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Make this one ingredient wonder – dulce de leche

This couldn’t be easier. Simply simmer canned sweetened condensed milk in the slow cooker. Poof!

Like magic, the sugar caramelizes and creates dulce de leche, translated as “sweet of milk” or “milk jam.” This is most popular in desserts from Mexico and South American countries including Argentina and Brazil.

Dulce de leche is a luscious milk based caramel-like sauce that can be used to top ice cream, in baking, spooned over fruit, to frost cakes or just devour with a spoon right out of the jar.

SLOW COOKER DULCE DE LECHE

Time: 8 hours 3 minutes Yield: 3 cups

two (14 oz.) cans of sweetened condensed milk – (not evaporated milk)

three (half pint) canning jars with lids and rings

water

crock pot

Pour the sweetened condensed milk into the canning jars dividing the two cans evenly between three half-pint jars filling to the top. Place the lids and rings on the jars. Place the jars in the crock pot and add water so the jars are covered by an inch. Put the lid on the crock pot and turn to LOW for 8 hours.

When the time is up, turn off the crock pot, let cool and carefully remove the jars. Allow the jars to cool before you open them.

Since this isn’t a canning process the lids won’t seal meaning it’s not shelf stable. This should keep for about four weeks in the refrigerator, if it lasts that long. I’ll never know.

What setting do I use – LOW or HIGH?

The temperature of the water must reach to boiling (212 degrees) or this technique won’t work. Since slow cookers differ you’ll have determine which setting works for you. I have to put mine on HIGH but some slow cookers reach a simmer on LOW. If you’re cooking on HIGH you can reduce the time to 6 hours. It’s preferable to cook on the lowest setting possible to keep the water at a simmer, not on full boil.

To see if it’s done, you can peek at the color of the milk in the jars to see if it’s caramelizing.

Diva Tips: Add a little salt for a salted caramel flavor. Add cocoa powder to make chocolate dulce de leche. The longer you cook it the thicker it gets. Use this little luxury to swirl in or on top of cheesecake.

Add to sliced bananas and warm in a sauce pan to top pancakes, waffles, ice cream or to fill a crepe. It’s also great as a dip for fruit like apples, bananas and strawberries and baked goodies like vanilla wafers and pretzels. For a great hostess gift give a pretty jar of dulce de leche with a loaf of banana bread.

Join us on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom. Frugal food finds contributed by Patti Diamond, author of Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous!, www.divasonadime.com

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