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Salted Dulce de Leche Thumbprint Cookies

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The flavor of salted dulce de leche tops these buttery melt in your mouth shortbread cookies. These Salted Dulce de Leche Thumbprint Cookies make great holiday gifts or a simple family treat.

side view of Salted Dulce de Leche Thumbprint Cookies

Salted Dulce de Leche Thumbprint Cookies

This recipe is adapted from my Lemon Thumbprint Cookies. Everyone loved the texture of those cookies so much, so I decided to make another winning flavor.

The thumbprint cookie recipe is simple but requires chilling. Make sure to allow yourself a least an hour chill time.

The dough can be made ahead and chilled overnight if that's more convenient. You can read more helpful tips in the post for the lemon cookies stated above.

close up of Salted Dulce de Leche Thumbprint Cookies

Dulce de Leche is a caramel-like spread made from slowly cooking sweetened milk until it thickens and becomes dark in color. It's also known as milk candy. I love using it in tres leches cake.

For today's cookies, I used a store-bought container of prepared dulce de leche. If you prefer to make your own, here is a great tutorial to follow.

Dulce de Leche is very sweet and just like caramel, the flavor pairs well with salt. It almost helps to offset the extreme sweetness.

I used only a light sprinkling of sea salt and it was just enough to give a nice balance between sweet and salty.

Dulce de Leche Thumbprint Cookies topped with sea salt.

The cookies need to bake for only 10 to 12 minutes. The bottom edges should become lightly browned.

Be careful not to overbake them. The texture should be firm enough to offer a light crumb but soft enough to melt in your mouth.

Once the cookies have cooled, sprinkle the tops with sea salt and enjoy!

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close up of Salted Dulce de Leche Thumbprint Cookies

Salted Dulce de Leche Thumbprint Cookies

Yield: 17 cookies
Prep Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 32 minutes

The flavor of salted dulce de leche top these buttery melt in your mouth shortbread cookies. These thumbprint cookies make great holiday gifts or a simple family treat. 

Ingredients

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg yolk, room temperature
  • 1 and ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup dulce de leche
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed for 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and egg yolk.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and salt. Stir with a whisk. Gradually stir the flour into the butter and mix just until blended.
  3. Shape the dough into a ball, cover, and chill for at least 1 hour. 
  4. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  5. Shape the dough into 1 tablespoon size balls and place them 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Using your thumb or the back of a teaspoon, press a slight indention in the center of each ball. Take care not to press too far down. If the edges crack while making the indention, simply pinch them back together to smooth them out. Otherwise, cracks are okay. 
  6. Fill the indents with ¼ teaspoon dulce de leche. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the bottom edges are lightly browned.
  7. Cool the cookies on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Sprinkle the tops lightly with sea salt.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 17 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 83Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 769mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 0gSugar: 5gProtein: 1g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the values shown are just an estimate.

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Sara @LifesLittleSweets.com

Sunday 11th of October 2015

I'm a huge fan of dulce de leche, I am so glad to see a cookie recipe that is using it, thank you for sharing this, pinning to my cookies board:)

Jen

Tuesday 13th of October 2015

Thank you so much for the pin, Sara!

Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction

Thursday 8th of October 2015

I love the sweet and salty combination! These cookies look so good!

Wendy

Tuesday 6th of October 2015

Your buttery shortbread is the perfect "holder" for creamy dulce de leche! These are beautiful on their own and will also be the first to go from holiday cookie platters!

Jocelyn (Grandbaby cakes)

Tuesday 6th of October 2015

These cookies are absolutely sensational!!!! I want a dozen this morning.

Maya @ Treats and Eats

Monday 5th of October 2015

Dulce de leche? Yes please! These thumbprint cookies sound AMAZING and look gorgeous. Want!

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