Dulce-De-Leche Makes-Everything-Better Bars

November 2, 2015
Bring this sweet pear dessert to the party and you'll be everyone's favorite guest.
Jill Bernardini
Dulce-de-Leche-Makes-Everything-Better-Bars | WGBH | Craving Boston

Dulce de leche — which is basically a fancy name for caramel sauce — is a gloriously sticky way of gilding the lily on most any dessert. Here, the storebought sauce is made even better with the addition of a little butter and brown sugar, before being drizzled on top of roasted pear bars. Homemade shortbread comes together in minutes to serve as a buttery base for the spiced, roasted pears.  

Shortbread Base

Dulce-de-Leche-Makes-Everything-Better-Bars | WGBH | Craving Boston
3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1. Set the oven at 325 degrees. Line a 9-inch square baking dish with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Set aside.

2. To prepare the shortbread crust, take a small mixing bowl and stir together the butter, sugar, vanilla, salt and cinnamon.

3. Add the flour to the butter mixture and stir until fully incorporated. Press shortbread dough into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.

4. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Begin to prep the pears while the crust bakes. You want the crust to be under-baked. Remove from the oven, leave the oven on and set aside, keeping the crust in the pan.

Pear Topping and Dulce Sauce

Dulce-de-Leche-Makes-Everything-Better-Bars | WGBH | Craving Boston
3 pears (peeled, cored and thinly sliced)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 cup store-bought dulce de leche (or caramel sauce)

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the pear slices with the granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon juice. Sprinkle the flour over the top and toss to coat. Set aside for 10 minutes, tossing frequently to allow the pear juices to thicken.

2. Pour the pear mixture overtop of the par-baked shortbread crust, arranging the slices in one single layer. Gently press the pears into the shortbread crust.

3. Place back in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. The pears should turn a golden brown as the shortbread crust crisps around the outside. Remove from the oven, set on a cooling rack for about 20 minutes before removing from the pan. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour.

4. Meanwhile, prepare the dulce de leche sauce. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the dark brown sugar, stirring with a spatula until the sugar is fully incorporated, about 3 minutes.

5. Stir in the dulce de leche and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce is smooth. Remove from heat and set aside. Cut the pear bars into 16 even squares. Take the warm dulce sauce, and use a spoon to drizzle it over the cooled pear bars.

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Dulce-de-Leche Makes-Everything-Better Bars
  • November 2, 2015