Dulce de leche, or "milk jam" is a caramel type sauce that hails from South America. It's the kind of decadent ingredient that will make people seriously doubt you are feeding them something vegan. These blondies take some time to make, although they are simple and well worth it, especially if you're looking to knock the socks off your friends.
The first step is to make the dulce de leche. Basically, you just need to simmer soy milk, sugar and vanilla for a good long time until it turns into a rich, dark caramel sauce. There is one tricky part, though. During the first 5-10 minutes of simmering, the soy milk has a tendency to burst forth and cascade over your stove like Niagara Falls. That's why you need to use a larger pot than seems necessary, and keep a close eye on it in the beginning.
After the first foam up, it is less likely to happen again, so you can just check on it occasionally, giving it a good stir now and again. One of the nice things about soy milk is that it doesn't scorch nearly as easily as dairy milk does.
Once the dulce de leche is ready, set it aside to cool a little while you get started on the blondies.
Cream together vegan margarine and brown sugar. Mix in vanilla and soy yogurt until nice and curdley. Add your dry ingredients. The batter will be very thick, sticky and fluffy.
Spread about half the batter in a layer on the bottom of your baking dish. It might be a bit difficult to get the batter even because it's so sticky, but use a rubber spatula and try your best.
Bake the bottom layer first for a short time. It should be lightly browned around the edges but not fully cooked through.
Pour on enough dulce de leche to cover the bottom layer and spread it around. You should have enough left over to drizzle on top later; maybe more. The leftovers are fantastic over pancakes or ice cream, or as a dipping sauce for apple slices.
Now drop the remaining batter in spoonfuls over the dulce de leche. Return it to the oven and continue baking.
Finally, drizzle more dulce de leche on top. You are now ready to experience a heaven of sweet, creamy, caramelly bliss.
Dulce de Leche Blondies
Important: Dulce de leche takes a while to make, so prepare to let it simmer for around 1 1/2 hours.
- Prepare the dulce de leche. Combine soy milk, sugar and vanilla in a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add baking soda and reduce heat to a low simmer. Watch for mixture to foam up in the first 5-10 minutes. Cook, stirring occasionally, for around 1 1/2 hours (give or take 20 minutes) or until mixture takes on a dark caramel color and becomes thick and syrupy.
- Prepare the blondies. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and lightly coat a 9” square baking dish with cooking spray.
- Combine flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt a medium bowl.
- Beat the margarine and brown sugar together in a large bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add yogurt and vanilla, beating until well combined. Beat in the flour mixture a little at a time on low speed until incorporated.
- Spread half the batter along the bottom of the baking dish and bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- Reserving about 2 tablespoons of dulce de leche, pour the rest evenly over the bottom layer of the blondies. Drop the rest of the batter in spoonfuls over the dulce de leche.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown, then remove from oven. Drizzle reserved dulce de leche over blondies. Allow to cool completely in pan, then cut into squares and serve.