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Dulce de Leche Ice Cream on Brown Butter Blondies

 From I Scream Sandwiches by Jennie Schacht

Jennie says: With rich caramel echoed at every level, this one is all about extravagance. You could use store-bought dulce de leche to flavor the ice cream or make it using sweetened condensed milk, but making it yourself from fresh milk, while it takes a bit of patience, is easy and fun and immensely more complex and flavorful.

Flaunting nutty browned butter, the blondies are the perfect complement, and they could hardly be easier to make. Dark brown sugar contributes an extra layer of caramelized flavor, but light brown sugar will work too.

 

Dulce de Leche
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  2. 1 quart whole milk
  3. 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  4. 1/4 cup packed (50 g) light brown sugar
  5. 2 tablespoons golden syrup or agave nectar
  6. 1 Rain's Choice vanilla bean, split
Instructions
  1. Dissolve the baking soda in 2 teaspoons of water; set aside by the stove.
  2. Whisk the milk, granulated and brown sugars, and golden syrup in a large, deep, heavy nonreactive soup pot over medium heat to dissolve the sugar. Use the tip of a paring knife to scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk; drop in the pod too. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, and cover the pot for 5 minutes to help dissolve any sugar clinging to the sides. Remove the cover.
  3. Add the baking soda mixture, taking care to avoid boil-overs and steam burns, as the mixture will bubble up fiercely. The mixture will continue to foam as you cook it. (If the foam climbs too close to the top at any point, take the pot off the heat briefly, stir, and return to the heat.)
  4. Simmer the mixture slowly, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula, as the milk goes from white, to light tan, to a medium and then a deep caramel color. It's ready when it thickens to the texture of a caramel sauce and measures about 11/4 cups, about 1 hour. (It will thicken further as it cools.)
  5. Stir in the salt and let cool to room temperature. Remove the vanilla pod; rinse and save for another use, or discard. If not using immediately, refrigerate the dulce de leche in a clean glass jar, covered, for up to 1 month.
Notes
  1. Makes about 1 1/4 cups
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Brown Butter Blondies
Ingredients
  1. Nonstick spray or oil, for the pan
  2. 1 1/4 cups (165 g) all-purpose flour
  3. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  4. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  6. 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  7. 2/3 cup packed (134 g) dark brown sugar
  8. 2 large eggs
  9. 1 teaspoon Rain's Choice pure vanilla extract
  10. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F with a rack in the center of the oven. Lightly spray or oil a 13-by-9-inch pan, line it with a strip of parchment paper, extending it over two sides, then lightly spray or oil the parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl; set aside.
  3. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, then cook several minutes longer, swirling occasionally, until it smells nutty and turns a deep golden brown, taking care not to let it burn. Immediately remove the butter from the heat and pour it into a heatproof bowl. Use a whisk to stir in the brown sugar, then let cool until no longer hot to the touch, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the eggs one at a
  4. time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture just until no white streaks remain.
  5. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan, leveling it with a moistened offset spatula. Bake until the edges just begin to color slightly and a toothpick inserted near the center finds some moist crumbs clinging to it, about 20 minutes, rotating the pan front to back halfway through baking.
  6. Cool the blondies in the pan for 10 minutes, then use the parchment paper to lift and transfer the blondies on the parchment to a flat surface.
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 Makes 12 sandwiches

 

SANDWICH!LatinLoveIScreamSandwich_p941
Cut out shapes while the blondies are still warm using ice cream sandwich molds or a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cutting them close together to form 24 cut-outs. Let cool completely.

To use the molds, lay a piece of waxed paper on a flat surface to catch drips and place the cutter on top of it. Place one pre-cut blondie top-side down into the cutter so that it lies flat against the paper. Scoop about 1/4 cup of ice cream into the cutter over the blondie. Top with a second blondie, top-side up, and use the mold’s plunger to firmly press the blondie over the ice cream and compact the filling.

If you cut the blondies with a cookie cutter, pair the cookies and sandwich a scoop of ice cream between each set of cookie bottoms. Press gently to squeeze the ice cream slightly beyond the edges. If you wish, smooth the ice cream flush with the cookie edges.

TAKE IT EASY: Use store-bought blondies and dulce de leche or caramel ice cream. Or swirl store-bought or homemade dulce de leche into softened vanilla ice cream.

The sandwiches can also be formed as a slab by cutting the large blondie in half cross-wise to form two 9-by-6 1/2-inch blocks and filling with the ice cream. Wrap tightly and freeze until very firm before cutting into 4 strips in one direction and 3 in the other to make 12 sandwiches.

DRESS IT UP: Roll the sides of the sandwiches in chopped toasted walnuts. Or dip the sandwiches into a bowl of warm dulce de leche as you eat them.

 

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Patricia Rain
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Patricia Rain

is an author, educator, culinary historian, and owner of The Vanilla Company (www.vanillaqueen.com), a socially conscious, product-driven information and education site dedicated to the promotion of pure, natural vanilla, and the support of vanilla farmers worldwide. She also does culinary presentations for food professionals, cooking schools, trade shows, food fairs, and private groups, and is a regular radio and TV guest.
Patricia Rain
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