Sunday, August 29th, 2010
I really, really love caramel. I realize that every English teacher I’ve ever had would tell me that one “really” is enough, but they’d be wrong. This is caramel we’re talking about, after all. I’d eat it on anything and everything if not for, you know, saturated fat and stuff.
These are certainly not the most glamorous cookies you’ve ever seen, but they are definitely the tastiest cookies I’ve ever baked. Why? Dulce de leche. It’s an intense, thick and creamy caramel sauce and I’d almost guarantee you can find it in your grocery store (in the Hispanic or international foods aisle).
These cookies have dulce de leche both in their batter and as a filling. They do not mess around. They are certainly not health food, but they taste like fall: rich, buttery, and warm. That’s reason enough for me to make them again.
This recipe makes 30 sandwich cookies, which is kind of a lot. I cut it in half and ended up with about 15, which turned out to be a really good idea because I don’t think I would have had enough dulce de leche for the full batch. If your grocery store sells it in small cans like mine does, you might want to do the same.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup store-bought dulce de leche, plus more for filling
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
Preheat oven to 350°F and position a rack in the upper third of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until just softened and broken up a bit. Add the 3/4 cup dulce de leche, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating to incorporate.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients all at once. Mix only until the flour is just incorporated. You may need to finish off the mixing with a big spatula.
Spoon the dough onto the lined baking sheets using a heaping teaspoon of dough for each cookie. The dough will be soft and this might be a bit messy. Leave 2 inches of space between each cookie for the baking spread.
Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes. The cookies will be honey brown with a light crust, but still very soft when they come out of the oven. Let them rest on the cookie sheet for a minute or two before removing to cool.
Once the cookies are cooled completely, spread them with dulce de leche and sprinkle with a bit of sea salt if you like. Keep well wrapped for up to four days.
High-Altitude Notes: Bake at 375°F for 8 to 10 minutes.