Campfire S’mores Meet Brownies

…and get an upgrade courtesy of dulce de leche

A plate of six brownies topped with toasted marshmallow fluff


I first made these brownies about ten years ago when I was working on a new dessert for my restaurant. I wanted to create something approachable, but also fun and full of flavor. My mind started to wander, and I came up with this whimsical brownie that is stuffed full of dulce de leche caramel and topped with a cloud of burnt marshmallow fluff. It’s a campfire marshmallow on top of a warm, gooey chocolate caramel brownie! I quickly found out that I was on to something, and it’s been part of my dessert arsenal ever since. —William Dissen, Thoughtful Cooking: Recipes Rooted in the New South

Read our Q&A with Dissen about his new cookbook.

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  • Dark Chocolate and Dulce de Leche Brownies with Burnt Marshmallow Fluff (Yield: 8 to 10)

    • 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes

    • 12 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

    • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

    • 6 large eggs

    • 2 cups granulated sugar

    • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • For the dulce de leche

    • 2 cans sweetened condensed milk

  • For the marshmallow fluff

    • 6 tbsp. water

    • ¾ cup granulated sugar

    • ¾ cup light corn syrup

    • 3 large egg whites

    • Pinch cream of tartar

    • Pinch kosher salt

    • 1½ tsp. vanilla


  1. Prepare the dulce de leche: Preheat the oven to 425ºF.

  2. Place the cans of condensed milk in a loaf pan and cover with aluminum foil.

  3. Place the loaf pan into a 13-by-9-inch cake pan and pour in hot water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the smaller pan.

  4. Place the pans into the oven, and bake for 1 to 1½ hours, checking to see if more water is needed in the larger pan.

  5. Remove the can from the water and set aside to cool completely. Once cool enough to handle, open the can and set aside until needed or refrigerate for up to one week.

  6. Prepare the brownies: Preheat oven to 350ºF.

  7. Line a 13-by-9-inch pan with a long sheet of aluminum foil that covers the bottom and reaches up the sides. Grease the bottom and sides of the foil with pan spray.

  8. Melt the butter in a large bowl set over a water bath. Add the chocolate pieces and stir constantly until the chocolate is melted. Remove from the bowl from the water bath and set on a towel. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth.

  9. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking until incorporated. Add the sugar and vanilla and whisk to combine.

  10. Add the flour and stir just until combined.

  11. Scrape half of the batter into the prepared hotel pan. Drop ⅓ of the dulce de leche, evenly spaced, over the brownie batter. Drag a knife through to swirl it slightly.

  12. Spread the remaining brownie batter over the top, then drop spoonfuls of dulce de leche in dollops over the top of the brownie batter.  Again, use a knife to swirl the dulce de leche slightly.

  13. Bake until the center feels slightly firm, 50 to 55 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, and rest on a wire rack until cooled completely.

  14. Prepare the marshmallow fluff: Place the water, sugar, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan.  Heat over medium high heat until the mixture reaches 240ºF on a candy thermometer, stirring from time to time, 8 to 10 minutes.

  15. While the sugar is heating, place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on medium speed until soft peaks are formed.

  16. Increase the speed to high and add the cream of tartar and salt. Continue to mix until soft peaks are formed.

  17. Carefully remove the sugar from the heat and set aside to cool for 20 to 30 seconds.

  18. With the mixer running on high, slowly stream the sugar mixer into the egg whites. Continue to mix until the outside of the mixing bowl is barely warm, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the vanilla extract, and whip to medium-stiff peaks. Store in an airtight container under refrigeration for up to 2 weeks.

  19. Serve: Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Cut the brownies into 2- to 3-inch portions, and reheat until the brownies are warmed through, 4 to 5 minutes.

  20. Drizzle each brownie piece with some dulce de leche. Place the marshmallow fluff into a piping bag with a star tip and pipe the marshmallow fluff on top of each brownie.

  21. Using a culinary torch, brulee the marshmallow fluff until golden brown. Serve immediately.  

Excerpted with permission from Thoughtful Cooking: Recipes Rooted in the New South by William Dissen, published by Countryman Press.


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