Makes about 3 dozen
• 1 ½ cups dulce de leche, cajeta or best-quality caramel sauce
• Milk (optional)
• 8 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
• ½ cup plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
• 2 cups granulated sugar
• 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
• 1 ½ cups pecan halves, toasted lightly, then coarsely chopped
• Confectioners' sugar for sprinkling on top
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line the inside of a 13-by-9-inch metal baking pan with heavy-duty foil. Lightly grease the foil.
2. Heat caramel sauce in a small saucepan until pourable. (Add a little milk if necessary to get a pourable consistency.) Remove from heat.
3. Put the chopped unsweetened chocolate and the butter into a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Melt over very low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in sugar, then eggs, vanilla and salt.
4. Stir in flour just until incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips and pecans.
5. Spread batter in prepared pan. Pour the dulce de leche or caramel over the top of the brownie batter. Using the handle of a spatula or butter knife, swirl the dulce de leche gently into the brownie batter underneath. Do not mix them together completely, you should be able to see the swirling pattern on the top. Bake until center is just set, but not at all dry, about 40 to 45 minutes. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. (Refrigerate for easier cutting.)
6. To cut, lift brownies out of pan. Invert onto a cutting board and peel off foil. Cut with a large knife into small squares. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar and serve.
Note: These brownies can be made a couple days in advance. If made more than one day in advance, be sure to refrigerate them.