Dulce de Leche Duos

I like Oreos, but wouldn’t say I love them
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First, I’ve never been a big fan of store-bought cookies in general-I’m just not willing to  spend the calories when compared to a homemade cookie. Second, they’re not a soft cookie. Sure, dunking an Oreo in milk changes all that, but that’s more than just grabbing a cookie on the run.

The blogging world has been filled with homemade Oreo recipes for the last year, at least. At that time I also started making Dulce de Leche at home and literally fell in love with the concoction that comes out of the can. It’s a huge step up from the bland-tasting filling found in a traditional sandwich cookie. I found a recipe for the chocolate cookie portion and changed it to make a flatter but still soft cookie. Then, I experimented with making a buttercream filling that would hold up to the rich cookies in both taste and the classic sandwich cookie structure.

Even though these cookies are easy to make, I use them as gifts for friends, birthday parties, and also everyday lunchbox treats. They also won ‘most tasty’ at the annual cookie swap I attended last year during the holidays. I won a really nice evergreen plant, a Starbuck’s gift card, but most importantly, a lovely crown! It was my first time winning a crown in my whole life, and I still wear it every time I bake.

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I’ve experimented with this recipe two ways: 1)creating balls of dough of equal weight and flattening them out; and 2) rolling the dough and using a round cookie cutter. I definitely prefer the latter method and it creates nicer looking cookies. I used a 2 1/2 inch round cutter but will use a smaller one next time, as the cookies are quite rich.

Try these and ask your friends and family how they stack up to the store-bought variety!

Dulce de Leche Duos

for the cookies:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp instant espresso powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla

for the filling:

  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 can Dulce de Leche*

Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat well. Gradually add the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated. Refrigerate dough for a minimum of 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with partchment paper. Roll dough into 10 gram balls and flatten with the bottom of a glass on the baking sheet. Or, place dough on a lightly floured surface and roll to about 1/8 inch thick. Cut cookies into circles and place them on the baking sheet. Bake 8 minutes and cool on a wire rack. To make the filling, beat butter and shortening until combined. Add vanilla. Gradually add powdered sugar until incorporated. Beat in dulce de leche until combined, then beat on high until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). When cookies are completely cool, pipe filling onto one cookie, and sandwich with an empty cookie. Filling will set if these are left out. They’re best the first the first day, but will keep in an airtight container for 3-5 days. Makes 2 dozen cookies, but can easily be doubled or tripled.

*You can buy dulce de leche in the store, near the sweetened condensed milk. I prefer to make my own because I can cook it a little longer for a more caramelly flavor in some recipes. Put a can in the crock pot and cover it with water. Cover the crock pot and cook it on low for 10 hours. Make sure the can stays covered with water throughout the cooking process, and no bad things will happen-honest. Let the can cool, open it, and grab a spoon!

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