AKA Nutty Coconut Caramel Brownies.
The kids went back to school this Tuesday. With a sigh of relief and a sniff of remorse, I watched them walk timidly into their classrooms.
My daughter is in third grade and my little guy is in first grade this year. Thus far we’ve had wonderful teachers, but I have to admit, it’s nerve-racking placing my “legacy” in the care of someone else for nine months of the year.
Will the teachers create a safe haven for them everyday, free of shame, ridicule, and fear?
Will they make their lessons come alive and encourage their love for learning?
Will they be patient with them when they struggle with a concept?
Will they be an advocate against bullies on the playground?
Will they provide discipline, yet celebrate creativity?
If an “accident” occurs, will the teacher offer the Emergency Pants without a smirk?
When they are naughty, will the teachers correct them firmly, yet with tenderness?
Will they appreciate their weird sense(s) of humor?
…I think yes. I have a really good feeling about this year.
But just to be sure, I secretly plan to bribe those teachers. No mother is above bribing people on behalf of her babies.
Trust me, if anything could do it, it’s these Nutty Coconut Caramel Brownies. Rich, dense and fudgy brownies with a creamy dulce de leche caramel top and crispy coconut, toasted almonds, and chocolate chunks.
Those teachers will be putty in my hands. *wink*
You can find dulce de leche (thick creamy caramel) in the packaged milk section of the baking aisle, or sometimes in the “international” section. If you can’t find it, it’s easy to make using sweetened condensed milk. Simply remove the paper wrappers, submerge the cans in a large pot of water and simmer for 4 hours. It MUST stay under water the entire time; add water if needed. This takes a while, so boil several at once and place them in the pantry for future baking endeavors.
Nutty Coconut Caramel Brownies
Yield: 12-24 brownies
Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook Time:30 minutes
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 ½ cups sugar
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 Tb. vanilla extract
12 oz. bag dark chocolate chunks, divided
2 – 14 oz. cans dulce de leche (Nestle)
½ cup shredded coconut
½ cup sliced almonds
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Set the oven racks in the center and upper positions. Spray a 9X13 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
Place the butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Melt the butter in the microwave, then add the sugar and mix well.
Add the cocoa powder, flour, salt and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. Then whisk in one egg at a time, until well combined.
Measure out ½ cup chocolate chunks and reserve for later. Mix in the rest of the chocolate chunks and pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
Bake on the center rack for approximately 20-25 minutes—until the center is set. Take the brownies out of the oven and reset the temperature to 400 degrees F.
GENTLY spread the dulce de leche evenly over the top, being careful not to disturb the brownie crust. Sprinkle the coconut, almonds and remaining chocolate chunks over the top and press a little.
Place on the top rack of the oven to toast the coconut and almonds for 2-5 minutes—Watch it so the coconut doesn’t burn.
Cool completely, so the caramel sets. Cut and serve.
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