Noche Buena Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
These festive, holiday Mexican chocolate sandwich cookies, filled with dulce de leche, are traditionally served on the night before Christmas.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons coffee liqueur, such as Kahlúa® (or 2 tablespoons brewed coffee)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, melted, and cooled*
About 1/2 cup dulce de leche or very thick, spreadable caramel**
Additional cocoa, cinnamon and/or chili powder
- Preheat oven to 350ºF (175ºC) with oven racks in upper and lower thirds.
- Sift or whisk together flour, cocoa, chili powder, cinnamon and salt in a bowl until combined. Set aside.
- Combine butter and sugar in a bowl. Using an electric mixer or wooden spoon, beat until light and fluffy.
- Add egg yolks, coffee liqueur (or coffee) and vanilla, beating well, scraping down the sides after each addition. Mix in the cooled chocolate.
- Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients 1/2 cup at a time, and mix until combined well.
- Drop batter by rounded teaspoons 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. If desired, sprinkle with ground almonds. Bake, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until cookies are puffed up and dry looking around the edges, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer with a metal spatula to racks to cool.
- Continue with the remaining dough, making sure to let the baking sheets cool between batches.
- To fill the cookies; spread 1/2 teaspoon of dulce de leche on the flat side of a cookie, top with a second cookie to form a sandwich. Fill remaining cookies in the same manner.
- Dust with additional cocoa powder and a sprinkle of cinnamon, ground almonds and/or chili powder.
Makes about 2 to 2 1/2 dozen.
*For the best chocolate flavor, look for bittersweet chocolate with a minimum of 60 percent cocoa solids.
**Dulce de leche is available near the canned milk at Latin markets and many supermarkets.
Recipe and photograph provided courtesy of Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.