We are visiting with friends later on today, and today’s theme is Mexican/Latin American. When my friend Janet and I cook, we cook. Both of us kind of feed off each other (pardon the pun, albeit true). We bounce ideas off each other, and mix and match and just create whatever comes to mind for that day. We both take themes and love to just run with them, seeing where our ideas will take us and what comes out. When all is said and done, we always come up with some very delicious, very creative meals. It is almost like a friendly competition between us, but we put everything together, and pull out some wine and enjoy the fruits of our labors.
I have been in the kitchen since 7:30 AM and just stopped about twenty minutes ago (Denver time, it is about 1:10 PM), making all kinds of things to take with us. Be patient my friends; you will see all the goods that I cooked, just not all today. I do have to pace myself, you know. One of the things I made today was some very rich and decadent Dulce de Leche brownies with pistachios. As always, I take recipes and change things around just enough to make them my own. The recipe did not call for pistachios, but I had some chopped pistachios I was looking to use, and the idea just popped into my head to top the brownies with them. The end result – delicioso! And I wonder why I can’t seem to lose any weight. HMMMMM. Do you think there may be a connection between all the foods I cook and the scale not going down at all? Especially when I make all of these decadently delicious desserts? I don’t know; I’ll have to think about that some.
Layering the brownies with the brownie mix and the dulce de leche filling (dulce de leche means sweetened milk), which is very similar to caramel.
My dulce de leche sauce got a little too thick and hard, so I reheated it and added enough milk to melt it all down again, so I could spread it over my brownie mixture. I made the dulce de leche sauce ahead of time, which I won’t do again. Next time, I will make it right before I am ready to spread it so it doesn’t harden too fast or too much. See, I too make mistakes, and learn from them all the time.
Once I added the last layer of the brownie mixture, I topped it with chopped pistachios and put it it in the oven to bake.
Dulce de Leche Brownies
1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed tightly
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
3/4 cup cocoa poowder
1/4 tsp salt
dulce de leche filling
1/2 cup chopped pistachios
Preheat the oven to 325* F
Spray cooking spray in a 9×13 baking dish
Mix all your dry ingredients together and set aside. Cream the butter and sugars together, then add the eggs and vanilla and mix together. Add the dry ingredients 1/2 at a time and mix until just blended. Spoon 1/2 the mixture into the prepared baking dish and spread evenly. Top with the dulce de leche filling and spread evenly over the chocolate mixture. Spoon the rest of the brownie mixture and spread evenly. Top with chopped pistachios (or your nut of choice. Pecans would be very good too). Bake for about 45-50 minutes and let cool completely before cutting. They are going to be very moist and rich and gooey, so the toothpick test will not work.
Dulce de Leche Filling
1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
1 TBSP corn syrup
2 TBSP butter
Combine everything together and microwave at 1/2 power for about 12 minutes. Stop the microwave and stir thoroughly every two minutes though. You want the sauce to firm up and become thick with a nice caramel color. You can also cook it all on top of the stove as well, stirring constantly. It takes a little longer on the stove, but I think it comes out a little more evenly cooked. Either way is fine though. As I said, if it is too thick or hard, just add a little milk, as much as needed, and cook it down again until it is soft and spreadable.