Spiced dulce de leche thumbprint cookies

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I always think of thumbprints as a childhood cooking right of passage. I remember school holidays filled with baking batches of thumbprints filled with any kind of jam we could find in the pantry. These spiced dulce de leche thumbprint cookies just scream the festive season. The warmth of cinnamon, vanilla, and cloves, with the gooeyness of a puddle of dulce de leche on top.

spiced dulce de leche thumbprints dusted with icing sugar on a copper cooling rack

What you need

  • Butter – always unsalted when baking. It gives you more control over the amount of salt in the end result.
  • Pantry staples – sugar, sea salt, plain flour, vanilla extract.
  • Egg
  • Christmas spice blend (recipe below)
  • Dulce de leche

Christmas spice blend

A spice blend for adding a little hint of Christmas spice to your festive baking

  • 5 tbsp cinnamon (ground)
  • 1 tsp cloves (ground)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper (ground)
  • 1 tsp cardamon (ground)
  • 1 tsp nutmeg (ground)

Pop all ingredients into a preserving jar and shake to combine. 

What’s dulce de leche?

As if condensed milk couldn’t get any better! It’s a kind of caramel made from cooking condensed milk for a long period of time till it caramelizes. Seriously, just grab a spoon, and eat this stuff straight out of the jar! When you are looking for dulce de leche in-store, make sure to hunt down a good, authentic version. They are normally made in Spain or Latin America. I use Havanna dulce de leche available from Essential Ingredient stores.

The nitty gritty

  1. In a stand mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Mix on a medium speed for 1-2 minutes until creamy.
  2. Add egg and vanilla extract. Again, mix on a medium speed for 1-2 minutes until combined.
  3. Add spices, salt, almond meal and flour. Mix and combine all ingredients together on the lowest speed for 30 seconds. We are looking for a sticky dough, but it shouldn’t stick to your hand when rolling together in your hands.
  4. Scoop out dough into your hands roughly one teaspoon of dough. Roll together into a ball and place on a tray or Silpat. Make sure there is sufficient space between dough balls. Make a well in the center of each cookie by pressing someting round into it’s center. This will also cause the dough to spread and shape into cookies. Refridgerate for 1 hour
  5. Preheat oven to 160°c
  6. Remove cookies from fridge and bake for 10 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and scoop (or pipe) dollops of dulce de leche into each cookie well.
  8. Return to the oven and bake for a further 3-4 minutes until the dulce de leche has melted into a puddle. Remove from oven and leave to cool on tray.
Spiced dulce de leche thumbprints on a copper cooling rack dusted in icing sugar
close up with a bit taken out of the cookie

Now pop on a pot of tea, give them a dusting of pure icing sugar and make sure you serve these ones right through the festive season.

Emma x

More cookie recipes…

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Spiced dulce de leche thumbprints on a copper cooling rack dusted in icing sugar

Spiced dulce de leche thumbprints

  • Author: Emma
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 14 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 20 cookies 1x
  • Category: Cookies
  • Cuisine: German, Latin American

Description

These spiced dulce de leche thumbprints just scream the festive season. The warmth of cinnamon, vanilla, cloves, and ginger and the gooeyness of a puddle of dulce de leche on top.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 120 g butter (unsalted, at room temperature)
  • 70 g sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 tsp christmas spice blend
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 100 g almond meal
  • 120 g plain flour
  • jar of dulce de leche

    Christmas Spice Blend

  • 5 tbsp cinnamon (ground)
  • 1 tsp cloves (ground)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper (ground)
  • 1 tsp cardamon (ground)
  • 1 tsp nutmeg (ground)
    Combine all spices in a jar a shake to combine

Instructions

  1. In a stand mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Mix on a medium speed for 1-2 minutes until creamy.
  2. Add egg and vanilla extract. Again, mix on a medium speed for 1-2 minutes until combined.
  3. Add spices, salt, almond meal and flour. Mix and combine all ingredients together on the lowest speed for 30 seconds. We are looking for a sticky dough, but it shouldn’t stick to your hand when rolling together in your hands.
  4. Scoop out dough into your hands roughly one teaspoon of dough. Roll together into a ball and place on a tray or Silpat. Make sure there is sufficient space between dough balls. Make a well in the center of each cookie by pressing someting round into it’s center. This will also cause the dough to spread and shape into cookies. Refridgerate for 1 hour
  5. Preheat oven to 160°c
  6. Remove cookies from fridge and bake for 10 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and scoop (or pipe) dollops of dulce de leche into each cookie well.
  8. Return to the oven and bake for a further 3-4 minutes until the dulce de leche has melted into a puddle. Remove from oven and leave to cool on tray.


Notes

I use the back of a round measuring spoon, however, you could use anything that shape.

For a bit of festiveness, dust with a little pure icing sugar

Keywords: Christmas Baking, Dulce de leche

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