When I discovered the trick to perfect, cheap dulce de leche I couldn't wait to try it out. Peel off the label on a can of sweet condensed milk and simmer in hot water for a few hours. Once the can has completely cooled, pop the can open and you get this wonderful thick caramel that could pretty much make anything taste delicious. Dulce de leche is popular in Latin American countries and is used as the filling in alfajores aka dulce de leche cookies. Alfajores are chewy, buttery sandwich cookies filled with rich dulce de leche. Sprinkle the dulce de leche filling edges with fleur de sel for the perfect sweet and salty combination. I made a plate of non-salted cookies and a plate of salted for my 24x24 party (click link to see these cookies) so everyone could decide which ones they liked best. My vote goes to the salted version but I'm a sucker for any sweet/salty combo.
Alfajores/Dulce de Leche Cookies
makes 20 cookie sandwiches; recipe adapted from BakingBites
for the dulce de leche:
1 can of sweet condensed milk
Remove the label from the can and place the can in a pot filled with water about 2 inches above the top of the can. Bring water to a boil and then turn heat to low and let simmer for 3 1/2 hours. After 3 1/2 hours, turn the burner off and let the can cool in the water for an hour and then remove the can from the water. Open the can and ta-da... thick, creamy, rich dulce de leche!
for the cookies:
2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 c. butter, softened
1 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
fleur de sel
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. In a separate larger bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until dough comes together. Shape dough into 3/4 inch balls and press down with a large spoon. Bake cookies for 11 minutes or until the edges just begin to brown. Cool on a wire rack and spoon about 1 tbsp of dulce de leche into the middle of two cookies. Optional, sprinkle dulce de leche filling edges with fleur de sel.