This ice cream is the best dulce de leche ice cream I’ve tried. It’s better than the Häagen-Dazs’, no kidding. And it’s extremely easy to make. The recipe is adapted from the Gourmet who is, in its turn, adapted it from Mariana Crespo, Buenos Aires.

I paired the ice cream with the cinnamon brownies. These are seriously cinnamony, decrease the spice amount if you are not a fan.

Makes 9 sandwiches

For the brownies:

  • 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter
  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped toasted pecans (optional)

For the ice cream:

  • 1 can (14 oz) dulce de leche, homemade or good quality store-bought
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp pure rum extract (optional, or ½ tbsp dark rum)
  • ¼ tsp salt

Make the brownies:

Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 350 F. Line two 8-inch square pans with parchment paper, lightly butter or oil-spray the paper. Let the parchment extend up the sides of the pans; it will make unmolding easy.

Bring 1 inch of water to a simmer in a wide skillet. Turn the heat off. Combine the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl in the hot water. Stir constantly until the chocolate and butter are melted and the mixture is smooth.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs together, then whisk in the sugars, salt, and vanilla extract. Stir in the chocolate and butter mixture, then fold in the flour, and cinnamon. Fold in the chopped pecans, if using.

Divide the batter between the prepared pans and spread evenly. It will be a thin layer, and that’s just the way it’s supposed to be. Bake briefly for just about 12 minutes or so. Cool in the pans on a rack.

The brownies for the ice cream sandwiches have to be thin and underbaked. They will firm up a bit further in the freezer, but not too much to become difficult to bite on.

Make the ice cream, assemble the sandwiches:

Combine the dulce de leche and milk in a medium heavy-bottom saucepan. Heat over medium heat, whisking, until the dulce de leche is completely dissolved. Transfer into a large bowl, whisk in the whipping cream, extracts, and salt. Cool completely, whisking often, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, better – overnight.

Right before freezing, whisk the cream mixture energetically to aerate. Freeze in the ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s direction. While the ice cream is churning, line an 8-inch square pan with plastic wrap or parchment paper (new, clean one). Fit one brownie slab, top side down, into the bottom of the pan (handle the brownie gently, the layer is thin). Once the ice cream is done, spread it evenly over the brownie layer in the pan and top with the second brownie slab, this time – top side up. Cover with plastic wrap and put into the freezer to firm up, for at least 4 hours or overnight. With a warm dry knife, cut into squares and serve, or wrap well and store in the freezer until needed, for up to a couple of days.