It's the sweet stuff the dreams of Latin American kids have been made of for generations, and recently it has invaded the US market. Dulce de leche, also known as manjar or cajeta (depending on which Spanish-speaking country you're in) and doce de leite in Brazil, is an exotic ingredient quickly becoming a mainstream favorite much like lime and jalapeño.
Basically prepared by heating condensed milk slowly while constantly stirring until it caramelizes and turns a light amber color, dulce de leche is used in cookies (Argentina's alfajores are among the most famous), cakes, flans and even pancakes. You may have seen the treat popping up on grocery shelves in products like Häagen-Dazs' "Dulce de leche" ice cream, Starbucks' flavored coffee, Girl Scout cookies and, most recently, Cheerios. Celebrity Chef and star of Food Network's "Mexican Made Easy", Marcela Valladolid, who has helped launch the campaign for Dulce de Leche Cheerios, shares some of her favorite cajeta recipes.
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