Blog Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies

Blog Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies

Food lovers, perhaps this sounds familiar to you: you're in a gourmet food store or the specialty foods aisle at the supermarket when a particularly scrumptious and exotic-looking condiment catches your eye. Full of culinary ambition, you buy the item, only to have it languish in your pantry for lack of ideas about how to use it. But if you've never tried the South American spread called dulce de leche, I can assure you that you don't have to worry about it going to waste. In fact, you'll probably find yourself incorporating it into all kinds of desserts—or simply eating it by the spoonful.

Dulce de leche is caramel made from sweetened milk (literally "milk candy"); it's quite thick and brown, and not overpoweringly sweet. Aficionados stir it into everything from cheesecake to brownies, pie, and ice cream, and it is an integral part of the Latin American sandwich cookies called alfajores. The dough for these cookies usually contains a fair amount of cornstarch to keep them tender and often includes a little lemon or brandy. After being assembled, the alfajores may be dipped in chocolate or the edges may be rolled in finely flaked coconut. Or they may be simply dusted with powdered sugar, as they are in this week's recipe.

Dulce de leche is available in cans or jars, and may be made with cow's milk, goat's milk, or a combination. You can buy it in Latin markets, online, and even in some of the warehouse-style stores. You can also make it yourself—it's quite easy and recipes using sweetened condensed milk abound.

My favorite shapes for Dulce de Leche Cookies include the Linzer cookie cutter set, the Owl cookie cutter, and the Teddy Bear cookie cutter.