My friend Ally and I were hanging out in our backyard, lounging in the sun on our (super awesome) swing bench, brainstorming baking ideas for me, when this idea was born. I thought of the dulce de leche I had sitting in the cabinet, and wanted to pair it with some thing fruity that was still in season, but berries + dulce de leche seemed like a weird combo. But…blackberries seemed like they might be good with dulce de leche. The tartness + the sweetness could play well together.
Ally proposed a brown sugar crust, and my head immediately went to the crust I use for Caramelitas: crumbly, caramelly-sweet from brown sugar, and a little bit of bite from the oats.
I wrote the idea down on my ever-growing list, and bought all of the ingredients, but to be honest, I still really wasn’t sure how they were going to turn out. My money was on either absolutely ridiculously amazing, best-thing-I-ever-made, or weird, Rachel-why’d-you-do-that.
Can you guess how they turned out?!
Totallysuperfreakingridiculously AMAZING. Some of my friends declared them the best thing that I’ve ever ever made, and someone even said it was the best baked good they’ve ever had in their whole life.
I think that in itself speaks volumes about these bars. The crust is buttery and has a wonderful texture that supports the bar perfectly. The amount of dulce de leche is on the verge of too much, but these bars definitely do not have the problem of the dulce de leche not standing out. You know it’s there, sweet and sticky and delicious. The fresh blackberries add a wonderful burst of tartness, freshness, and juiciness. They play the perfect counterpart of the dulce de leche. On top, the extra crumble from the crust makes sure everything stays together and just finishes off these beautiful bars.
Don’t ya just love when a baking experiment goes oh-so-right?!
- 12 oz. fresh blackberries
- 1 teaspoon corn starch
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- 1 cup rolled oats
- ½ cup chopped almonds
- 1 (13.4 oz.) can dulce de leche (about 1 cup)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8x8-inch pan with parchment paper or foil and grease lightly.
- In a medium bowl, toss together blackberries and corn starch. Let stand while you prepare the crust.
- In large bowl, combine all crust ingredients; mix at low speed until crumbly but combined.
- Reserve 1 cup of crumb mixture for the topping. Press remaining crumb mixture evenly into the bottom of greased pan. Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes.
- Remove partially baked crust from the oven. Warm dulce de leche slightly in microwave until it is pourable and easy to spread (about 45 seconds for me). Pour evenly over the crust. Evenly distribute blackberries over the dulce de leche. Top with remaining crumb mixture.
- Return to oven and bake for another 20-25 minutes or until bubbling and lightly browned. Let cool completely before cutting into 16 squares.