Dulce de Leche Caramel Bars
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Dulce de Leche Bars — Looking for recipes with dulce de leche? Look no further than these soft, chewy bars loaded with dulce de leche and Rolo caramel candies! EASY to make and a guaranteed FAVORITE! Perfect for your next fiesta!!
The Best Dulce de Leche Dessert
These dulce de leche bars are soft, chewy, and loaded with caramel flavor thanks to both dulce de leche and Rolo caramel candies. I used my blondie recipe as a jumping off point, doubled it, added a bit of baking powder, and plenty of dulce de leche along with Rolos.
The recipe makes a 9×13-inch pan of bars but they are thick and rich so you can stretch the yield to an easy 18 servings if you don’t cut them jumbo-sized.
They’re easy to make in advance of events or parties because the bars keep well at room temp for many days. Once your guests sink their teeth into all that luscious dulce de leche, the batch will be gone in a flash.
Consider putting them on your Cinco de Mayo menu or for any party or event that you want a crowd-pleasing but easy dessert!
What’s Dulce de Leche?
Quite simply, dulce de leche is sweetened condensed milk that is heated at low temps over the course of a long period of time. This is in contrast to homemade caramel sauce, which is heated to high temps over a short course of time.
In terms of taste, the two resemble each other but I think dulce de leche tastes a bit creamier and sweeter than caramel sauce, but it varies.
Dulce de leche is definitely much thicker than caramel. It has the consistency of thick buttercream frosting whereas caramel is a much thinner and generally a more pourable liquid or sauce.
There are many recipes online how to make your own dulce de leche but for about $3 bucks, I am quite happy to buy a small jar of it. It’s readily available in almost all grocery stores and is likely kept next to sweetened condensed and evaporated milks.
Ingredients Needed To Make Dulce De Leche Bars
It’s a very simple ingredients list. To make the bars you’ll need:
- Brown sugar
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Baking soda
- Rolo candies
- Dulce de leche
How to Make Dulce de Leche Bars
This dulce de leche dessert recipe couldn’t be simpler to make! They’re just a baby step up from making regular blondies, and you can whisk everything together in one bowl.
- To the bowl of a stand mixer or use a large mixing bowl and electric handheld mixer, whip the butter before adding in brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
- After creaming those ingredients together, beat in flour, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the Rolo candies and incorporate them with the mixer for a couple seconds before turning this thick batter out into a 9×13-inch baking pan.
- Evenly dollop half of the jar of dulce de leche in ping pong ball-sized ‘blobs’ using a spoon over the surface of the pan and swirl lightly before baking.
- Make sure to allow the bars to cool properly before slicing and serving them.
Can the Rolos Be Substituted?
If you don’t have Rolos on hand or can’t find them where you live, you may omit or substitute them. Rolos are soft, chocolate-covered caramels so feel free to use anything similar.
Just make sure they’re soft caramels, not the hard kind you suck on for ages!
Can This Recipe Be Halved?
The dulce de leche bars are made in a 9×13-inch pan as written. I imagine you could halve the recipe and bake the bars in an 8×8- or 9×9-inch pan, noting that you may need to adjust the bake time.
Tips for Making This Dulce de Leche Dessert
As I’ve mentioned already, dulce de leche is not the same consistency as regular caramel sauce so you may NOT use one in place of the other.
Hopefully this is obvious, but you need to unwrap the Rolos before adding them to the batter. (You’d be surprised at the comments I’ve gotten over the years!)
These bars need to sit at room temperature for about 2 hours before they can be sliced and served. I know it’s tough to wait, but slicing into the bars right away will result in a gooey mess — one that will scald you tongue quite badly. Trust me, eating molten caramel straight from the oven is a big no-no.
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups light brown sugar, packed
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 30 Rolo candies, unwrapped and halved
- half of one 13.4-ounce can dulce de leche
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 9x13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil for easier cleanup, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
- To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or large mixing bowl and hand mixer, add the butter and beat on high power to cream it, about 90 seconds.
- Add the eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, and beat until smooth and well incorporated.
- Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and mix until just combined, don’t overmix.
- Add the Rolos and beat momentarily to incorporate.
- Turn the batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula. It is a very thick batter and can be resistant to spreading easily, but take your time and smooth it out the best you can.
- Evenly dollop half of the jar of dulce de leche in ping pong ball-sized 'blobs' using a spoon over the surface of the pan. Using the back of a spoon, swirl the dulce de leche over the top. I just did a back-and-forth pattern that wasn't fancy and took about 10 seconds.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. Bars firm up as they cool. Cool for about 2 hours before slicing and serving.
Storage: Bars will keep airtight at room temp for up to 1 week.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 311Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 135mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 0gSugar: 32gProtein: 4g
More Caramel Desserts:
Carmelitas — For the serious caramel lover, these soft and chewy bars are dripping with caramel and stuffed with chocolate! Easy one-bowl, no-mixer recipe!!
Dulce de Leche Coconut Chocolate Chip Bars — Chocolate, white chocolate & coconut flooded with dulce de leche! Like 7-Layer Bars, with sweet, creamy, caramely dulce de leche instead! Easy one-bowl recipe!
Rolo Chocolate Chip Blondies — Gooey caramel, chocolate chips, and buttery soft dough!! Easy, one-bowl, no-mixer recipe that’s a guaranteed hit! Who can resist caramel and chocolate!!
7 Layer Bars — These 7 layer bars have a graham cracker crust that’s topped with semi-sweet chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, coconut, sweetened condensed milk, and melted caramely Rolos!
Caramel Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Gooey Bars — The bars are a hybrid of so many favorites. They’re fast and easy to make, use only one bowl, no mixer, and are drippy, gooey, soft and slightly chewy, and loaded with chocolate chips!
Browned Butter Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Blondies — The combination of browned butter, salted caramel, chocolate, and sea salt is INCREDIBLE!! A complex-tasting salty-sweet dessert that is EASY to make and a guaranteed FAVORITE!!
Vanilla Bean Caramel Blondies — For these very soft, slightly chewy, buttery blondies that are topped with the most amazing vanilla-spiked caramel glaze, I called upon my trusty blondie base. It’s an easy, fuss-free, one-bowl, no-mixer recipe everyone loves.
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