It’s been a little while since my last post… and let me tell you, I’m suffering from serious baking withdrawal! I was lucky enough to have spent the last two weeks with my best friend and her family, chasing around my adorable and energetic 18-month-old nephew, and having lots of baby snuggles with my newborn niece. I now know every song from the movie Frozen by heart (have been singing them in my sleep), and am now a thoroughly experienced diaper changer… though, I probably could have gone without adding that to my resume.
Since returning home, I can’t get over how quiet it is! I’ve become so used to all the chaos and noise that I currently have the TV on, some music playing, the vacuum running (not actually USING it, though. No, don’t be silly.) and am terrorizing my cat just to make him meow at me. This noise level seems just about right to my newly trained ears. I don’t know how all you parents out there do it every day… I can barely get myself dressed in the mornings, never mind being responsible for another person or two!
While I loved my time away, I have fallen dreadfully behind on my list of things to bake. Yes, there is actually a list. It’s colour coded, sorted by recipe type, and items get crossed off with one of a rainbow of highlighter colours. (Have I mentioned what a huge list-making Nerd I am?? Well, now you know. It’s a sickness, really.) I have recently fallen in love with an ingredient that is fairly new to me, and have recipes piling up that I’m DYING to make. I have three words for you: Dulce de Leche.
Guys, if you haven’t had this stuff, you are missing out. It’s amazing. Smooth and creamy deliciousness. It’s like the best caramel sauce you’ve ever had, but better. It’s made of sweetened condensed mik – which, as we know is nature’s miracle ingredient. I have a giant jar of this stuff sitting my my pantry right now, waiting for some baking inspiration to strike! (or for me to stop by with a spoon for a little snack)
You can of course make your own Dulce de Leche sauce, which is what my best buddy Chef Michael Smith does for this recipe. He’s like my kitchen superhero… he knows everything, and makes everything from scratch! He seems like such a cool dude too, I’d love to just go hang out in his kitchen. I actually visited his hometown in PEI a couple years ago, and I was pretty convinced I’d meet him, and we’d become BFF’s and he’d teach me everything he knows.
That didn’t happen. (Did I mention I’m a huge Nerd about my favourite TV Chefs? I know, you’re shocked.)
Anyways – back to these bars. They’re seriously amazing. They are loaded with spicy nutmeg which just goes amazingly well with the creamy Dulce de Leche. And who doesn’t love a crumbly oatmeal/brown sugar topping!? Crazy people, that’s who.
Do yourself a favour and go get a giant jar of Dulce de Leche, eat a bunch of it, amd save just enough to make these bars. And perhaps sing a little song about how reindeer are better than people while you do this. (Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about… I know you do.)
Talk soon! =0)
~The Baking Nerd
Dulce de Leche Squares
Adapted from Chef Michael Smith’s Make Ahead Meals
- 3 cups shredded coconut
- 2 cups oatmeal
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp of nutmeg
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 1 cup melted butter
- 1 1/4 cups Dulce de Leche
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 13″ baking pan with parchment paper or foil, and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together coconut, oatmeal, flour, baking soda and nutmeg. Set aside.
In a second bowl, mix the eggs, brown sugar and butter until smooth. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until well combined.
Spread half of the batter evenly on the bottom of your prepared pan. Bake until firm and lightly browned, 10-15 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and pour the Dulce de Leche evenly over the base. Top with the remaining batter, dropping it in small clumps all over the surface. Return to the oven, and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature before cutting into squares.
Eat. Drink Milk. Enjoy.