Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and I am feeling thankful. Thankful for family and friends. Thankful for a nice place to live and plenty of food to eat. I’m feeling thankful for all of you, too. You come here and read my ramblings, check out my pictures, and read my recipes. Knowing you’re out there keeps me cooking, trying new things, and figuring out entertaining (I hope) ways to tell you about it. And so I thank you. Stan thanks you too, since he gets to eat everything I share with you.
Because I’m feeling thankful, I’m going to post a new recipe every day until Thanksgiving. Some of them will be things you might want to put on your Thanksgiving table. Others will be lighter, healthier options you might want to check out after your Thanksgiving feast. Either way, you’ll want to check back often because there is going to be some serious culinary goodness coming your way over the next five days.
To kick things off, I’d like to tell you about some cookies that might just rock your world. I made these for a party recently and to say they were a hit would be an understatement. To illustrate my point, picture a grown man walking around with a cookie in each hand, alternating bites between the two. That actually happened, and it wasn’t my husband – though he couldn’t stop eating them either.
The star and show-stopping ingredient in these cookies is dulce de leche. Dulce de leche is basically a caramelized milk product. It is thick and rich and sweet. You can buy it already prepared in cans or jars or you can make your own by caramelizing sweetened condensed milk. Look for prepared dulce de leche in the baking aisle of your supermarket next to the sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk (that’s where I get mine) or in the international foods aisle in the Latin American section.
For these cookies, dulce de leche is added to the cookie batter and is used as a filling for the sandwiches. The cookies themselves are soft, chewy, and richly flavored. They are also a breeze to make if you have an electric mixer. Sandwiched together with a smear of dulce de leche in the middle, the cookies are a decadent, easily portable treat. They aren’t as fancy looking as many other desserts, but they are special enough that they will leave those lucky enough to try them begging for more.
One Year Ago: Roasted Root Vegetables and Winter Squash
Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies
Adapted from Joy the Baker, originally from Baking: From My Home to Yours
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup dulce de leche, plus more for filling
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie 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 fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until it is softened and broken up. Add the dulce de leche, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Beat everything together on medium speed until it is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate after each one.
Turn the mixer to low and add the dry ingredients all at once. Mix only until just combined. (You may need to finish off the mixing with a rubber spatula to avoid over-mixing.)
Use a teaspoon to drop the cookie dough onto the lined baking sheets, leaving about an inch between each cookie. The dough will be soft and sticky.
If you find the dough hard to work with, you can place the bowl in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to firm it up. At that point, you can scoop out the dough and roll it into balls before placing it on the cookie sheets.
I tried both methods. The cookie on the left is from the batch of chilled dough. The one on the right is from the softer dough. Both tasted great, so it just depends on how you want your cookies to look.
Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden. They will still be very soft. Let the cookies cool almost completely on the baking sheets before removing to a rack to cool completely.
When the cookies are cool, spread the bottom of a cookie with a little dulce de leche. Top with another cookie and press together gently. Repeat with the remaining cookies.
Makes about 30 sandwich cookies.
* The cookies will keep well in an airtight container for about 4 days.