Dulce de Leche and Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

I feel like I write this all the time, but the moment I saw this recipe I knew I had to make it. What’s not to like about a shortbread cookie base, topped with Dulce de Leche and Chocolate? These are like the grown up answer to Twix candy bars.

As I said, I knew right away I would make these cookies, and I think I waited all of 24 hours before I did. Unfortunately, I didn’t have great luck with the first batch. The cookie dough was way too dry and crumbly. I was able to force it into ball shapes, but the moment I pressed down to make the thumbprint, the cookie cracked all around, almost in half. I baked them anyways, but they weren’t very pretty and seemed too hard. They were fine for dunking in coffee but not quite what I was hoping for in these cookies.

I could have easily enjoyed eating the dulce de leche all by itself with a spoon, or even dunking the sad crumbly cookies in it, but I was determined to make the whole cookie work. So, I took a peek at my usual thumbprint recipe and, as I suspected, it called for a much higher wet to dry ingredient ratio. I made a few adjustments and the second batch turned out just the way I wanted. Still a lower ratio than the other recipe, but it worked perfectly for this short bread base. Just goes to show the difference a half of a cup of flour can make in a cookie. Of course, these adjustments are reflected in the recipe below.

 

Vanilla Bean Dulce de Leche

Later this week I’m going to share an ah-maz-ing cookie recipe that taste like a Twix bar! In order to pull it all together you’re going to need some dulce de leche, which is basically a fancy name for the best caramel sauce ever.

Like a lot of things in life, there is more than one way to make dulce de leche. Many methods use just a can of sweetened condensed milk, like this and this. Both of those recipes seem really easy and I’m sure yield excellent results. But, it’s just not that easy to find cans of sweetened condensed milk in Suzhou. Plus, I really loved the idea of using vanilla bean. Decadent dulce de leche with flecks of vanilla bean? Yes, please!

The good news is, even though there are just a few more ingredients to this, it’s still an easy recipe. The hardest part is being patient and waiting for it to turn that trademark deep, dark, golden brown.