Homemade Slow Cooker Dulce de Leche – Learn just how easy it is to make this popular sweet treat that’s a delicious addition to ice cream, coffee, fruit, and desserts.
The inspiration for today’s recipe comes from my love of Starbucks caramel lattes. The problem is that my local coffee shop doesn’t have a drive thru and, as a Mom of little kids, getting a simple cup of coffee has become quite the ordeal. It involves timing my coffee run perfectly between the baby’s naps and the 1st grader’s school and social calendars. Then there’s the inevitable loading, unloading, and re-loading the kids into the car again. Somehow that cup of coffee doesn’t offer that hot, sweet, caffeinated bliss that it used to… It’s usually cold and accompanied by fussy, whiny kids hanging from me. I’m sure every parent everywhere who loves to drink coffee but just can’t seem to enjoy it anymore knows exactly what I’m talking about!
So… after a number of insane and unsatisfying trips to the local coffee shop, mama started making her own lattes in the comfort of her cozy, toy-littered kitchen. Mr. Simple Seasonal got a semiautomatic latte machine thing for Christmas last year, and somehow I seem to be the primary beneficiary. Well, perhaps he inadvertently benefits by way of Mommy’s good moods after her afternoon pick-me-up! Thanks honey for asking Santa for such a wonderful gift!
Every afternoon in that brief window when the baby is down for his nap but my oldest hasn’t gotten off the bus yet, I enjoy a blissfully hot latte. More recently, I’ve been getting creative by adding different flavors to my coffee. My new favorite is adding my Homemade Slow Cooker Dulce de Leche and a touch of cinnamon.
Think of Dulce de Leche as a Mexican caramel of sorts. This slow cooker version is embarrassingly easy to make. Seriously… I can’t believe I’m dedicating a whole blog post to something so simple! Also, many of the caramel products at the grocery store contain artificial flavors and colors. This recipe just uses simple, honest, organic sweetened condensed milk.
Being a caramel of sorts, Homemade Slow Cooker Dulce de Leche can be used in a bunch of tasty ways in your kitchen; more than just a sweet way to enjoy a cup of coffee, that is. It’s basically delicious on anything that caramel is delicious on. Dulce de Leche has the consistency of a sauce when warmed and the consistency of a spread when served at room temperature. If you want your dulce de leche to be more sauce-like, cook it for a shorter amount of time in the slow cooker. If you want it to be almost like a candy and have sweeter and more toasty flavor cook it longer. It’s delicious drizzled on ice cream and other desserts. It also makes a scrumptious fruit dip, and can be used as a caramel-flavored sweetener in baking.
I think we all deserve a little sweet and sticky bliss in our day. And no, I’m not talking about the kid’s hands!
- 1 to 3 14 oz cans organic sweetened condensed milk
- Remove the label from the canned sweetened condensed milk and place the can on it’s side in a slow cooker. Note that you can easily double or even quadruple this recipe by just adding more cans to your slower cooker.
- Submerge the can in water with at least 2 inches of water covering it.
- Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 5 to 9 hours. Less time for a milky and smooth sauce, more time for a toasty and thick spread.
- Once the cooking time has passed, carefully remove the cans from the slow cooker with tongs and let them cool on a kitchen towel. You can speed up the cooling time by running them under cold water. CAUTION: Allow the cans to cool completely before opening. If you open them while they are hot the contents can explode out of the can and burn you.
- Use immediately or store in the refrigerator in a covered glass jar for up to 4 weeks. Do not store in the original can as it's seal may have been damaged during the cooking process.
Some more sweet and tasty ideas…