a plateful of WIN+++++
More cookies! This week's Tuesdays With Dorie recipe, chosen by Jodie, are two dulce de leche flavored butter cookies sandwiched with more of the caramelly spread.
Instead of trying to buy dulce de leche, I decided it was simpler and faster to just make my own. I've done so several times before and it's so easy, I have a hard time believing it is at all authentic (weird, I know). But you get something usable and yummy from it, so....eh. I try not to obsess too much about it.
Usually when I make dulce de leche, I do so by stripping a can of condensed milk, sitting the unopened can in a big ol' pot full of water, bringing the water to a boil, turning it down to a simmer, and letting it boil for a good 3-4 hours. I've done this several times with no casualties yet, but I am also careful to keep the water topped up and not to open the can until it is plenty cool. The result is a nice soft, smooth, medium brown sauce that thickens upon standing.
stovetop dulce de leche
This time, I decided to try it a couple of new ways. First, the oven method, which involves opening the can and pouring the contents into a pie plate or casserole dish, setting it in a hot water bath, covering and baking until it's as you like it.
I think you're supposed to use a flatter dish, but this is what I had.
I baked mine for about two hours. Doing it this way meant that I could add stuff if I wanted; I threw in a cinnamon stick to infuse mine but I bet a healthy dose of salt would be good, too. I found that I had to beat this dulce de leche to get it to be smooth; and it was the lightest in color and the most liquid of the three.
oven-baked dulce de leche
The second new method was much like my stove version, just in the Crock-Pot rather than on the stove.
I place a can in a crock filled with water on low overnight, and then turned it off and let it sit in the water all day till cool. I let mine cook longer than most, almost 12 hours, and so it came out quite dark and spreadable, but still tasted caramelly rather than burned (it was close, though; another hour would probably have killed it).
Crockpot dulce de leche
I wasn't thrilled with the big ol' ring-o-rust left in my crock, but it washed out without a problem.
Since several commenters at TWD complained that the cookies themselves needed more flavor, I decided to use the superdark dulce de leche in them. I think it was a good decision, because I felt the cookies were quite caramelly and buttery. YUM.
This gives you a better sense of the color of it.
My dough was really soft. I mean REALLY soft. So soft I was sure I had forgotten some important dry ingredient. You can't really tell here, but it was somewhere between "cookie" and "pound cake" in consistency.
I was very afraid to scoop the cookies, but I did so anyway. It firmed up as time went on, but even the initial softness came out just fine.
I got way more cookies than needed for 30 sandwiches out of the dough; so many that I lost count. When it came time to sandwich them, I mixed the dark, stiff crockpot stuff with the lighter, saucier oven stuff to get a very nice medium filling.
Filling was easy. The cookies came out nice and round, so it wasn't too hard to match cookies, and the filling hardened enough to make them movable and packable soon after sandwiching.
I took the resulting cookies to a party. Only a few people tried them, as a bunch of other people had brought storebought desserts, but I did successfully pawn all the cookies off on my hostess, except a few I had at home and tried later...and was not happy till I finished them all. I didn't know what to expect and didn't expect much but OH MY WORD THESE ARE DELICIOUS. They were buttery and chewy and indeed, instead of being cloying the little layer of filling really makes them shine. I tried a bit of Nutella on one cookie and I have to agree with Kristen and Becky O.: it didn't really work. Never thought there was anything Nutella could not improve, but there you have it. You must either eat these plain or use dulce de leche.
Fortunately, I am too lazy to make three cans of dulce de leche very often and it's hard to find in the stores here, so I don't think I'll have a problem with slipping into the kitchen to make any more soon, but one day. ONE DAY. Yum.