Dulce de Leche Apple Bars with Browned Butter Icing

Whenever I come across a recipe that includes the words “dulce de leche,” I’m immediately intrigued. I’m a caramel lover, you see, and dulce de leche puts caramel to shame. It’s infinitely more decadent and creamy, and it does magical things to baked goods too.

The latest dulce recipe that captured my full- attention: Dulce de Leche Apple Bars with Browned Butter Icing.

I’ve never made my own dulce de leche, though I’ve heard it’s quite easy to do. My fear is that I might eat it by the spoonful. For now, I’m happy to find it canned -in my grocery store’s Latin food aisle.

The dulce de leche is swirled into an appley batter. More appley batter is then spooned on top.

For the icing, butter is quickly browned in a saucepan and then mixed with powdered sugar, vanilla and cream. If you pour it on quickly, you can simply tip the pan to and fro until the bars are covered evenly. I added a teeny bit too much cream, and therefore my icing was slightly dribbly (but that just added to the drool factor needed for picture-taking purposes). If you’re careful when mixing your icing, yours will set up more firmly than mine


See that dulce de leche hidden inside? That there is pure heaven.

These cut up most easily when chilled until firm. A long, thin knife wiped off after each cut ensures clean edges.

The dulce had me so captivated that I nearly forgot to mention the fresh apple chunks. They were present throughout the bars too, but the dulce was the star of the bar.

I didn’t want these dangerous treats lying around our house, so I brought them to the teachers today. Those teachers at my son’s school get weekly treats from me, and so far… this is the treat that was most raved about. They left me a friendly note of thanks on the empty tray and pretty much demanded the recipe. “It’s all yours,” I told them, “but make at your own risk. That dulce de leche is addicting stuff.”

This recipe can be found here:  Dulce de Leche Apple Bars with Browned Butter Icing

80 Responses to “Dulce de Leche Apple Bars with Browned Butter Icing”

  1. postedOct 9, 2008 8:31 AM
    mikky

    those teachers are so lucky to have your son as their student… what a treat!!! :)

  2. postedOct 9, 2008 10:13 AM
    canarygirl

    Oh. My. Gawd. How am I ever going to lose any weight when there are dulce de leche bars to be had? Hmm? My mouth is totally watering right now. I think I may need a napkin even.

  3. postedOct 9, 2008 10:56 AM
    Debbie

    Wow the bars looks delicious. I am going away to the mountains this weekend and going apple picking. I can see me coming back with tons of apples. I will try this recipe. Thanks so much!

  4. postedOct 9, 2008 11:26 AM
    Mary Coleman

    dulce de leche and apple and browned butter icing?
    i feel my waist expanding as i write.

  5. postedOct 9, 2008 11:47 AM
    Adam

    Wow, I don’t know how that many stars can live together. The apple chunks, the dulce, the icing… it’s a total harmony :) Awesome job :)

  6. postedOct 9, 2008 11:55 AM
    Heather

    mmmmmmm those look delicious! and i definitely drooled over the pictures! i love the idea of brown butter. i am going to have to try it soon!!

  7. postedOct 9, 2008 11:59 AM
    Leslie

    Ahhh..dulce de Leche..I DO eat it by the spoonful! Yummo.
    I printed off this recipe and I am sooo going to have to make it!

  8. postedOct 9, 2008 12:47 PM
    April

    Wow! these look so good!! I would love to have one now with my coffee! or two…

  9. postedOct 9, 2008 12:53 PM
    Katherine Aucoin

    You had me at dulce! I am drolling, I have to make these!

  10. postedOct 9, 2008 12:53 PM
    Barbara Bakes

    I haven’t ever bought dulce de leche. I feel so behind the times. I’m going to have to try this recipe!

  11. postedOct 9, 2008 1:56 PM
    Deborah

    I’m a sucker for dulce de leche as well, and I wouldn’t be able to pass up these bars!

  12. postedOct 9, 2008 1:59 PM
    Teresa Cordero Cordell

    Boy oh boy, do I want a piece. Or maybe two. With a giant cup of fresh brewed coffee, my morning would be complete. Great pictures.

  13. postedOct 9, 2008 2:24 PM
    anudivya

    Looks delicious… I love caramel too, but the problem is not spoonfuls in my case, it is by the jar! Terrible, ain’t I?

  14. postedOct 9, 2008 2:37 PM
    Ashley

    Ooooh. That looks delicious.

  15. postedOct 9, 2008 2:52 PM
    Sandie

    YUM. This post needs to come with a warning label, “May be dangerous to your hips!”

    These look delicious, of course, I’m a huge Dulce de Leche fan myself…

    ahhh…the joys/curse of having a sweet tooth…

  16. postedOct 9, 2008 3:00 PM
    Prudy

    I can only imagine how quickly that flew out of the teacher’s lounge. That looks like pure delicious evil.

  17. postedOct 9, 2008 3:02 PM
    Katy

    oh my gosh, these look amazing! i agree that dulce de leche is pretty much the best flavor ever.

  18. postedOct 9, 2008 3:22 PM
    Stephanie

    Oh. Wow. That looks so incredible! I love caramel too, so I think I would find these absolutely irresistible! Good job taking them to your sons teachers instead of eating them all yourself. I don’t know if I could have displayed that much self control! :-)

  19. postedOct 9, 2008 3:24 PM
    Megan

    Ohhh…Yummy! I’ll start the coffee, you bring the bars! :)
    I bookmarked this one for sure.

  20. postedOct 9, 2008 3:28 PM
    Ivy

    Wow, these look delicious. Have you posted the dulce di leche recipe as I can’t find any at the stores.

  21. postedOct 9, 2008 3:34 PM
    The Blonde Duck

    Those look positively addictive! I have to make those!

  22. postedOct 9, 2008 3:35 PM
    Happy cook

    Woooooooooow They looks absloutley DELICIOUS.
    I would love to have more than one piece.
    Yummy

  23. postedOct 9, 2008 4:49 PM
    Gretchen Noelle

    These look YUM!

  24. postedOct 9, 2008 5:09 PM
    Sharon

    The drool factor is definitely high! Those are some gorgeous bars and there are some lucky teachers out there!

  25. postedOct 9, 2008 5:49 PM
    Emily

    Oh I am a caramel girl too! What a great recipe!

  26. postedOct 9, 2008 7:10 PM
    Emiline

    Haha, I love that you made the frosting consistency a little loose for the pictures.
    You’re absolutely right! We love the dripping of the frosting.

  27. postedOct 9, 2008 7:45 PM
    Peter M

    Dulce de Leche gives me shivers…it’s that good.

    Lori, have you/do have a preferred method of make it? I want to try my hand at it.

  28. postedOct 9, 2008 8:02 PM
    Maria

    These bars look fantastic and so nice of you to share!

  29. postedOct 9, 2008 8:10 PM
    RecipeGirl

    Hi folks,
    A couple of you asked if I have a recipe for DDL. I do not. But you might try googling it as I’m sure you’ll get a handful of methods that pop up! Thanks :)

  30. postedOct 9, 2008 8:30 PM
    Katrina

    You’ve done it again. Looks yummy!

  31. postedOct 9, 2008 9:32 PM
    Clumbsy Cookie

    Oh yes, I’m a dulce de leche fan as well! They are amazing bars!

  32. postedOct 9, 2008 10:11 PM
    Melanie

    Wow, those do look downright heavenly. I’m always amazed by your impressive goodies!

  33. postedOct 9, 2008 10:12 PM
    Nicole

    Oh boy…. these look rich and yummy. A new twist to the caramel apple! I am like you … say caramel or dulce de leche and my ears perk up!!!

  34. postedOct 9, 2008 10:36 PM
    chou

    Anything with dulce de leche is to be loved.

  35. postedOct 9, 2008 11:21 PM
    That Girl

    I feel the same way as you do about dulce du leche

  36. postedOct 10, 2008 12:07 AM
    Isa

    I’m a dulce de leche lover too. And dulce de leche with apples is one of the best combos… so, yeah, I’m saying that those bars look freaking good! Thanks for sharing

  37. postedOct 10, 2008 12:09 AM
    noble pig

    OMG these look absolutely fabulous. What a recipe…you have here. I can only imagine the dulce de leche…wowzer.

  38. postedOct 10, 2008 12:33 AM
    Marisa

    Those look absolutely amazing! I just love your blog! I know you’re probably already getting lots of awards–but check out my blog for another one :-)!

  39. postedOct 10, 2008 12:52 AM
    Grace

    good googa mooga. words cannot describe the beauty of your creation, but i’m gonna try anyway. decadent, heavenly, slobber-inducing, delectable. this one’s a keeper. :)

  40. postedOct 10, 2008 1:18 AM
    Melanie Anne

    These look incredible! The brown butter icing sounds amazing! I have an apple tree and will have to give this ecip a try! Thanks!

  41. postedOct 10, 2008 2:09 AM
    Stacey Snacks

    sinfully good looking!
    yum!

  42. postedOct 10, 2008 2:18 AM
    Sarah

    Wow. This looks *amazing*. I could barely take my eyes off the pictures! I think I would be completely unable to give these away..even to my closest friends! :)

  43. postedOct 10, 2008 2:45 AM
    Bunny

    Oh man that’s livin !! These look so decadent!! Thanks for the recipe!

  44. postedOct 10, 2008 3:12 AM
    CookiePie

    RG – now you have gone too far! Dulce de leche AND brown-butter icing?!?! Too delicious!!

  45. postedOct 10, 2008 4:10 AM
    Alexa

    I am with you with dulce de leche and caramel… oh, that sweet tooth… This looks like the perfect combinations of flavors, textures and taste. What a generous treat for the teachers! :-)

  46. postedOct 10, 2008 8:56 AM
    diva

    all i can say is : this is too good. the icing is crazy!! i’m in love. x

  47. postedOct 10, 2008 11:18 AM
    VeggieGirl

    I too am always intrigued by dulce de leche recipes – especially since that’s one of my all-time favorite flavors!! :0)

    Those teachers better FULLY realize how spoiled they are, getting to try those sensationally decadent treats of yours!! Ahh!! ;0)

  48. postedOct 10, 2008 12:12 PM
    Nina Timm

    I am speechless…I was wondering what other apple recipe you will come up with, but this exceeds my wildest expectations…..

  49. postedOct 10, 2008 12:59 PM
    Jennifer

    Wow, that looks amazing!!! :)

  50. postedOct 10, 2008 2:13 PM
    Lori

    These look so tasty! Great combination.

    I love Dulce de Leche. You are right it is better than caramel. It is everywhere in Brazil (called doce de leite) and they do sell it by the containers. I can’t have it in the house due to the fact that I can’t fight the desire to eat it by the spoonful!

    It is basically boiled sweetened condensed milk. Here is a recipe from one of my favorite sources for Brazilian food. It could be a bit dangerous though. You’ll see why when you read it!

    http://www.maria-brazil.org/doce_de_leite_condensado.htm

  51. postedOct 10, 2008 2:19 PM
    Kara

    WOW. These look amazing and perhaps just what the doctor ordered. I tried an apple bar/brownie-type recipe a while back and wasn’t as excited about it as I’d hoped, but this looks to change my fate. Dulce de leche, apple bars, and icing? Yes, please!

  52. postedOct 10, 2008 3:37 PM
    Elle

    These look wonderful! I’m also a huge fan of dulce de leche, and went apple picking last weekend, so it looks like I’m in luck. I’m so excited for these…

  53. postedOct 10, 2008 3:41 PM
    Ingrid

    Okay, really, you had me a browned butter. I don’t think I’ve had Dulce de Leche. Another thing to add to my must try/make list!

    I agree the slightly thin icing only added to the appeal of the bars! YUM!
    ~ingrid

  54. postedOct 10, 2008 4:01 PM
    Brandy

    Check out my blog, I gave you an award! I love your recipes and think you also have great pictures.

  55. postedOct 10, 2008 5:02 PM
    Patsyk

    Oh wow! I have got to make these… I’m putting dulce de leche on my list for this weekend! Yum, Yum, Yum, Yummy!

  56. postedOct 10, 2008 5:06 PM
    Aggie

    Oh those lucky lucky teachers!! This looks fantastic!!!

  57. postedOct 10, 2008 6:50 PM
    Mike of Mike's Table

    This looks sinful. “Apple bars” sound like a safe, healthy breakfast item, and then wammo! I would definitely eat these for breakfast everyday nonetheless…haha, this is bad though, you’ve got me seriously thinking about it…

  58. postedOct 10, 2008 6:54 PM
    One Hot Dish

    Hi!

    Thanks for the comment. :) We did like the cornbread a lot!

    I love your blog and check it out pretty frequently. Your cooking & baking is a constant source of inspirtation.

    Thanks!!
    Christy

  59. postedOct 10, 2008 7:39 PM
    Steph

    Oh my these look so delicious! Must try these now!!!

  60. postedOct 10, 2008 7:45 PM
    Dawn

    Oh I love the inside!! I can see all that dangerous, creamy inside. You are very creative!!!

  61. postedOct 10, 2008 11:44 PM
    alexandra's kitchen

    you are really going over the top these days! my mouth waters every time I stop by … not that I don’t love your salads, too, but you know what i’m sayin!

  62. postedOct 11, 2008 12:16 AM
    Any Little Reason

    I’m licking my lips and wiping the drool from my chin – those look heavenly.

  63. postedOct 11, 2008 12:43 AM
    Laura

    Those. Look. So. Good.

  64. postedOct 11, 2008 1:59 AM
    giz

    I can’t even speak – this falls into the category of “bet you can’t eat just one”…very dangerous indeed.

  65. postedOct 11, 2008 6:20 PM
    Lori Lynn

    I’m sure the teachers feel very appreciated. How wonderful.

  66. postedOct 11, 2008 10:03 PM
    bren@flanboyanteats.com

    ay dios mio. no you didn’t!
    you know my b-day is coming up and these would be oh so lovely in my belly!!

    great looking bars!

  67. postedOct 12, 2008 4:00 AM
    ~Priscilla~

    these look sooo good!! caramel is good in anything!

  68. postedOct 12, 2008 4:38 AM
    Hannah

    What a killer combination of flavors- Sounds great. :)

  69. postedOct 12, 2008 4:41 AM
    Jenny

    Ahhhhh, these look heavenly girl! Beautiful pics.

  70. postedOct 13, 2008 1:07 AM
    Pamela

    Oh my! They look amazingly scrumptious.

  71. postedOct 13, 2008 4:48 AM
    Manggy

    71 comments (so far) and with good reason! Those look absolutely deadly, I must make them as soon as possible!!! (I mean, come on… DDL is the bomb!)

  72. postedOct 13, 2008 12:38 PM
    Mark Boxshus "Cookie Doctor"

    OMG……..I can tell without even making these that they are pure heaven. This is perfect given the abundance of apples I am swimming in right now.

    Thanks Lori.

    “Doc”

  73. postedOct 14, 2008 1:47 AM
    Meg

    This looks SO delicious!

  74. postedOct 14, 2008 6:53 PM
    Rosie

    Oh my goodness sheer decadent bars!! Awesome post and recipe, thanks for sharing!

    Rosie x

  75. postedOct 14, 2008 8:31 PM
    Maria

    Oh my goodness Lori you really are torturing me here, I’m trying to shift some lbs and this is not helping!! These bars look incredible.

    Maria
    x

  76. postedOct 17, 2008 12:48 PM
    Mark Boxshus "Cookie Doctor"

    Lori

    I made these and forgot the icing. But these were so unbelievably perfect as is, that you really didn’t need the icing. My guests loved these. Thanks for another wonderful recipe. You rock!

  77. postedOct 17, 2008 7:44 PM
    Mark by Chocolate

    You should try it wi Cajeta Quemada.

  78. postedOct 21, 2008 3:17 AM
    Anonymous

    OMG! Absolutely delicious. Family and friends have (thankfully for my waistline!) devoured them all.
    LOVE your website.

  79. postedOct 21, 2008 3:13 PM
    Ingrid

    Hi~
    I made these last Friday but I kinda messed up a bit, my bad not yours. They were still quite good and of course you were spot on with the incredibleness of the dulce de leche! Thanks for a great recipe and I intend to try them again!
    ~ingrid

  80. postedOct 28, 2008 1:47 PM
    Janna

    I have been MIA from visiting your site. I am so sorry because I have missed out on ALLLLllllll these yummy treats! You have been busy, girl!

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