I grew up on the stuff. My Hispanic mom has a crazy obsession with it, to the point where she doesn’t even like when I bake with it because she thinks I’m wasting it. In her opinion, it’s best enjoyed off a spoon in large quantities.
While I don’t oppose to that method of consuming the deliciously sweet, creamy caramel, I still love it in other forms as well. Especially brownies, like these.
These brownies are SO easy. I do love my Baked Brownie still, but this is my new favorite when it comes to brownies made with purely cocoa powder. It’s just easier, and sometimes you want brownies that only take one bowl (#lazygirlproblems).
Yup – no melting together butter and chocolate in this recipe. It’s a quick zip in the microwave, stirring in a few ingredients, pouring into the pan, and in no time you have warm, gooey, dulce de leche filled brownies.
Cocoa powder brownies have a pretty bad rap, and that’s because they’re usually dry and cakey. Gross. All the things a brownie should never be.
However, these are some of the fudgiest brownies I’ve ever had, regardless of melted chocolate or cocoa powder. They’re so chocolatey, deep, dark, and fudgy. The caramel adds wonderful layer of sweetness, and the dusting of chunky sea salt is the perfect complement to cut the sweetness and the richness.
These are totally going on my go-to impressive, yet so easy recipes. No one will ever know they only took a few minutes to whip together. They’re that good, and that impressive. Did I mention they only require one bowl?!
And remember…adding a little extra dulce de leche on top is always encouraged.
- 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar (8.75 oz, or 250g)
- 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (2.5oz, or 70g)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (weighing nearly 2.5 ounces or 65 grams)
- 1/2 cup dulce de leche
- Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling
- Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat oven to 325F. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil leaving overhang on the sides, spray with cooking spray; set pan aside.
- In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine butter, sugar, cocoa, optional salt, and heat on high power to melt, about 45 seconds. Stop to stir, and heat in 10-second bursts until mixture has melted and can be stirred smooth (mine took 45 seconds + 15 seconds). Batter will be very granular.
- Add the vanilla, eggs, and stir vigorously until batter is thick, shiny, and well blended. Add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Pour half the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.
- Dollop half of the dulce de leche in 1 teaspoon sized balls all over the batter. Spread the remaining batter carefully over the dulce de leche. Repeat with the remaining dulce de leche on top of the brownie batter. With a knife, carefully swirl the dulce de leche slightly into the batter. Don't swirl too much - you still want to have dulce de leche pockets. Sprinkle the top with coarse sea salt, I used about 1 teaspoon.
- Bake until a toothpick in the center emerges slightly moist with batter, about 22-25 minutes. Check with a toothpick - your batch may need a few minutes longer. Do not bake over 30 minutes or brownies will be prone to scorching, burning, turning dry, or setting up too hard. Brownies will firm up as they cool.
- Cool brownies completely before cutting into 16 equal squares with a very sharp knife.
- Brownies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Recipe adapted from Averie Cooks