Bribe-the-Teacher Brownies

AKA Nutty Coconut Caramel Brownies.

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?

Coconut Brownies

…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*

Caramel Brownies

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

Did you make this recipe?   Leave a review »


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 12 ounce bag dark chocolate chunks, divided
  • 2 – 14 ounce cans dulce de leche (Nestle)
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • ½ cup sliced almonds


  1. 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.
  2. Place the butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Melt the butter in the microwave, then add the sugar and mix well.
  3. Add the cocoa powder, flour, salt and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. Then whisk in one egg at a time, until well combined.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Cool completely, so the caramel sets. Cut and serve.
All images and text ©

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93 comments on “Bribe-the-Teacher Brownies

  1. Dan Collierposted August 18, 2011 at 6:48 am Reply


  2. Lacyposted August 18, 2011 at 7:21 am Reply

    I’m sure those teachers will do anything you want now! These brownies look fantastic!!

  3. MIss @ Miss in the Kitchenposted August 18, 2011 at 7:36 am Reply

    Beautiful children you have Sommer! And the brownies are absolute bliss, you should have no trouble bribing those teachers!

  4. Rachel @ My Naturally Frugal Familyposted August 18, 2011 at 7:50 am Reply

    WOW! Sommer I wish I was your childrens teacher. I would kill for these (well not literally).

    I hope you daughter and son have a wonderful school year.

  5. Dawnieposted August 18, 2011 at 8:19 am Reply

    Yummy! I want one.

  6. The Elegant Eggplantposted August 18, 2011 at 10:21 am Reply

    WOW, these have all of my favorite things inside!!! I will be making these tonight!!

  7. Sanjeeta kkposted August 18, 2011 at 8:28 am Reply

    Hmm…this post came a bit late..else would have bribed the teachers of my kids as well :) I like the line “placing my “legacy” in the care of someone else for nine months of the year’! Love the indulging brownies.

  8. claudia lamascoloposted August 18, 2011 at 8:32 am Reply

    thats adorable!

  9. [email protected]posted August 18, 2011 at 8:45 am Reply

    Whoa, lucky teachers-I would gladly take this kind of bribe. Decadent, rich and utterly indulgent. That gets my vote-yum!

  10. My Kitchen in the Rockiesposted August 18, 2011 at 8:46 am Reply

    Hi Sommer, I also try to bribe the teachers with home baked goodies. Will be a little harder with my freshman, since parents are not that involved anymore (sadly).
    Your kids are so cute! Who wouldn’t want them bringing in these delicious looking brownies? Great pictures!
    Hugs from Colorado, Kirsten.

  11. torviewtorontoposted August 18, 2011 at 8:47 am Reply

    lovely post delicious looking brownies

  12. Curtposted August 18, 2011 at 8:51 am Reply

    I love the coconut and almonds on the top.

  13. Lana @ Never enough Thymeposted August 18, 2011 at 8:52 am Reply

    What a brownie! A lovely special treat for your little ones’ teachers. I know how hard it is to place them in the hands of someone else for the whole long day. And how good it feels to wrap your arms around them again when they come home.

  14. Amanda @ bakingwithoutaboxposted August 18, 2011 at 8:59 am Reply

    I’m sure with your gorgeous sweet babies those teachers won’t need bribing. But if they did, those brownies would definitely fit the bill. And thanks for the dulche de leche tip. I’m stealing that idea.

  15. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love.posted August 18, 2011 at 9:38 am Reply

    Gorgeous pictures and those brownies are sure to win their teacher’s hearts!

  16. Michelleposted August 18, 2011 at 10:20 am Reply

    These look so deliciously gooey! I wish people would bring stuff in like this to win over the accountant (read: me!).

  17. Carolynposted August 18, 2011 at 10:24 am Reply

    Yeah, you could pretty much bribe me to do anything for some of those!

  18. [email protected]posted August 18, 2011 at 11:49 am Reply

    Holy yummmmmmers! Bribe me, go ahead, I’ll do anything for your brownies… Oh I am so ready to swap brownies with you!!

  19. Nelly Rodriguezposted August 18, 2011 at 12:04 pm Reply

    Gorgeous and I wish I had a dozen right now! Yum!

  20. Heather | Farmgirl Gourmetposted August 18, 2011 at 12:23 pm Reply

    You could bribe me with those any day! Delish!

  21. Angie's Recipesposted August 18, 2011 at 12:34 pm Reply

    Delectable! You have me at coconut brownies!

  22. claireposted August 18, 2011 at 12:52 pm Reply

    These are gorgeous, what amazing pictures! Plus, who could resist a brownie with that name? I’m not even a teacher and I’m sold!

  23. Katrinaposted August 18, 2011 at 12:57 pm Reply

    Mmm, those look great. I’ve made brownies with caramel and pecan and some with coconut/almonds but never combined the two and it sounds great!

  24. Lndaposted August 18, 2011 at 1:26 pm Reply

    oh my goodness! I’m over the school days, but I think I know a few people I can bribe with these!!

  25. Christina @ Sweet Pea's Kitchenposted August 18, 2011 at 2:25 pm Reply

    These look incredible!! I feel the need to rush into the kitchen and whip up a batch of these right now! Yummy! :)

  26. Sasha @ The Procrastobakerposted August 18, 2011 at 2:31 pm Reply

    Holy moly these look dangerously good!I think these would successfully bribe a top judge let alone a teacher! Great recipe :)

  27. Aliciaposted August 18, 2011 at 2:50 pm Reply

    Yum!! That looks delicious! haha I hope they ‘sweeten’ the school year.

  28. Lizposted August 18, 2011 at 3:13 pm Reply

    Oh, the teachers must love you!!! What a sweet and yummy gesture. And your children are adorable :)

  29. Kathleenposted August 18, 2011 at 3:15 pm Reply

    I wish I was a teacher! I am sooo making these!

  30. Jodyposted August 18, 2011 at 4:25 pm Reply

    These look so delicious-can’t wait to try them! Glad we have different teachers than ya’ll, though I don’t think anyone would mind having a double portion of these!

  31. Meg's Everyday Indulgenceposted August 18, 2011 at 4:31 pm Reply

    This combines some of my favorite things! They sound soo delish!

  32. [email protected]posted August 18, 2011 at 4:42 pm Reply

    Bribe the teacher indeed! These look scrumptious!

  33. Emily @ Life on Foodposted August 18, 2011 at 5:46 pm Reply

    I think you could bribe just about anyone with these brownies. They look delicious. I am drooling!

  34. Maris (In Good Taste)posted August 18, 2011 at 6:04 pm Reply

    Very cute kids and post!

  35. Angela FRSposted August 18, 2011 at 8:32 pm Reply

    I’m a teacher, and this would TOTALLY work for me–especially with the sweet note…

  36. Kitaposted August 18, 2011 at 7:03 pm Reply

    Forget the kids, forget the teacher, I want these!

  37. Marian @ The Clock-Racing Gourmetposted August 18, 2011 at 7:18 pm Reply

    Love this – I always have coconut on hand and this looks like a very yummy way to use it!

  38. Rachel (teacher-chef)posted August 18, 2011 at 7:37 pm Reply

    How about you switch schools & I can teach your kids. Beautiful pictures, and I am sure that your kids’ teachers will have their back and they will have a great year – wonderful parents like you help your kids to succeed!!

  39. Tres Deliciousposted August 18, 2011 at 8:22 pm Reply

    Ha ha.. I’m gonna prepare this wonderful stuff for my kid’s teacher and pals. Nice kids you’ve got in the photo.

  40. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Dessertsposted August 18, 2011 at 8:33 pm Reply

    Why didn’t I think to bribe the teacher! My son is in 1st grade this year, he just started Wed. So exciting, yes so sad all at the same time!

  41. marlaposted August 18, 2011 at 9:51 pm Reply

    These are the ultimate bribe for teachers, but feel free to bribe me with them too :) Your kids are adorable!

  42. [email protected]posted August 18, 2011 at 10:49 pm Reply

    Oh, heck with bribing the teachers (though that’s a wonderful idea I will definitely keep in mind hehe). I want someone to make these for ME! Sigh… I forgot… I’m the only one in the house that cooks. SO I’ll make these for me and not share :-D

  43. Parsley Sageposted August 19, 2011 at 6:27 am Reply

    Sneaky! I love it :) It will totally work too. These brownies sound incredible! Buzzed

    By the way…I also have emergency pants :)

  44. brandiposted August 19, 2011 at 7:52 am Reply

    wowza – these look incredible! and i’ve heard of making dulce de leche like that, but have never tried it.

  45. bonnie at sweet lifeposted August 19, 2011 at 8:10 am Reply

    sweet sweet putty in your hands, lol

    who could resist?

  46. Cookin' Canuckposted August 19, 2011 at 9:20 am Reply

    Your kids (who are adorable, by the way) have the luckiest teachers in the world! I would be easily bribed by these gorgeous brownies. All of those same fears run through my head, too. Our children are so precious and it takes a leap of faith to put them in their teachers’ hands.

  47. Dmarieposted August 19, 2011 at 9:37 am Reply

    oh, wow, what a scrumptious looking brownie! thanks, Spicy!

    • Dmarieposted August 19, 2011 at 9:40 am Reply

      almost forgot…thanks for sharing the pic of your legacy–they look too cute in their uniforms, just adorable!!

  48. Georgia Pellegriniposted August 19, 2011 at 10:08 am Reply

    These look so delicious. You could bribe anyone with them!

  49. Brookeposted August 19, 2011 at 12:22 pm Reply

    Those look wonderful! Since I homeschool I’m wondering if I leave the recipe on the counter maybe my kids would bribe me! ;)

  50. Sandiposted August 19, 2011 at 10:33 am Reply

    Your pictures just POP! Great recipe too :)

    And…saw your blog recommended in cyber world by a couple other bloggers this week, just thought you’d want to know. Keep up the great work!

  51. Tricia @ Saving room for dessertposted August 19, 2011 at 11:29 am Reply

    Your children are beautiful! They look so happy – I remember the days :) Just found out I’m going to be a grandmother! My 23 year old daughter is expecting her first – so here it goes again! Back to the beginning with toys, preschool, school events and sports – can’t wait! I’ll have to remember these to bribe teachers and coaches when the time is right. Hope they have a blessed school year and fantastic teachers.

  52. Anne-Marie @ This Mama Cooks!posted August 19, 2011 at 1:41 pm Reply

    Bribe the teacher? Oh, you’re too funny. But looking at those gorgeous brownies, I think it just may work!

  53. Amy @ Gastronome Tartposted August 19, 2011 at 3:57 pm Reply

    Oh wow! I’m sure they taste even better than they look and they look absolutely fantastic!!!!

  54. The Culinary Lensposted August 19, 2011 at 5:01 pm Reply

    What a buzzworthy post. I think the brownies will go over very well. Aside from the recipe I love the sentiment behind the post

  55. cooking varieties(wan maznah)posted August 19, 2011 at 5:22 pm Reply

    wow ! how not toe be special- coconut, cocoa, chocolate and almonds. it sure can bribe me too :) a must try- the image looks so gourmet. of gourmet standard. congrats. have a great weekend from me, wan of malaysia. do visit my blog too, would love to read a comment from you also,.

  56. Elies_Lieposted August 19, 2011 at 8:08 pm Reply

    Good looking brownie & great story u share… haha ha!
    Tq for sharing the recipe with us! ;)

  57. Pingback: The Weekend Dish: 8/20/2011 | Brown Eyed Baker

  58. Peggyposted August 20, 2011 at 4:59 am Reply

    Umm yeah, I’d say that these should do the trick! How could you even let them out of the house though lol They definitely look incredibly delicious =)

  59. JP Betterposted August 20, 2011 at 6:34 am Reply

    Oh my, what a delightful recipe, they look yummy, I wish I was your childrens teacher! I will be making these tomorrow. I love the way you write your articles very refreshing and warm.

  60. Rachel @ Not Rachael Rayposted August 20, 2011 at 9:20 am Reply

    I think these brownies will do the trick!
    PS: Your kids are darling!

  61. Estherposted August 20, 2011 at 9:48 am Reply

    I’m salivating here.
    You could probably win ANYONE over with those. me included.

  62. Sukainaposted August 20, 2011 at 9:52 am Reply

    I’m so glad I’ve come across your website. Some true gems like these brownies here. My 2 1/2 year old starts nursery in September and although currently, I CANNOT WAIT, I’m sure I’ll be remorseful come time!

  63. Allyposted August 20, 2011 at 11:17 am Reply

    If these don’t work I’m not sure WHAT will! xo

  64. Nicole @ Bake Me Blushposted August 20, 2011 at 1:14 pm Reply

    Aww, that “I luv you teacher” bit made me smile. Those brownies look soooo heavenly… sigh… Thanks for sharing!

  65. Margaret Murphy Trippposted August 20, 2011 at 3:11 pm Reply

    Wow, those have all of my favorite elements. They look FANTASTIC! I thought I had a favorite brownie recipe, but it may be in jeopardy….

  66. Kim Beeposted August 20, 2011 at 3:32 pm Reply

    These look so yummy. Great name, just loving this post. Congrats on top 9.

  67. Nikki @ Resistant Nikkiposted August 20, 2011 at 6:04 pm Reply

    I am a teacher! If I received these brownies I would consider myself effectively bribed! They look amazing. :)

  68. 5 Star Foodieposted August 21, 2011 at 1:20 am Reply

    These brownies sounds amazing, loving the topping with dulce de leche. Your kids are adorable!

  69. Monetposted August 21, 2011 at 2:13 pm Reply

    Such precious children! Their teachers will love them (and as a former teacher…those brownies will do wonders!) Thank you for sharing with me, my friend. I hope you are having a lovely and relaxing Sunday afternoon. I’m about to bake some blueberry and cream cookies. Much love and many blessings from Austin!

  70. Baking Serendipityposted August 21, 2011 at 3:55 pm Reply

    The layers in these sound amazing! As a teacher (of high schoolers, many of whom have parents no longer interested in being involved in their education), I can tell you these would definitely be appreciated :)

  71. Joanneposted August 21, 2011 at 4:19 pm Reply

    I am totally pro bribing people with baked goods…it’s just the right thing to do! You could totally win me over with these…too bad I’m not a teacher!

  72. Apron Appealposted August 21, 2011 at 4:53 pm Reply

    I plan on bribing teachers this year too….It’s hard though because we’re not “allowed” to bring in store bought treats. I’m definitely not bribing anyone with something bought from the store so I’m going to take my chances and make something anyway, it’s a gamble, but I think it will work out in my kid’s favor. :)

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  75. Elizabeth @TheBareMidriffposted August 23, 2011 at 6:02 pm Reply

    I’m a teacher. They would work on me.

    Awesome tip about the homemade dulce de leche!

  76. Hester @ Alchemy in the Kitchenposted August 24, 2011 at 9:33 am Reply

    I LOVE the title of this post and such a great idea to bribe the teachers tho your kids are sooooo cute it probably isn’t necessary :) I hope the year is a great one for them and that their teachers prove worthy of these brownies and your faith in them.

  77. Krista {Budget Gourmet Mom}posted August 25, 2011 at 2:21 pm Reply

    You are going to be the death of me Sommer! Those look positively sinful. I definitely want to try making my own dulce de leche…that is an awesome trick!!!

  78. Eileenposted August 25, 2011 at 8:07 pm Reply

    If those brownies don’t do the trick I don’t know what would! Your kids are so cute Sommer. I love their blue shirts in the pics.

  79. Michelleposted August 28, 2011 at 12:54 am Reply

    Thanks Sommer!!! Can’t wait to make these and bribe the teacher & the rest of the staff ;) :)

  80. Souristineposted September 11, 2011 at 6:58 am Reply

    Thank you Sommer for this amazing recipe.
    I translated it in French – and converted to metric system – for my own blog (with a link to yours, of course!)

    Dulce de leche is probably easier to find in France than in the US (we call it “confiture de lait”) ; yet I love all the “do-it-yourself” stuff, so I used your tip : just parfect!

    Again, thank you!

    • Souristineposted September 12, 2011 at 5:20 am Reply

      Oops, I meant “perfect”.

      Hope your cute kids are doing well at school!

  81. Jenni (Traveler for Good)posted September 17, 2011 at 4:55 pm Reply

    Amazing! I was feeling a little lazy so used packaged brownie mix as the base but they were a big hit last night at dinner with friends. Posted a picture of my finished product on my blog with a link to yours.


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  83. Ellenposted September 21, 2011 at 8:16 am Reply

    A prego woman really shouldn’t be looking at this site… I now want to eat everything on here!! These brownies look amazing. Will be coming back to check out more recipes!

  84. Christineposted October 6, 2011 at 8:40 am Reply

    I made these last week and they were so amazing! I’m going to have a write-up on my blog about them this weekend, but basically they turned out perfect. The blend of flavors was amazing and the coconut wasn’t overpowering.

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  88. Amandaposted February 3, 2015 at 7:35 am Reply

    They look incredible! But, why don’t you use a pressure cooker to cook the condensed milk (i’m brazilian so I don’t know if this is correct)? When you cook the condensed milk in a pressure cooker you just have to count 40 minutes after the cooker gets pressure (??) and voilà :D just remember to cover the cans and wait them to cool completely before opening.

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  91. Barbposted December 16, 2016 at 12:01 am Reply

    I made this recipe many times but not lately, not good for losing weight lol.  I wanted to bring it to a Christmas party and searched and searched for the recipe but nothing then tonight I found it in my imported bookmarks, must have been on my other computer, so glad it is found again!