Dulce de Leche Butter Cookies

Soft buttery Christmas cookie also known as Alfajores, is a delicious shortbread cookie, lightly baked until firm and golden, then sandwiched together with a home-made dulce de leche caramel cream filling. A cookie that practically melts in your mouth, is pure heaven!

Ingredients

DULCE de LECHE Creme:

  • 4 cups (1 quart) (1 liter) whole milk
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract

SHORTBREAD COOKIES:

  • 2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) (226 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) confections (powdered or icing) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract

Instructions

Directions for Dulce de Leche:

  1. Put the milk, sugar, corn syrup, baking soda, and salt in a heavy-duty 8 quart (8 liters) saucepan or Dutch oven. Place over medium-high heat and bring just to a boil.
  2. Watch carefully, and as soon as the milk begins to foam up, stir with a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon, reduce heat until the milk is just at a low rolling boil.
  3. Continue to cook the mil, stirring the bottom and sides of the saucepan frequently, until the mixture becomes very thick and sticky and caramel colored (this will take about 40-60 minutes.) It is important to frequently stir the milk so it does NOT burn.

DIRECTIONS for SHORTBREADS:

  1. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour with the salt. In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer,) beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar and beat until smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract. Gently beat in the flour mixture just until incorporated. Flatten the dough into a disk shape, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill the dough for at least an hour or until firm.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (117 degrees C) with the rack in the middle of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough until it is about 1/4 inch (.6 cm) thick. Using a lightly floured 2 inch (5 cm) round cookie cutter, cut out rounds.
  4. Place on the baking sheets and place in the fridge for about 15 minutes. (This will firm the cookies so they maintain their shape when baked.)
  5. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until cookies are brown around the edges. Cool on a wire rack. Shortbread cookies will keep in an airtight container for about a week.
  6. Take two shortbread cookies and sandwich them together with a heaping teaspoon of Dulce de Leche. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar on top. Can be covered and stored for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

Notes

There are several stages the milk goes through during the cooking process. When the milk first comes to a boil, there is a lot of foam. Eventually, the foam subsides and after about 15 minutes, the milk turns a light beige color. As it continues to cook, the milk thickens and gets darker in color. Once the Dulce de Leche has been reduced to about 1 + 1/4 cups (300ml) remove from heat and strain. Stir in the vanilla extract. Let cool before covering and storing. The Dulce de Leche can be stored in the fridge for up to a month.

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