Dulce de leche: It’s so hard to say goodbye.

I I know, I know. I hear you. The name of this blog should probably be called living a la dulce de leche. I did let this particular obsession get a little out of hand. And my waistline agrees. While I was in Knoxville this past weekend I made an offhand comment to one of my nieces. I was responding to something she said. Though, for some reason, I can’t remember quite what I was responding to. Repressed memory I guess. So anyway,  I said, “well, I am fat and old so I should fit the bill,” all jokey, and oh silly Aunt Mary like. Being the sweet and innocent young lass that Kate is, she wanted to make me feel better and responded, “Oh aunt Mary, you’re not old!” Um yeah.

Kate is 13 and a real good kid. So her comment was well-meaning and well, to be honest, honest. So dulce de leche, it looks like this is where we should part company. But before we do, I want to make one last entry, just for you.

I found this particular recipe at David Lebovitz’s blog. The recipe below is a variation on his variation of a recipe from The Art and Soul of Baking by Cindy Mushet. Don’t you love the internet?! He has a much more intricate filling for his cookies. I opted for fillings that were readily available.  The combo of peanut and caramel on a caramel apple is what inspired this one. Only now, the dulce de leche will accent the peanuty taste of the cookie. Here is what you will need:

8 tbsp (one stick) unsalted butter, at room softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup creamy salted peanut butter
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Fillings: bittersweet, semisweet and milk chocolate, melted; chopped peanuts; dulce de leche. (or really anything that appeals to you. Ooooh, add grape jelly and go wild on memories of pb and j’s.)

  1.  Preheat the oven to 350F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Beat the butter, brown and granulated sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla until well blended. Beat in peanut butter.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk or sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the peanut butter mixture until well blended.
  4. Roll up tablespoon-sized portions of the dough and space them 1 1/2-inches apart on the baking sheets. Then use the rounded end of a wooden spoon, or your thumb, to make a depression in each one.
  5. Bake for 13-16 minutes until they are a golden brown.  While they’re warm, press in each depression with the end of the wooden spoon.  Let cool completely. When the cookies are completely cooled, adorn with aforementioned tasty goodness.

Now, I don’t want to overshadow the cookies filled with dulce de leche and chopped peanuts or chocolate because they were freaking awesome. But it was the oh so sweet and pure dulce de leche with just a sprinkling of sea salt on top that made my heart skip a beat. Or maybe it was the vast amount of dulce de leche I have ingested over the past few weeks. Is my arm numb? I am so glad my next physical is not until February. But I digress…

What I loved most was tasting the differences in the cookie depending on the various combinations of toppings. They do look tasty, don’t they? Enjoy.  

WARNING: I recommend you make this recipe only when you know you will be able to give as many of them away. My neighbors Magic, Tamika, Eric, Melba and Ivan received some. (Sorry other neighbors, but you had lives and were not at home at the time.) I took the rest to work with me and sought out those colleagues who were already there. I then  placed one in each of their hands. (Sorry everyone at work who was not there at the time, but I could not trust myself and did not want to leave any cookies unattended.)

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