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Dulce de Leche Cookie Bars

Samara Gibbs
Upgrade a traditional magic cookie bar by using tasty Dulce de Leche in place of condensed milk!
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 28 mins
Cooling Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 38 mins
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 12 bars
Calories 120 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the crust

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

For the filling

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 can dulce de leche
  • splash of milk
  • coarse sea salt, for sprinkling optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and line an 8x8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper. Do not skip the parchment paper; it's very important for clean, easy removal of the bars.
  • Make your graham cracker crumbs by placing broken up sheets of graham crackers in a powerful blender or food processor. Pulse until the crackers become small crumbs. If you don't have a blender or processor, put the sheets in a ziploc bag and use a rolling pin or bottle to crush them. Measure out the specified amount and toss it into the prepared baking pan.
  • Add melted butter and salt to the crumbs. Stir them together with a fork, until the mixture resembles wet sand. Use the palm and back of your hand to press the crumbs into a flat, uniform crust.
  • In a medium bowl, combine dulce de leche and a splash of milk. Stir together with a spatula or spoon. We're just doing this to make the dulce de leche slightly thinner. Be careful not to add too much milk.
  • Now, we'll begin layering the bars. Start by sprinkling chocolate chips over the prepared graham cracker crust. Then, add coconut flakes, and finish it off with the chopped pecans.
  • Drop dollops of the dulce de leche on top of the layers of chocolate, coconut, and pecans. Use a spatula or the back of a spoon to spread the milk caramel as evenly as you can. It will be thick and very sticky. Don't worry about spreading the dulce de leche to every corner, or pressing it down too much into the pan, because it will spread and liquify as it bakes.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 28-30 minutes. The dulce de leche will be slightly bubbling, and the edges will be golden brown. Even though it's finished baking, the caramel will still look pretty wet and gooey. That's okay.
  • Remove the bars from the oven, sprinkle a little coarse sea salt over the top, and allow them to cool in the pan, uncovered, for AT LEAST 3 hours before slicing into squares or diamonds. Do not attempt to cut or remove the bars until they are sufficiently cooled.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • In no way can these bars be described as a "light" dessert. They are SWEET and RICH. If you don't fancy very sweet desserts, you might want to skip this one.
  • Dulce de leche is quite thick and won't exactly "drizzle" like regular sweetened condensed milk. When I made these, I was worried that the caramel would just sit on top of the layers, but it spreads and melts just fine in the oven.
  • You MUST line your pan with parchment paper for easy, clean removal of these bars.
  • This recipe yields about 10-12 bars, depending on how large you cut them.

Nutrition

Calories: 120kcal
Keyword caramel, cookie bars, dulce de leche, easy recipe, magic cookie bars
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