These dulce de leche cookies are made with 6 simple ingredients and have a deliciously light sugar cookie base and a creamy rich caramel topping. We're using a technique similar to that used to make thumbprint cookies, in the shape of a heart for an adorably tasty dessert.
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It can be used in many ways, like as a caramel topping on these apple empanadas, as a sweetener in coffee, or even as a main component in this dulce de leche ice cream.
Here are the 6 (+1 optional topping) ingredients you will need to make these adorable cookies:
- salted butter, softened to room temperature
- white granulated sugar
- vanilla extract
- all purpose flour
- dulce de leche (can be homemade or storebought)
- Optional: salt flakes for finishing
See recipe card for exact quantities.
Step by Step Instructions
Reminder: You can also just form a small well in the center if you don't like the idea of a heart shaped center.
If you've ever had thumbprint cookies before, you know the options for toppings are pretty much endless. This is because of the neutral blank sugar cookie canvas that we have as a base.
Here are a few of my favorite alternative fillings if you don't have/like dulce de leche:
- Jam - Raspberry, strawberry, apricot, you name it! Pretty much any jam will be delicious here.
- Nutella - We all know how delicious nutella is, and it's the perfect pairing with a sugar cookie like this.
- Coffee Cream - I'm a big fan of pretty much anything coffee flavored, and this coffee cream recipe seems like the ultimate combo for these cookies.
As mentioned above, you can definitely skip the heart shaped center if you're not into the festive shape. A simple circle shaped well in the center (can be done using the back of a tablespoon) will suffice!
I'm not here to tell you how to eat your cookies, but my favorite way to do it is with a glass of something subtly sweet.
A few of my favorites include:
- Cafe con Leche: A classic cup of Puerto Rican cafe con leche with this sweet caramel filled cookie is like a slice of heaven. Try it and thank me later!
- Moroccan Mint Tea: In Morocco, it's very normal to enjoy your mint tea with a spread of sweets, and these cookies would fit right in.
- Moroccan Coffee: Coffee really seems to be an ongoing theme in my mind today, and for good reason because coffee and caramel go together like bread and butter. This Moroccan spiced coffee will bring out all kinds of flavor profiles and compliment the cookies beautifully.
Alfajores vs. Dulce de Leche Cookies
If you've ever had alfajores before, you may be asking yourself about the difference between them and these dulce de leche cookies.
Alfajores have origins in the Middle East and South America and are made with two flour based cookies sandwiched around a spread of dulce de leche.
While the flavor profile is very similar, the composition and texture are quite different.
While there aren't any special tools required to make this recipe, I do recommend a few that will make the process easier.
Cookie scoopers make baking equal sized cookies a breeze. No worrying about rolling them a million times until they're even. Of course, you can feel free to do so if you don't have one.
I enjoy using parchment paper sheets when baking cookies as they make clean up super quick. It's not at all necessary, but if you're interested in a good nonstick method of baking cookies, I highly recommend.
A piping bag can help with evenly filling the cookies with the dulce de leche. You can also use a large ziplock bag with a tip cut off or simply use a spoon.
You can store these in an air tight container in the fridge or on the counter top for up to 5 days.
These cookies do stand up well to freezing. Wrap in an air tight bag and they should keep in the freezer for up to 12 months.