(I know, I was seriously deranged).
I was insistent on my hatred of caramel. I would only do hot fudge and would make a face at my dad who would promptly douse his sundae in caramel sauce. He would goad me into trying it and I’d wrinkle my nose as if he were offering me pickled pigs feet to pair with my rocky road.
But then something in me clicked and I tried it one day. And lo and behold, I’m a completely convert. In fact, now I overlook the hot fudge and always go straight to the heart of the good stuff – caramel, caramel, caramel.
Is there anything this golden, sweet, buttery syrup can’t do? (Well, actually, yeah. It can’t get me a tax return. It can’t buy me flowers on a bad day. And it certainly can’t pay my car payment.) … but hopefully it can convince you guys to make these bars, because they are SO unbelievably tasty and rich.
The secret to these guys? Dulce de leche. Trust me on this one – it’s a doozy.
Dulce de leche is different than caramel in that it’s primarily milk based – specifically using sweetened condensed milk for a richer, thicker, creamier flavor and consistency than your standard sugar-based caramel sauce. And did I mention how amazing it is? For realsies, it’s the best, and it’s the reason these bars are oh-so magical.
Because how can you say no to this?
Dulce de Leche Chocolate Gooey Bars
- 1 box chocolate cake mix
- 1 egg
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter melted
- 1 cup Rolos unwrapped and cut in half
- 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 (7-8 oz) can/jar dulce de leche (I LOVE & highly recommend Trader Joe's version)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8x8" baking pan with foil, extending the sides of the foil over the edges of the pan. Mist the foil liberally with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, egg and melted butter with a spatula until a thick but soft dough forms. Press 3/4 of the dough into the bottom of the pan in an even layer. Top with the chopped Rolo candies evenly.
- In a small bowl, mix together the sweetened condensed milk and HALF of the can of dulce de leche until combined. Pour the mixture evenly over the top of the Rolo candies. You may not use all of it; that's okay. Crumble the remaining dough on top of the bars, covering it as much as possible.
- Bake for approx. 30-35 minutes or until the edges of the bars are set and golden and the middle is just about set. It may be slightly jiggly still, and that's okay; you don't want to over-bake it as it will continue to set up as it cools. Cool completely.
- Before cutting into squares, drizzle with remaining dulce de leche. Serve immediately or store leftovers airtight at room temperature for up to 3 days. *NOTE: I recommend letting the bars set overnight so they're more solid when you cut into them. This helps them from completely falling apart.*
Rich, buttery, and jam-packed with caramel, these ooey gooey treats will be your new favorite in no time! And if you’ve never tried dulce de leche, be prepared to convert to the creamy side of caramel.