There’s something about the combination of spiced Mexican chocolate and dulce de leche that can not be denied. And with Christmas right around the corner I’m giving you a free pass to make (and eat) as many cookies as you please. So there is really no excuse.

You. Must. Try. These. Cookies.

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Right now you’re probably looking at the photo and telling yourself “Meh, too difficult. Too many steps. What would I do with all the extra dulce de leche that doesn’t get sandwiched between those deliciously decadent spiced dark chocolate cookies? There’s no way I would eat it warmed and drizzled over a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. There’s no way I would use it to sweeten a cup of coffee or cocoa. There’s no way I would spread it on my morning pancakes. I’ll just make boring chocolate chip cookies instead.”

Well guess what, my friend… You don’t know what you’re missing. 

Dulce de leche is so easy to make and would taste good on a piece of wood.

Bold statement. Probably true.

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Slow Cooker Dulce de Leche
makes 14 ounces
one 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk (full fat)

Peel the paper label from the can of sweetened condensed milk and completely submerge the unopened can in water in your slow cooker/crock pot. Cook on low for 8 hours. Remove the can and allow to come to room temperature before opening. Spoon the contents into a bowl and beat with a wooden spoon to smooth the consistency. Store the dulce de leche sealed tightly in a glass jar (in the refrigerator) for up to three weeks.

Mexican Chocolate & Dulce de Leche Stars
makes 18 cookie sandwiches
(I used this set of three star shaped cut outs from Wilton, purchased at Michael’s)
4 oz dark chocolate chips
1 tbsp espresso powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar (packed)
2 tbsp butter (room temperature)
1 whole egg plus 1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup dulce de leche 

In a microwave safe bowl, heat the chocolate for 30 seconds then add the espresso powder, cayenne and cinnamon and stir to melt completely. Set aside to cool.

Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter and both sugars and beat on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add in the egg, yolk, chocolate mixture and vanilla. Reduce speed to low and slowly add in the flour mixture and beat until just combined. Transfer the dough to a sheet of plastic wrap, flatten to a disc shape, cover and refrigerate for one hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to 1/4″ thickness. Using the largest star cutter, cut 36 cookies and space 1″ apart on parchment lined sheet pans. Using the smallest star cutter, cut a small star in the center of 18 of the cookies.

Bake in the preheated oven for 5 – 6 minutes or until set. Remove from oven and cool on the pans on a wire-rack. Spread 1 tsp dulce de leche on 18 of the uncut star shaped cookies and top with the remaining cutout cookies. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

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These cookies are sure to impress the persnickityest (I  know, I know. Not a real word.) of co-workers at the office potluck… maybe even your boss. In fact, he might even forgive a slightly inebriated ‘truth slippage’ at the holiday party if you hand over a box of these gems.

Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies

Scientific fact: No mere mortal can resist the temptation of dulce de leche.

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