Brownies are always a good idea.  Brownies with a peanut butter-dulce de leche frosting, sprinkled with a bit of sea salt are always an even better idea.

Trust me on this.

I started with a super-simple, near perfect brownie, adapted just barely from the “Best Brownies Recipe” on Leite’s Culinaria. I love this version, primarily because it’s a one-bowl endeavor with just a handful of ingredients. (ok, if you don’t count the frosting…)  The result is a perfect balance of chocolate and coffee, with a slightly chewy center.  They are completely delicious without embellishment.


But I like to embellish, so then we add the frosting.  You can’t go wrong with the dream-team combo of dulce de leche and peanut butter (remember that pie from last summer?)   So, when I discovered a drool-worthy recipe for a peanut butter frosting in (the darling cookbook) Date Night In, I dreamed of swirling in a bit of thick gooey caramel awesomeness into the mix.

It totally works.  Just ask my book club.  I cut the batch I made tonight into 36 little bites.  My thinking was thus: these dear friends tend to be quite dainty dessert eaters… and each would indulge in a little bite, leaving tons of leftovers to take to school tomorrow.

It didn’t work out according to my plan.  They’re mostly gone.  High praise from this crew, let me assure you.

I’ll have to make another batch for my teacher friends.

You may want to make a batch for your friends too.


A few other random thoughts:

You know you have one of the greatest friends on the planet when she serves only items from your blog for dinner … My friend Denise served up Arugula Salad with Walnuts and Parmesan, Beet, Tangerine and Blood Orange Salad with Goat Cheese, Pomegranate Seeds and Pistachios, and the (crowd favorite) Spring Salad of Israeli Couscous, Peas, Pancetta, and Lemon.  So sweet!  But wow, I need to shorten the titles of my recipes.

We discussed The Invention of Wings.  Honestly, one of my favorite book club selections ever.  Most, but not everyone agreed, so we had an interesting discussion.

Oh how I love bars… if you like these, you might like a few of my other faves: Salted Alfajores Bars, Malted Milk Ball Blondies, Raspberry-Cherry Crumble Bars or Chocolate-Bottomed Bourbon Maple Pecan Bars.

One year ago: on that blogging hiatus – it was a looong hiatus.

Two years ago: I was romping around Canberra

4.7 from 3 reviews
Peanut Butter Dulce de Leche Brownies
Adapted from recipes found on Leite's Culinaria and in Date Night in by Ashley Rodriguez
Serves: 16-36, depending on size
  • The brownie
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for the pan
  • 1 cup good quality semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee crystals
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup chocolate chunks
  • The frosting
  • 6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cups creamy natural peanut butter
  • ¼ cup dulce de leche
  • ⅓ cup powdered sugar
  • A generous sprinkle of sea salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F
  2. Line an 9-inch square pan with parchment paper. Lightly butter the parchment.
  3. Add the chocolate and butter to a large glass (or otherwise microwave-proof) bowl. Each microwave will be a bit different, but I melted the butter and chocolate using the defrost mode for about three minutes. Add the coffee crystals and mix until combined.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the sugar and vanilla until combined. Beat in the eggs by hand, one at a time.
  5. Add the flour and stir energetically for 1 full minute—time yourself—until the batter loses its graininess, becomes smooth and glossy, and pulls away a bit from the sides of the bowl.
  6. Add the additional chocolate chunks and stir to combine.
  7. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the center feels almost set, about 30 minutes. Do not overbake.
  8. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  9. The frosting
  10. Combine the butter, peanut butter, dulce de leche, and powdered sugar in a bowl. Using a hand mixer, mix on high speed until smooth.
  11. Frost the brownies, then cut into squares.



20 Responses to "Peanut Butter Dulce de Leche Brownies"
  1. Denise says:

    Bourbon and Brown Sugar is my go-to choice whenever I entertain! I’m always confident these dishes will be a hit. Thank you Mary Beth for providing your inspiration. Our Book Club has the best desserts ever!

  2. OMG Mary Beth! These are going to kill my waistline, but I don’t care!! They sound amazing! Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend!

    • mb says:

      Cut them into tiny squares, have one (or two) and share them with your friends… waistline saved! Thanks Mary Ann!

  3. You had my attention at peanut butter brownies but then with the dulce de leche- WOW!

  4. Jess says:

    These look so decadently delicious. LOVE that frosting 🙂 Happy FF!

  5. Susan says:

    Hard to believe that you can improve upon perfection, but I believe you did! These look so scrumptious, I can hardly wait to try them. Pinned!

  6. I just love every single flavor in these brownies! The mile high frosting looks amazing too. I’ll be enjoying these myself soon!

  7. You had me at peanut butter!!!! these look incredible! 🙂

  8. Natalie says:

    Yes! Brownies are always a good idea, especially brownies like these. They look absolutely amazing!

  9. Fiona says:

    Yummm! Can’t wait to try these. I know my youngest child will beside herself with happiness as you have managed to combine two of her favorite ingredients. I will share the recipe with her now.

  10. Beth says:

    Wow – these sound sensational! What a great combination of flavours.

  11. Sarah says:

    I most definitely want to make these for my friends. I’m jealous of your bookclub. These look just stunning!

  12. Kate says:

    Holy Moly, these sound ridiculous!! (In the best possible way!)

  13. Jenny says:

    I just made this frosting for a batch of cupcakes, and it’s seriously my new favorite. AMAZING! Thank you!

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