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Salted Dulce de Leche Brownies

Salted Dulce de Leche Brownies
From Bakerita and Alice Medrich via Food52
Makes about 16 brownies

10 tablespoons (1 ¼ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
½ cup all purpose flour
½ cup dulce de leche
Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, allowing the sides to hang over by 2 inches. Spray with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
2. In a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, add butter, stirring occasionally, until almost melted. (Can also be done in the microwave.) Add sugar and cocoa and stir until incorporated and smooth, and no bits of butter remain. 
3. Remove from heat and stir in salt, vanilla extract, and eggs until well combined and glossy. Add flour, stirring until just combined and no streaks of flour remain. Once combined, with a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon, fold batter vigorously for about 30-45 seconds. 
4. Pour half of batter into prepared pan, spreading to the edges. Dollop ¼ cup dulce de leche in teaspoon sized drops over the batter. Pour remaining batter over top and gently smooth to edges. Repeat dollops with remaining ¼ cup dulce de leche*. With a sharp knife or a wooden skewer, gently swirl dulce de leche into batter. Sprinkle coarse sea salt over the batter.
5. Bake 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a just a bit of batter attached and center barely jiggles when the pan is shaken. Cool in pan for 20 minutes. Using foil overhang, lift from pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, slice with a sharp knife into 16 squares.

*Note: I found it easier to dollop and swirl if the dulce de leche was a bit warm. Put in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 10 seconds before adding to batter.