Thursday, December 8, 2011

12 Days of Christmas Baking! Day 8: Cashew Cookies with Dulce de Leche

Day 8: Cashew Cookies with Dulce de Leche Filling

Dulce de leche, or literally, sweet milk, is a creamy caramel from Latin America. I recently learned that I could make my own — and these cashew cookies sprang to mind. 

Muy delicioso!
Making the dulce de leche was really easy, but time consuming. Basically, cook cans of sweetened condensed milk in a crock pot or slow cooker on low for about 8 hours, then turn off the pot and leave it to cool overnight until completely room temperature. For a complete tutorial, here is the one I followed at Taylor Takes Taste.

You can also buy it. Here in Canada, you can find it easily at The Real Canadian Superstore.

The cashew cookies are completely amazing on their own, but when sandwiched around dulce de leche? Oh boy, you won't believe how good they are! For the best results , use dry roasted, salted cashews. If you can't find those and get plain cashews, slightly toast them in a dry pan and add 1/4 teaspoon sea salt to the cookie batter.

Cashew Cookies with Dulce de Leche Filling
Based on a recipe by Martha Stewart Living

Makes 5 dozen cookies, or 2.5 dozen sandwiches
1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2-1/2 cups roasted, salted cashews
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon canola oil
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup dulce de leche

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F. 
  2. Mix flour and salt together in a bowl; set aside. Chop 1 cup of the cashews; set aside. 
  3. In a food processor, mix remaining cashews until finely chopped. Slowly pour in oil and continue processing until creamy, about 2 minutes. 
  4. In a stand mixer, mix together cashew mixture, butter and both sugars until fluffy; about 2 minutes. Mix in egg and vanilla. 
  5. On low speed, gradually add flour and mix until just combined. Stir in chopped cashews. 
  6. Using a small scoop or tablespoon, drop dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. 
  7. Bake for 6 minutes. Remove from oven and gently flatten with a spatula. Return to oven and bake for another 6 minutes or until golden. Cool on wire racks. 
  8. Spoon a dollop of dulce de leche onto the bottom of one cookie, then place another cookie on top so that the bottoms are facing together. Press together to make a sandwich.

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