From The New Best of BetterBaking.Com cookbook, Whitecap Books 2009 . Almond scented shortbread, filled with luscious dulce de leche caramel filling. One of a kind gift but save some for yourself! Make your own dulce de leche from the free recipe on this site or find ready-made (if you must). This is about the best cookie in the world and the ideal holiday gift. Make it once-it will become, as it is mine, your trademark. I learned about alphahore cookies in tango class. 13 years of tango later (which one needs to work off the alphahores calories), I am still making these amazing cookies. If you make only one cookie (after oatmeal and Tollhouse) this would be it.
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
1 cup confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup ground almonds
3 cups all-purpose flour
Dulce De Leche Filling *
2 14 ounce cans of condensed milk
Confectioners' sugar for dusting
Toasted or plain shredded coconut for sides
* Dulce De Leche
Prepared Dulce de leche is available in Latin food markets but homemade tastes much better and is easy to do.
For homemade Dulce de Leche, prepare filling several hours or the day before. Spoon condensed milk into the top of a double boiler and set over simmering water. Stir occasionally, allowing milk to heat for several hours on very low heat. Eventually, the milk will thicken and turn a deep butterscotch color. Cool well. It will thicken further. Refrigerate until needed.
For the cookies, cream the butter with confectioners' sugar until fluffy. Stir in granulated sugar, salt, almond extract, vanilla, nuts, and flour. Wrap dough and chill for 30 minutes. If you chill longer, you have to let the dough warm up a bit before it can be rolled.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Roll out dough on a lightly floured board to a thickness of 1/4 inch or so. Cut in 2 1/2 inch to 3 inch circles, preferably using a serrated or fluted edge cookie cutter.
Bake for 12 to 14 minutes. Cool well.
Spread some caramel filling on a cookie. Top with another cookie and press together carefully.
Dust tops with confectioners' sugar. Alternatively, you can smear more dulce on the sides of the cookies and roll in toasted or plain shredded coconut.
Makes 40 to 44 cookies
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