Dulce De Leche Day: 4 Easy, Delicious Recipes To Indulge In This Sweet Treat

Dulce de Leche Day
Dulce de Leche Day is celebrated each year on October 11 and to join the festivities, Nestlé La Lechera shared with Latin Times readers 4 easy and delicious recipes using the tasty treat. Courtesy of Nestlé La Lechera

October 11 is Dulce de Leche Day. Dulce de leche is a confection prepared by slowly heating sweetened milk to create a substance that derives its flavour from a chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars that gives browned food its distinctive flavor, also changing colour, with an appearance and flavour similar to caramel. Literally translated, it means "candy [made] of milk" or "sweet [made] of milk." Its origin is a highly debated topic and it is popular in most Latin American countries.

Whether you call it cajeta, manjar or arequipe, depending of your country of origin, or whether you use it as a spread or prefer to eat it by itself, Dulce de Leche is one of the most emblematic Latin ingredients for desserts. To commemorate this sweet holiday, Nestlé La Lechera wants to share with you four ways to incorporate dulce de leche in traditional dishes.

Have you ever thought that an empanada could be extra sweet? Or that you could combine Sriracha with Dulce de Leche in a chocolate tart? Check out the below options for unexpected but delicious ways to use Dulce de Leche and let us know which recipe was your favorite.

Dulce de Leche & Apple Empanadas

Fresh Dulce de Leche Apple Empanadas Dulce de Leche & Apple Empanadas Courtesy of Nestlé La Lechera

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 green apples, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons NESTLÉ LA LECHERA Dulce de Leche
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 10 (one 14-ounce package) frozen store-bought empanada dough discs, defrosted
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon-sugar

Directions:

PREHEAT oven to 450° F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

COMBINE water and juice from lemon in medium, microwave-safe bowl. Add apples to water mixture; stir to coat. Microwave on HIGH (100%) power for 2 minutes.

STIR in dulce de leche until melted. Stir in flour and cinnamon.

PLACE empanada discs on prepared baking sheet. Place a rounded tablespoon of apple mixture on each disc.

FOLD in half, sealing edges with fingers or tines of a fork.

BRUSH with egg. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar.

BAKE for 15 minutes or until golden.

TIP: Ready-made refrigerated pastry sheets can be used in place of empanada discs. Simply use an inverted bowl that measures 5 inches in diameter to cut out circles.

Dulce de Leche Popcorn

Dulce de Leche Popcorn Clusters Dulce de Leche Popcorn Clusters Courtesy of Nestlé La Lechera

Ingredients:

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 8 cups air-popped popcorn
  • 1/2 cup roasted almonds, cashews or Spanish peanuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup NESTLÉ LA LECHERA Dulce de Leche
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Directions:

PREHEAT oven to 300° F. Line large baking sheet with foil; spray with cooking spray.

COMBINE popcorn and nuts in large bowl.

PLACE dulce de leche in medium, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH (100%) power for 1 minute or until hot and bubbly. Immediately stir in salt and baking soda (mixture will foam).

POUR over popcorn mixture; stir to coat evenly.

POUR mixture onto prepared baking sheet in single layer.

BAKE for 10 minutes; stir. Bake for an additional 5 to 8 minutes or until crisp. Cool completely. Break into pieces.

TIP: Kick up the heat by adding ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper to dulce de leche mixture (when you add baking soda.)

Sriracha and Dulce de Leche Chocolate Tart

Sriracha and Dulce de Leche Chocolate Tart Sriracha and Dulce de Leche Chocolate Tart Courtesy of Nestlé La Lechera

Ingredients:

  • 18 chocolate sandwich cookies
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup NESTLÉ LA LECHERA Dulce de Leche
  • 1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Dark Chocolate Morsels
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha hot sauce

Directions:

PLACE cookies in food processor; cover. Pulse until fine crumbs form. Pour into a medium bowl. Add melted butter; mix to combine. Press crumbs onto bottom of a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

MICROWAVE dulce de leche in small pitcher or liquid measuring cup until easy to pour. Pour over crust in a circular design. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.

PLACE cream cheese in a medium bowl. Microwave morsels in a small, dry, microwave-safe bowl for 45 seconds; STIR. The morsels may retain some of their original shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until morsels are melted. Pour chocolate over cream cheese and mix until fully combined. Stir in sriracha sauce.

POUR cream cheese mixture over tart. Spread evenly and gently. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Serve dusted with cayenne pepper or ground cinnamon, if desired.

Dulce de Leche Banana Swirl Bread

Dulce de Leche Banana Swirl Bread Dulce de Leche Banana Swirl Bread Courtesy of Nestlé La Lechera

Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup NESTLÉ LA LECHERA Dulce de Leche

Directions:

PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Grease 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.

MASH bananas in a small bowl.

WHISK flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl.

BEAT sugar and butter in a large mixer bowl on high until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add oil and mashed bananas and mix thoroughly. Add in flour mixture ½ cup at a time until fully combined.

MICROWAVE dulce de leche in small pitcher or liquid measuring cup until easy to pour. Pour half the batter into the prepared pan. Drizzle dulce de leche over batter.

POUR remaining batter over dulce de leche and use a knife to slightly swirl top layer of batter and dulce de leche.

BAKE for 60 to 70 minutes until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes; remove to wire rack to cool completely.

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Maria G. Valdez

Maria was born and raised in Dominican Republic, where she began her career in journalism covering human interest stories, entertainment, beauty and wellness for a national magazine. She moved to New York City to study Musical Theatre, but went back to journalism after graduating in an attempt of becoming the Latina Carrie Bradshaw. She has an unhealthy obsession with JLo and claims to be Sofia Vergara’s long-lost daughter, and has tried a crazy amount of treatments to keep looking young. She became a Zumba instructor for fun.

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