There are many lovely levels of caramel. There's the basic caramel that we generally want to pour all over our ice cream. Then, there's salted caramel (which perfectly pairs savory with sweet), which we also want to pour all over our ice cream. And then, there's dulce de leche -- a milk caramel that's wildly popular in Latin America -- that we want to pour all over everything.
Most caramels are made with a base of water and sugar, but dulce de leche starts with a big pot of milk -- and tons of sugar -- and cooks down until a thick, smooth consistency has been reached. It takes hours of stirring the pot, but is well worth the effort because it's not only wonderfully sweet, but creamy too. Luckily for us, you can buy dulce de leche already made at the store -- or you can make a cheat version with the can-of-sweetened-condensed-milk trick. However you get your hands on dulce de leche, use it to make these dessert recipes below.