I'm in the process of coming up with some recipes for a themed bake sale I'm holding at school. The particular theme I'm working on is "ancient civilizations," which is pretty hard since ancient people basically ate some type of meat and grain, and that was it. Anyways, I came up with these cookies to represent the ancient Incas, since they lived in what is now Mexico and (fortunately) had access to cocoa beans.
This is a thick, dark chocolate cookie with a dash of cinnamon, filled and stuffed with dulce de leche. The good thing about stuffing the cookies with dulce de leche is that the filling never hardens and always remains gooey. Other caramel-stuffed cookies have to be eaten warm. Also, these cookies are big, about the size of the palm of your hand, so they are perfect for selling.
Dulce de leche is a common Mexican ingredient, which is like carmelized milk. You can buy it at a grocery store, or you can make it by yourself out of sweetened condensed milk. Since I had a can of sweetened condensed milk already sitting in my pantry, and curiosity, I decided to go with the latter option.
There are lots of ways to make dulce de leche (just google it). I chose the oven method. All you need is a roasting pan, hot water, a glass dish that fits in the roasting pan, an oven, and a can of sweetened condensed milk.
|Place one can of sweetened condensed milk in a glass dish. I used a pie plate.|
|Cover the dish tightly with foil.|
|Place the dish in the roasting pan. Pour hot water into the pan until it reaches halfway up the sides of the glass dish. Remove the dish from the roasting pan, and place the roasting pan on the bottom rack of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425*F.|
|When the oven is heated, place the glass dish back into the roasting pan. Bake for 1 hr and 15 minutes. Check the water level in the pan every half hour and add water if necessary. Take the glass dish out of the oven and let cool for at least hour.|
|Remove the foil. You should have a deep brown caramel.|
|Stir the dulce de leche in a bowl until smooth and refrigerate until completely cool.|
|Make the chocolate cookie dough.|
|Make a cinnamon-sugar mixture out of 3 tbs granulated sugar, 1 tsp cocoa powder, and 2 tsp cinnamon.|
|Scoop rounds of tbs of cookie dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, 1-1/2 inches apart. Then scoop about 1 tsp of dulce de leche on top.|
|Bake at 350*F for 16-20 minutes. Let cool.|
|Pipe more dulce de leche on top.|
If you want a spicier Mexican chocolate cookie, try adding 1/4 tsp chili powder to add warmth.
Dulce de Leche Stuffed Mexican Chocolate Cookies
makes 12 large cookies
adapted from My Baking Additction
For the Cookie Dough:
2 sticks cold and cubed unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light or dark brown sugar
1/2 cup good quality dark cocoa powder (like Hershey's Special Dark)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
about 1 cup dulce de leche (see above for instructions for homemade)
3 tbs granulated sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp cocoa powder
- Preheat oven to 350*F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking mats.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until well-combined. Then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the cocoa powder well.
- Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon in a medium bowl, and then fold into the wet ingredients until combined.
- Scoop 2 tbs of dough onto the cookie sheets, 1-1/2 inches apart. Scoop 1 tsp of dulce de leche on top of the dough, and then scoop another 2 tbs of dough on top.
- Pinch the dough around the dulce de leche filling to form a ball.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, and cocoa powder for finishing. Roll the balls of cookie dough in the sugar mixture and place back on the cookie sheets. Press the dough balls into 3/4" thick disks.
- Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 16-20 minutes. Let cool on the pans for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Fill a piping bag with dulce de leche and pipe onto the cooled cookies in any pattern you wish. Store the cookies at room temperature in a sealed container.