Bake this blue ribbon winning cookie recipe for Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies – which includes how to make your own kick-a$$ caramel sauce – and you will create a treat so delicate and delightful, it will melt in your mouth. If you want a cookie that is confectionary level quality, this is it. And it’s easy with the step by instructions below. Recipe credit goes to Christine Montalvo who won at the Iowa State Fair with it in 2013.
Dulce de leche, sometimes called “milk candy,” is defined as a traditional Argentinian dessert made by caramelizing sugar with milk. I first had it in the form of caramel ice cream, so it’s only appropriate I served this cookie with salted caramel ice cream.
This blue ribbon cookie will be love at first bite. Enjoy!
Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies
2 (14 ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk*
1 1/2 cups salted butter
1 cup powdered sugar, plus extra for dusting
1 /4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans or hazelnuts
3 cups all-purpose flour
Prepare the dulce de leche (make ahead at least 4 hours).* Remove can labels from sweetened condensed milk. Place unopened in large stock pot. Fill with water, completely immersing both cans. Heat water to just below boiling and simmer for 3 1/2 hours, making sure the cans are always completely covered with water. Add hot water as needed. Turn off heat. Drain the water. Remove cans with tongs or hot pads to sink or wire rack. Once cooled to room temperature (not any earlier), the dulce de leche is ready to use.
Meanwhile, mix the cookie dough (make at least 30 minutes ahead of baking). Cream the butter with the powdered sugar until fluffy. Stir in salt, extracts, nuts and flour. Form a ball, wrap and chill at least 30 minutes or overnight. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough 1/4-inch thick. Cut into 2 1/2-inch circles or similar size shapes. Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 12 to 14 minutes. Cool on baking racks. Generously spread dulce de leche on bottom side of half the cookies. Top each with second cookie. Dust tops with powdered sugar. Makes 20 sandwich cookies.
*You might have some leftover dulce de leche, depending how generous you are with the cookie filling. If you serve these as a dessert, pair with a salted caramel or other complimentary flavor and drizzle more of the caramel on top. Otherwise, it will keep in the refrigerator for at least 1-2 weeks.
*In a time crunch? You can buy some rich smooth, thick caramel ice cream topping as a substitute. It will taste good, but not like what the judges tasted in Iowa.