Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays + Dulce de Leche Brownies

Ree Drummond, otherwise known as The Pioneer Woman, is one of my automatic buys when it comes to cookbooks.  While they're not books I use daily I always enjoy looking through them and the recipes are always reliably good with easy to find ingredients and just unique enough to be interesting without scaring off the pickier eaters. I'm very excited about her newest book - The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime which comes out in September and it inspired me to pull out her last book- A Year of Holidays.

Of her three current cookbooks this massive volume is probably my favorite.  Not only are there a huge variety of recipes but the layout is just so fun.  Instead of being divided by type of recipe the chapters for each book are divided by holiday.  I love the idea of having a holiday themed meal without it being a big deal.  And of course you can use any of the recipes whenever you want like these Dulce de Leche Brownies from the Cinco de Mayo chapter.  I'm definitely glad I didn't wait until May to make these!

Dulce de Leche Brownies

5 1 ounce squares unsweetened chocolate
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 a 14 ounce can dulce de leche

Preheat the oven to 325.  Generously spray an 8 inch square baking pan or an 8 x 10 inch baking pan with nonstick baking spray.
Place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and nuke it in about 45 second intervals, stirring each time, until it's completely melted.  Set it aside to cook for 20 minutes or so.
Add the butter and the sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream them together until they're light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time beating well after each addition.
With the mixer on low, slowly drizzle in the chocolate until it's all combined.
Add the flour and the vanilla and mix until is all combined, scraping the sides of the bowl halfway through.
Spread the batter into the greased pan.
Open the can of dulce de leche and place half of it in a glass bowl.  Warm it in the microwave for 30 to 45 seconds, just to make it a little more stirrable.
Drop large dollops of dulce de leche on the surface of the batter.  Then use a knife to slowly swirl it through the brownie batter.  Don't drag the knife sideways through the batter; hold it so the thin side of the knife leads the way.
Bake the brownies for 45 to 50 minutes or until the center is almost totally set.
Let cool before slicing.
Changes I Made:  I added more dulce de leche but other than that followed the recipe exactly.

Changes I'll Make Next Time:  I used the 8" square but next time I'll use a bigger pan as these were a little to thick.

Results: As embarrassing as it is to admit I've always preferred brownies from a mix but these were SOO good.  They're rich and chocolate-y and the dulce de leche is a fantastic addition.  My only problem is that these were really thick and were so rich and chocolate-y it was almost too much.

I'm linking up with Weekend Cooking hosted by Beth Fish Reads


  1. I'm glad you didn't wait until May to make these! This is the only one of the Pioneer Woman cookbooks I don't have, and you say you like it the best? I must get my hands on one!
    I love her books and the photos, sharing the life on that cattle ranch and photos of those smoking hot cowboys ! Haha

  2. These do sound amazing -- and I bet they'd be the right thickness in the 8x10 pan. I'm looking forward to her new book too.

  3. Sounds like you would need to wash them down with a pint of milk.
    Now I really want a brownie. Mmmm.... I don't even know the last time I had one. I need to rectify that.
    Happy reading!
    Brittany @ This is the Story of My(Reading) Life

  4. Confession--I prefer boxed cake to scratch cake. ;) Everytime I try to make a cake from scratch it is so dense! No matter which recipe I try. I love dulce de leche and these definitely have my eye but aye the richness! Agree with Brittany about the pint of milk!

    I've never bought up her books. I'm a fan of pictures in cookbooks but hers have SO many!!

  5. I don't have any of her cookbooks but I do follow her blog feeds for recipes and for her regular writing. I like how she's funny and keeps it real.

  6. I watch her on tv a lot but have never tried one of her cookbooks.This one looks interesting.

  7. I had never heard of this stuff, but will be looking into it! Thanks.

  8. Yum, brownies! I enjoy watching her cooking show, too.

  9. Might be a bit sweet for me. Cheers from Carole's Chatter!

  10. Mmmm, these sound yummy. I always make my brownies from a box but these look easy.

  11. I love brownies from mixes, too! Ha ha. I get Ghirardelli brownie mixes. This recipe looks pretty simple so I might try it. I would love a cook book divided into holidays. :)

  12. These sound pretty amazing, Katherine. I love dolce de leche. And having a cookbook that is divided by holidays is a fun idea! My sister-in-law is famous for her brownies and they're from a mix though she does make her own frosting! The family expects her to bring them to any family

  13. Yum! That sounds delicious! How I miss baking with good old all-purpose wheat flour!