GUYS THE SUPER BOWL IS THIS SUNDAY!!!! Don't mistake the all-caps and exclamation points for some kind of extreme interest in this Sunday's upcoming event. No, that would be very uncharacteristic of me. You should know by now that I am the least interested person ever in regard to the Super Bowl and other football related events. While I've never taken the time to understand the rules of the game, I also haven't been really interested in doing so. I'm that guy that will sit in front of the television during a game (on the rare occasion that that actually happens) and just stare blankly at the screen in utter confusion. I'll admit that I do like watching the replays though, but only because I like how all those lines get drawn on the screen over the playing field. The only football games I've ever attended were those that I was forced to attend by my middle and high school band programs to play during halftime, and you can bet that the second we finished performing, I was outta there. I had no desire to sit outside in the cold on a metal bleacher holding an instrument with metal keys for an additional hour and a half. Fortunately for me, Columbia is really lacking in the football department (a quality all Columbians have come to accept and even embrace), so I didn't really feel like I was missing out on that defining feature of so many other college campuses. I find that the half-time shows are often over-hyped and the few shows I've watched have been ok, but nothing mind-blowingly spectacular. The fact that I only just found out LAST WEEK that the Super Bowl is being held at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey just goes to show how out of touch with the rest of America I really am.
So why the all caps, you ask? Why do I seem so excited about something which I am clearly, so obviously, NOT interested in? Because I have something that I know all you Super Bowl/football fans will want as soon as you read this.
Dulce de Leche Brownies.
Yes, I have made dulce de leche brownies just for my football loving readers. My general apathy for all-things-football is made up for by my general love for all kinds of football food, both sweet and savory. Buffalo chicken anything is a weakness of mine, and don't even get me started on jalapeño poppers. Chips and dip, guacamole, and pretzels are irresistible. Bar cookies and brownies like these, these, these, and these, would all be utterly fantastic to snack on after indulging on salty treats. I may not be a football fan myself, but I would never deny you guys (and myself) some great game day snacks!
These brownies are fantastic because they're really, really, really simple to make, so they're perfect for game day if you plan on making lots of goodies or just want to take it easy but still have something homemade. The great part about this recipe is that you only need one bowl, and one spatula (ok, maybe two spatulas) to get everything mixed up and ready to bake. One bowl recipes are the best, because there's so little clean up! These start out like any other fudgy brownie would, by melting butter and chocolate together. I like to do this with a double boiler system because I always get perfectly smooth results, but I'm sure you could do this directly in a saucepan or in a large microwave safe bowl. I just think that the double boiler method is pretty foolproof, so I always stick to that method. Once you have a silky smooth chocolate mixture, you take that same bowl from the top of the double boiler, and use it to mix the rest of the ingredients in. All it takes is a little bit of cocoa powder, some eggs, sugar, and flour to transform the melted chocolate and butter into a rich and fudgy brownie batter that could only be made better by the addition of some sweet dulce de leche.
The dulce de leche is swirled into half of the brownie batter, and is then covered by more brownie batter, and then goes on top for one final swirl. For the dulce de leche, feel free to use store-bought or homemade versions, both will work fine. My mom has been making dulce de leche by placing a can of condensed milk in a pressure cooker for as long as I can remember, but there are also stovetop and oven methods, if, like me, you find the thought of using a pressure cooker intimidating. In this case, I used store-bought dulce de leche that one of my cousins brought over from Colombia, but any dulce de leche will do. I personally thought the brownies could have used more dulce de leche, but I only had a heaping half cup on hand, and I was in my "OMG-I-need-these-now" mood, so going to the store was just not an option. I made due with what I had, but the brownies could have definitely used a bit more dulce de leche. Can you imagine, biting into a rich, fudgy brownie and finding a big pocket of caramely dulce de leche? Too perfect.
These brownies are a perfect sweet addition to any Super Bowl party because they need to be made in advance, since they have to be perfectly cool to be properly sliced, and will barely dirty up your kitchen. You only need one hand to enjoy these so they're great for snacking, but if you wanna double fist your brownies go right ahead. I won't judge. Just set them out on a plate in front of your TV set, and watch them disappear!
Dulce de Leche Brownies
recipe from David Lebovitz
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
6 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 scant cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour
heaping 1/2 cup- 3/4 cup dulce de leche
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and position a rack in the middle of the oven. Grease and line an 8-inch square baking pan with wax paper or aluminum foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides. Grease the bottom and sides of the paper/foil with nonstick spray.
Set a heatproof bowl over a small pot of simmering water, making sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bow. Add the butter and chocolate to the bowl melt them together, stirring constantly until smooth. Remove the bowl from the saucepan, and allow it to cool slightly, just for a few minutes. Mix in the cocoa powder with a wooden spoon or spatula until smooth. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, making sure to incorporate each egg before adding the next. Stir in the sugar, vanilla extract, and flour, making sure to mix only until just combined.
Pour half the brownie batter into the prepared pan and smooth with an offset spatula. Drop about half of dulce de leche all over the surface of the brownie in large dallops. This doesn't have to be perfect, and feel free to use more or less dulce de leche depending what you like. Just try to avoid getting dulce de leche too close to the edges of the pan because it may burn. A half-inch border all the way around should be enough to protect your dulce de leche! Use a knife to gently swirl the dulce de leche all over the brownie batter, leaving some of the large dollops in tact. Pour the remaining brownie batter over the dulce de leche layer, and smooth completely with an offset spatula. Dollop the remaining dulce de leche on top, and use a knife to swirl it again.
Bake the brownies until the top has set and the center feels just about firm, 40-45 minutes. Remove from the oven and set over a wire rack to cool completely. Use the paper/foil overhang to lift the brownies out from the pan once they are cool. Slice into squares, and enjoy!
Makes 16 brownies