Have you ever had dulce de leche? It is a relatively new ingredient to me. Awhile back I tried baking brownies swirled with it but they were kind of a flop. Plus I have never been able to find the premade stuff in the grocery stores around here. I stumbled upon a super easy recipe to make it homemade in the slow cooker and decided to give it another try. I am super glad that I did because, oh man, this stuff will have your taste buds doing a happy dance. It is so creamy and sweet with a lovely rich caramel flavor. I made these cookie bars to share at a get together but little K ended up being under the weather so we couldn't attend. I sent the bars off to work with big K the next day because otherwise I would have eaten the whole pan myself. I hope you give this recipe a try and you enjoy them as much as I did!
Dulce De Leche Revel Bars
1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups oats
1 can (approx 14 oz) dulce de leche (or homemade*)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 8x8 or 9x9 square pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper. If you use the foil, make sure to grease it as well; the caramel center is sticky!
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together with a whisk or electric mixer. Add in the egg and vanilla extract and whisk until well combined. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to stir in the baking soda, salt, and flour and then finally stir in the oats.
Spread half of the cookie dough in the bottom of the prepared pan and press it down into an even, flat layer. Microwave the dulce de leche in a small bowl for about 30 seconds so that it is easier to spread. Spoon the dulce de leche over the bottom crust and spread it out evenly as well. Add the chocolate chips.
Drop small dollops of the remaining cookie dough all over the dulce de leche layer. Note that the top layer will not cover the caramel and chocolate completely. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes and then cool completely.
Lift the bars out of the pan with the help of the foil or parchment and cut into small bars. I cut the bars pictured in half for serving and they were still more than enough!
*Homemade slow cooker dulce de leche - Remove the paper label from several cans of sweetened condensed milk and place them in your crock pot. Add enough water to the slow cooker to cover the cans by about an inch. Place the lid on and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. I cooked them overnight. Use tongs to carefully remove the cans from the slow cooker and allow to cool for several hours. I removed mine from the cans and stored in air tight containers in the refrigerator for several months. I did read some people find this method to give the dulce de leche a hint of metallic taste. I did not have this experience but you can transfer the sweetened condensed milk to small mason jars with tight fitting lids and cook the same way.
Inspired by Crazy for Crust