These bars are based on a dark-chocolate-studded blondie with an additional ribbon of dulce de leche and fresh juicy raspberries in the middle. You can make homemade dulce de leche or purchase it at the grocery store. The combination of milky caramel, dark chocolate and the acidic red fruit is an unusual and exciting combination. Make sure your berries are fresh and firm. You can see them in progress below.
Images: Dédé Wilson
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- Heaping ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 3 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into shards, such as Callebaut or Valrhona Extra Bitter (61%) or Scharffen Berger (70%)
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup dulce de leche
- 1¼ cups raspberries, chopped
- Position rack in middle of oven. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 8-inch square pan with nonstick spray.
- Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl to aerate and combine; toss in chocolate shards and set aside.
- Whisk together melted butter and brown sugar. Whisk in vanilla and then the egg, blending well. Allow mixture to cool slightly, then stir in flour mixture, mixing just until blended. Spread half of the batter evenly into prepared pan.
- Use a small offset spatula to spread to the dulce de leche evenly over the batter, then scatter the berries evenly over all. Drop bits of the remaining batter all over the berries (see image) and gently spread it into as solid a top layer as possible using a clean offset spatula. Don’t worry if you can see some of the berries; the batter will meld together as it bakes.
- Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until bars are light golden brown, are slightly puffed and the edges have begun to come away from the sides of the pan. A toothpick inserted in the center will come out with a few moist crumbs clinging. Place pan on rack until cool. Cut into 16 (4x4) or 25 bars (5x5). Store at room temperature in airtight container up to 3 days in single layers separated by parchment paper.
- Start with a large hunk of bulk chocolate and use a large chefs knife to shave off shards. They will vary from very tiny rice-grain-sized pieces to those approaching pecan size. These textures are more sophisticated than morsels or chips, although you may substitute about ¾ cup morsels, if desired.