These are my 'dressed up' version of a cookie I learned to make in Mocorito, with crunchy sugar covering them and sticky caramel inside. My favourite cookie of all time!
- 450 g (1 lb) unsalted butter, at room temperature, sliced, plus more to grease baking sheets
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- 8 cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ tbsp (6 tsp) baking powder
- Pinch kosher or sea salt
- 1 cup full cream (whole) milk
- 1½ cups white coarse sugar or sugar crystals
- 1 cup cajeta or dulce de leche, homemade or store-bought (get Pati’s cajeta recipe here)
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
This makes about 30 sandwich cookies.
1. In the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter along with the granulated sugar at medium speed for a couple minutes until smooth, creamy and puffed up. Add the vanilla and the eggs one at a time, beating until well incorporated.
2. In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt.
3. With the mixer running at low speed, add the flour mixture and milk in multiple additions, alternating between the two. Continue beating until well incorporated and you have a homogenous dough. Turn off mixer and gather dough into a ball.
4. Preheat oven to 180° C (350°F) with the two racks set in the lower and upper thirds. Pour the sugar crystals onto small plate and grease a couple of non-stick baking trays with butter.
5. Use your hands to make small balls of dough of about 2.5 cm-4 cm (1½ in-2 in). Flatten each slightly and cut 5 short lines around the edge of the disk with scissors, as if making petals, without cutting all the way into the centre. Press down gently in the center to make a flower shape. Flip over and press the top into the sugar crystals then place right side up on the baking tray. Repeat with all the dough balls, leaving about 2.5 cm (1 inch) of space between the cookies on the baking sheet.
6. Bake cookies for 30 to 32 minutes, until cooked and barely beginning to brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and let them cool on a cooling rack.
7. Once cool, make sandwiches with a couple of teaspoons of cajeta or dulce de leche in between two cookies, with the sugar side facing outwards.