press the dough along the bottom and 1/2-inch up the sides of the parchment-lined pan. Bake on the center rack of the oven about 12 to 18 minutes, until just golden. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.

For the filling:

While the crust is cooling, combine the butter, brown sugar, milk and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened. If it gets clumpy, use a whisk to remove clumps. Pour over the cooled crust and spread evenly. Place in the refrigerator until completely cool, about 1 hour.

For the chocolate topping:

In a microwave safe bowl, melt the semisweet chocolate. Allow to slightly cool, then spread evenly over the filling. Let set at room temperature for about 30 minutes, then continue to the swirled topping method. If not decorating with a swirled topping, then cover and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

For the swirled topping (optional):

After completing the chocolate topping steps, use the microwave to melt the green and red candy melts in two separate bowls according to the package directions. Melt the white chocolate chips in another bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir until smooth.

Using a rubber spatula, dollop the green, red and white colors evenly over the top of the semisweet chocolate. Use a toothpick to swirl the colors together. Work quickly, so the chocolate and candy melts do not harden before you can swirl.

Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

To serve:

If the chocolate and filling are very cold, it is best to allow the pan to set out for 20 minutes or so before trying to slice these. I found it easiest to remove the entire parchment and bars from the pan, then turn upside down on a cutting board and slice into 1 1/2-inch bars. This way, you are cutting through the softer crust first, and the hard chocolate last, allowing for less breakage of the chocolate. Store any leftovers in the fridge.

Source: Adapted from Ladies' Home Journal

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  1. These look amazing! Sweetened Condensed milk owns my soul.

  2. These sound delicious! I love that colored swirl : ) I do the same thing all the time with recipes – and then kick myself when I realize the season is over and should wait a year to make whatever it is haha

  3. I love the swirls on the top!

    It cracks me up every time you mention bringing your goodies to your neighbors with the large family because I grew up with 12 siblings so we were always the recipients of random food, clothes, etc – and we LOVED it! It was so nice to try exciting foods that my dad didn’t buy (because he didn’t have a coupon for them!).

  4. You had me at caramel…awesome!

  5. this looks so good! i swear i have seen some great ideas on projects to make with my kids this season! they might be getting tired of the ‘decorating sugar cookies’ thing i seem to always do every year. caramel bars sound like a winner! 🙂

  6. Delicious I love the look of the chocolate. Very clear recipe. I will try this recipe in the weekend.

  7. Good mercy. This look like sweet deliciousness!

  8. Please don’t move!!!

  9. These are very delicious!!!! Love them!

  10. This is going to be a thrilling recipe that I can try this summer outing! Can’t wait to taste this yummy and sinfully delicious dessert!

  11. I made these, and they did not turn out at all. The base is too soft, there is too much dulce de leche, it oozes out everywhere. The chocolate is too thick to nicely cut through. I even heated up my knife blade, and tried to cut from the bottom. Don’t do the candy melts, and maybe make half the sauce, money wasted on this one.

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